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Catapult Madness is an artillery-based casual arcade game in which you try to fire peasants from a catapult as far as possible.

Catapult Madness is an artillery-based casual arcade game in which you try to fire peasants from a catapult as far as possible.

The side-scrolling interface has three parts: a workshop screen (where you buy upgrades to make your peasants fly further), the catapult screen (where you carefully time your button taps to determine the speed and angle of the catapult shots), and the battlefield that your peasants fly over (according to the game's thin backstory, you're trying to reach a neighboring castle 50,000 feet away to ask for help in a battle). The catapult itself won't get your peasants very far, so you're hoping that they will bounce off various bits of battlefield detritus--on the ground and in the air--so that those bounces will carry them further toward their goal. You earn money after each shot that you can spend on upgrades. These include passive boosts, such as a mechanic (to improve your catapult) or "Bubbly" (to make your peasants bouncier), and four upgrades that you use actively in flight: a hang glider, magic, gas-producing beans, and bombs. The only real strategy in the game involves using these upgrades to maximum effect.

The fart-joke art direction of Catapult Madness has a certain charm to it, and trying for longer and longer distances can be addictive. But the game has a few big problems that will leave serious gamers unsatisfied: the upgrades are necessary for achieving greater distances, so the game becomes a grind to earn money to buy the upgrades--and because even relatively unsuccessful shots earn you money, the only motivation for maximizing the efficiency of a given shot is to minimize the amount of time spent playing the game. This isn't helped by the fact that the catapult shots take so much time (well over a minute at longer distances) and involve so much luck, and you perform very few actions during those times. The game has an anticlimactic ending once you reach the other castle at 50,000 feet--an outcome that is inevitable if you keep purchasing upgrades. Add in the game's lack of polish and the fact that it doesn't even offer local leaderboards unless you sign up for a Game Center account, and Catapult Madness is only worthwhile as a free download, and not for serious gamers.

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