One of my favourite games on the Nintendo Wii was Boom Blox. It was a simple game of destruction – exploding brick towers into bits and pieces. Slaughter Cannon takes this idea and places a giant war cannon infront of various low poly structures and buildings and asks you to cannon ball them to shreds. It is a nice idea with some wacky issues.
Firstly, the good news. When it works – Slaughter Cannon is satisfying. The bricks and buildings crumble into tiny pieces in a joyous collapse that often feels fun and godlike. The way everything collapses is the key here – it feels like a demolition. There are 40 levels and the buildings and forts of the last 20 levels are the best by far. Its just more fun to knock down a village pub than a few geometric shapes. The other good news is the game is easy to play – you move your mouse to where you want to cannon ball to hit and click to fire.
That is where the happiness ends though. Slaughter Cannon forgot two things – camera viewpoints and predictable physics. The camera is the real killer though – you have two options. One is from a to-the-side view and one is directly behind the cannon. Whilst this works for the first shot, whenever there is debris anywhere, you often cannot see what is broken, what isn’t – nor can you actually reach it with the aiming controls. Too often builds of building fall infront of what you need to hit and then you can’t get to it or its behind a bush or rolled down the hill. The last of which is an instant gameover for the level really as you can’t hit and crack/destroy every block. What is considered a block changes wildly from level to level too and a wall explodes the same way a ladder or a barrel does so you end up just going for where things join so you can hit a few things at once. This leads to the problem of the physics just feeling a little too unpredictable – especially when something falls. Half the time things will smash, half the time they won’t – and its not down to velocity or height of the fall either. It leaves you a bit miffed.
The game is also short. I completed 37 of the 40 levels in just over 45 minutes and I couldn’t get the last ones to load properly, crashing to desktop each time. I hope that gets resolved and more levels are added (10 have already been added post launch) to make this game more challenging and varied. At present there isn’t enough content or variation for the price and it desperately needs a rotating camera! If it adds that in, Slaughter Cannon has a chance of being decent, Until then its too short and too fiddly for its own good.
Terrible camera and game breaking bugs weigh down a nice concept with little content.
Occasionally satisfying when it all goes to plan.
Crashes to desktop way too often.
Neither camera angle is very helpful and frustrates more than helps.
All too often the destruction rubble prevents you from finishing a level.
Too short for the price tag (and half the levels are just a few stone logs).
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