Strategy games have always been my thing. I love the challenge of resource and time management in order to bring the opponent down; I never care if it’s AI or another player, I need to prove I’m the one and only last man standing, and Cannon Brawl looks like the perfect game for my purpose.
Pilot an airship, command powerful weapon emplacements like cannons, giant flamethrowers, and high-powered lasers. Destroy the very earth from under your enemies feet! Cannon Brawl is an exciting mix of real time strategy and artillery gameplay. Your ability to manage combat priorities and focus through the madness of battle will be put to the test. Advance across the kingdom in single player to unlock and discover new units, then experiment with each one to find your favorite combination in online multiplayer. Choose from over fifteen units and five airship pilots for a huge variety of strategic combinations. Want to turtle up and launch big warheads from afar? You can! Want to rush to the high ground and launch a rain of missiles from above? You can! Try out tons of other strategies and crush your friends!
Developer: Turtle Sandbox
Release date: 05 August 2016
Reviewed on Xbox One (also available on Steam and PS4)
Genre: Action, Real Time Strategy
Multiplayer Online- 2 players
Multiplayer Local- 2 players
Age Rating: E (Everyone)
Buy now: $9.99
Reviewed on Xbox One; also available on Playstation 4 and PC.
Cannon Brawl is a 2D action/real time strategy game that borrows little from other games (angry birds shooting mechanics mixed with worms desructible terrain) while adding new and fresh features like cooldown and resources to make a unique gameplay experience.
It was a delightful surprise for me; after a slow start consisting in a couple of -well explained- tutorial levels, it soon starts getting interesting. New weapons/buildings are often unlocked; you’ll see how those work first against the AI, and later on you’ll get your chance to try them for yourself.
The single player campaign includes 20 missions – featuring “boss fights”- and also some fun puzzles levels. Once you finish the standart campaign, which won’t take you so long, you’ll be able to unlock a harder version of it, called nightmare mode.
As I mentioned previously, the different campaign levels introduce new buildings and weapons as you progress and the difficulty increases. The main objective of every battle is pretty simple; destroy the enemy castle. There are also additional secundary objetives related to time or actions per minute and quests, which will increase your xp.
You are also given the option of picking your preferred pilot and buildings/weapons before each battle. Every pilot has a special ability (cooldown reduction, bonus terrain damage, health regeneration…) which could help you turn the tide of battle.
Cannon Brawl gameplay mechanics involve deep strategy; you can only build on a specific area that can be increased with balloons, terrain can be destroyed and resources are scarce, so you’ll have to fight constantly to keep those under your influence.
As a pilot, you- and your rival- control an airship that performs actions such as buying, placing, upgrading, shooting and even selling weapons. Most actions have cooldown, and that’s the only time you have a break to think what your next move will be!
This is not a turn based game, and that makes a huge difference; it is quite challenging to pay attention to everything at the same time. While it is important to keep track of every enemy move, you will also need to keep in mind how much money you’ve got and how much time is left in order to shoot again or put a shield back.
Another appreciated feature included in the game – which I wasn’t expecting – is online (normal or ranked) and local Multiplayer (against AI or another player) where the fun continues after you complete the campaign.
GRAPHICS, SOUND AND PERFORMANCE
Let’s talk about performance first. I’ve checked the Xbox Store comment section and there are some people adressing performance issues such as game crash. I’m not sure if it was a problem the game had on day one or not, but I bet that has been fixed already since I played the whole campaign on one sit plus a couple of local multiplayer matches and the game ran pretty much smooth; there can be times where the whole screen is filled with projectiles flying across the map and explosions everywhere, but the truth is none of that made the frame rate drop. Trust me, there’s no need to worry about that at all.
Regarding graphics, and as you might notice, it’s not AAA quality graphics but that doesn’t keep the game from looking nice; thanks to the suitable cartoon-style game design. Scenarios are beautiful and diverse, explosions both look and sound great (which is a MUST in every game featuring artillery, right?) and that’s all I could ask of it.
Regarding the sound section, every fx sound it’s okay, and while the soundtrack might be a bit repetitive it is indeed pretty good.
Cannon Brawl manages to deliver intense gameplay due to the huge amount of possibilities during battles; the high paced combat will keep you thrilled from start to finish. There’s nothing left to say other than I totally recommend you this game. Each battle is a satisfying mayhem party.
+Fun and challenging puzzles
+Great sense of strategy
+Fast paced battles
+Local and online multiplayer
-No custom map creator
-Relatively short campaign