On my iPhone: “Cannon Challenge” Reviewed - Macenstein

On my iPhone: “Cannon Challenge” Reviewed

Reviewing a free app is a little silly I guess, as I should probably save myself some time and just write “I liked this, go download it yourself and see if you do too”, but what the heck – the guys over at the Discovery Channel put some effort into this, I enjoyed my time playing with it, so the least I can do is tell you guys about it.

Above: It would be cool if Cannon Challenge looked like this, but it doesn’t.

Like most truly enjoyable games, the premise of Cannon Challenge is quite simple – basically, you blow stuff up.

Above: Change the angel and velocity of your cannon by running your fingers up or down the sides of the screen.

The game puts you in control of a Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) cannon, the kind the military is so keen on these days. By raising and lowering the angle of your cannon and adjusting the velocity of your rounds, you attempt to blow up various targets strewn across a series of mountainous landscapes. More or less an exact rip-off of the Atari 2600 game Artillery Duel, which I logged quite a few hours playing back in the day.

There are a total of 15 boards that you must complete in order to win, and you have a total of 15 missiles with which to do so. While the game can at times be a little tricky to get the right mix of cannon elevation and power, you’ll soon begin to figure out the right mix. In general, I find leaving my cannon at a 85Ëš or so angle, and just messing with the velocity worked best.

Above: “INCOMING!!!”

While I beat the game on my first try, there were a couple boards I came dangerously close to running out of ammo on, and when you are done you can choose to play again on a new series of boards. I am not sure just how many boards the game has, as it appears to recycle some each time, so far I have come back on a couple occasions to blow more stuff up.


Above: So, um, what exactly are those things I’m shooting at?

It’s a little lame to point out faults in a free game, but no one ever said I wasn’t lame. First, despite a reasonable selection of new boards and terrains, often a board is exactly the same as the one before it, just with a different color scheme. I often found if I left my elevation and velocity settings unchanged from one board to the next, the settings used to destroy the last target on board would work fine blowing up the first target on the next board.

Above: Boards 9 and 11 are identical, and if you wrote down all your settings from board 9, you could use them to destroy the targets in board 11.

As the levels get “harder”, all Cannon Challenge really does is add a couple moving targets, such as helicopters (which move up and down) and missile silos (that open and shut). The problem is, these targets are actually easier to hit than the stationary ones. It would be cool if a missile silo could not be blown up when the door was closed, but no, it can be destroyed no matter what state it is in. Also, perhaps adding “wind” into the equation would have made thigs harder, or maybe some nearby “friendly” targets you need to avoid.

Above: Believe it or not, these moving helicopters are easier to hit than the smaller stationary targets.

While the explosions and background visuals in the game are nice, I think the actual target graphics could have used a little sprucing up. Most of the time I was not even sure what I was blowing up. There is a weird green “cactus-looking” thing that kept popping up, and some green boxes that were either buildings or weapons… I’m not sure. Not that it really matters I guess, as you just want to blow everything up, but it would be nice if I could tell what I was destroying.

And finally, I also think the “You Win” screen gives new meaning to the term “anticlimactic”.

Above: Wow, that really makes it all worth while.

Still, all in all I find Cannon Challenge to be a worthy time waster, and it has (for the moment) earned a place on my iPhone.

Cannon Challenge

Price: Free
Pros: Nice sound effects, fun game play, nice selection of levels, free
Cons: Many boards repeat the same layout as others, difficulty does not really increase with progress, graphics could use a little work

6 Responses to “On my iPhone: “Cannon Challenge” Reviewed”
  1. Daniel says:

    I love this game. I like to run the audio into my car stereo while playing for a louder, more realistic effect.

  2. Dave-O says:

    I would like it if the “Loading” screen ever went away. Takes forever. It also doesn’t save state if you have to leave the game.

    Crashes a lot too, the Loading screen often goes away to leave you back on the home screen.

  3. Zac says:

    Artillery games have been around since before man discovered fire. And while they remain surprisingly fun all these years later, if it doesn’t have a multi-player option, I don’t see the point.

  4. Sexy Jesus says:

    I’d like to see an expanded version with collapsing terrain, choice of artillery, etc. like we used to play back in the day. A good 1st try though, esp. for the price. I’m still playing it occasionally after a few weeks of having it on my phone.

  5. whathelll says:

    now they just need to make this beast multiplayer

  6. Xan says:

    You know, it is a fun clear your mind type of game…. and there shouldn’t be any complaining because the price is the hated four letter “F” word… Free.

    When sitting on the the thrown and there are now magazines…. nice way to pass time.

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