Avaricious Artillery: Catapult For Hire

By Adam Smith on October 20th, 2011 at 3:16 pm.

Blue skies are needed right now, for the North is dark and grim

Are artillery games much-maligned? I feel like they are but that may just be because Angry Birds has become a weird cultural phenomenon, with plush toys sold in Next and all sorts of other madness. I almost accidentally won an Angry Bird toy at a fair. All of that means it’s definitely popular enough that it must be sneered at. The sheer number of artillery games out there does make it hard to see what makes each one different, but Catapult For Hire doesn’t have that problem. It’s in 3d, with lovely art design, has a full campaign mode, side missions, fishing, loads of ammo types and objects that break apart in fancy physics-based ways, based on impact and projectile type. There’s a trailer below and more videos and information at the site.

I’m quite charmed, I must admit. Being a catapult for hire, the player will travel the land, working for different clients and taking on all sorts of jobs, so while you will be knocking castles apart, you’ll also be chucking boulders at giant monsters and hunting for treasure. You heard me – hunting for treasure, with a catapult. Now that, my friends, is versatility.

Due to be published by IndiePub and in development by Tyrone Henrie, Catapult For Hire doesn’t have a release date yet. But it does have “a sophisticated fishing system” and that’s important too.

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22 Comments »

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  1. Metonymy says:

    Speaking for myself, it’s only the combination of popularity and simplicity that makes me dislike a game and it’s fanbase. The monkey sphere prevents me from taking casual dabblers seriously.

    This one reminds me very much of OMD, where an old and simple game gets a facelift and not much else. I had the most fun with catapult games being played ‘competitively’ in a hot seat.

    • GregS says:

      Why hate? Why not just ignore? I have nothing but the strongest and most severe of apathy for the angry birds world…

    • gwathdring says:

      You dislike the fans of simple games? That’s a shame. Hedgewars is pretty simple, and I love that. But I guess it’s not popular. Then I again I also love the game Hedgewars is aping, Worms, which is both simple AND popular so I guess I’m just doomed to face your disapproval. :

      It’s perfectly fine if the game isn’t interesting or complex enough for you. I’ve never played it, and don’t especially care to. But I don’t see why that causes you to dislike the fans. Care to explain? I’ve encountered this mentality before and I don’t quite understand it. Is it that you don’t “get” the phenomenon and find that frustrating? Is it that you vehemently resist the idea that better games aren’t equally popular? At what point does it become a matter or judging the character of a game’s fans rather than of the game? Or is this one of those hipster things like hating Coldplay as a matter of sheer principle?

      Let them have their fun, I say. Spend your grudges more wisely than to begrudge those who take pleasure in things too simple for your personal entertainment.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Damn you for making me Google monkey sphere.

  2. Fidelicatessen says:

    Metonymy: by OMD, are you referring to Orcs Must Die? It didn’t seem like an old and simple game getting a facelift, so I figure you must be referring to something else when you say OMD?

    I never thought of Angry Birds as an artillery game, but I suppose it is. If I hated every mediocre thing that became popular, I’d be so much more full of bile that it wouldn’t be pleasant (for me or those around me).

  3. jonfitt says:

    I like my artillery games to involve some form of calculation or at least repeatability, not just a random-ish finger pull. That’s why Angry Birds annoys me.

    • jonfitt says:

      It seems like this one at least has a first bounce projection so you can use some judgement in your shot.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      The secret to making a billion dollars with a “game” isn’t to make a good game. It’s to make something visually appealing and psychologically satisfying.

      That’s the thing with Angry Birds.

    • ankh says:

      Angry Birds does involve some form of calculation as well as repeatability. Maybe I’m playing it wrong.

    • gwathdring says:

      Should we start up an RPS Hedgewars group? Does anyone else play? It’s like the old 2D worms games, but free and with Hedgehogs.

      For the uninitiated:
      http://hedgewars.org/

      The one issue I have with games like Worms (and HW) is the wind. Until you’ve played a LOT of games, it’s difficult to figure out how much the wind is going to effect a particular projectile. In other words, without an immense amount of practice the game is not about mental calculations but trial and error. Once you’ve played enough that four arrows pointing left means something tangible to you, then it becomes a game of calculations. But by that point you’ve memorized angles and firing patterns anyway. In short, there’s a little sweet spot when I’m actually able to do mental calculations and have them be more accurate than pure muscle memory.

    • max pain says:

      I love the wind in HW and Worms (too bad it only affects limited number of weapons).
      Shooting bazookas over the edge of the island only for it to return back and hit the opponent (or yourself) off was the main reason I sticked to worms for so long.

    • gwathdring says:

      When I think about it, I rather like the mechanic. I guess it’s less my “one problem” with the genre and more the thing I’m least capable of overcoming if my concern is playing effectively rather than playing fun. Which is really silly now that I think about it because I can’t remember ever playing one of these games and taking it seriously. The silliness is sublime.

  4. wccrawford says:

    Argh, take my money already!

  5. loud says:

    Hey everyone, I’m the developer of the game.

    I wanted to mention that when I started on this game my only goal was to make a cool catapult game. Angry Birds wasn’t out and I hadn’t even heard of Crush the Castle and the likes. The variety of things you can do in the game isn’t me trying to 1up anyone. I’m simply trying to make a catapult game that I want to play.

    As for the controls, it’s not “fling and forget”. Sometimes the game calls for accuracy in which case you can make minute adjustments on your keyboard. Sometimes it’s about speed and timing, but mostly my goal is to develop a gut feeling. I imagine that back in the day there could have been rockstar catapultists that other catapultists looked up to. They could hit any target based on their gut instinct. That’s what I hope to develop in the player.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      I can vouch for him on this; I remember seeing the devlog on the TIGSource boards way way back when. This game has been in dev for a while.

      (The trailer looks really great!)

    • Marcin says:

      It looks splendid, sir. I like how it starts out simple and towards the end you’re zooming through sky castles and bouncing propeller projectiles off of dragons’ heads.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I concur, looks great. Dunno why people would make Angry Birds comparisons. It wasn’t the first game to use projectile motion, you know.

  6. Spoon says:

    The trailer reminds me of those old Michael Jordan vs Larry Bird McDonald’s commercials. Off the knight’s shield, into the magical transport stream, rock turns into a helicopter, nothing but castle wall.

  7. Joyo says:

    Fie upon the autogrumblings of hardcore-er-than-though curmudgeons!

    I am charmed. It looks lovely.

    I want to fish with a catapult and no Angry Bird-shaped stigma will stand in my way.

  8. Jengaman says:

    My Favorite arty game was Gunbound when it wasn’t ruined.
    If that game had no items you could buy i dont think i’d ever get sick of it
    I never got into the worms series….
    Maybe I’m the only one who feels that way lol

  9. JimmyJazz says:

    This reminds me of Spyro the dragon, ripto’s rage quite a bit, for some reason.

    Might be the similarity’s of art design in my memory.

    Could be that one level where I had to ride a cart around and shoot a cannon.

    Probably also the music…

    Oooh the nostalgia.

  10. ccmccmcc says:

    http://www.cc2biz.com

    very good