SAGA Catapult


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Cheap Shot: Saga Catapult

What are those specks on the horizon? Incoming enemies? Crap. Rally the troops! Form a perimeter! Man the defenses! Our village is under attack! Say what? We don’t have any troops? The village only has one weapon, and it’s a catapult? Give me a break… Okay, you, reading Slide To Play. Yes, you. Grab some rocks and jump on that contraption. You’ve never fired a catapult before? No matter- either you’ll learn on the job, or we’re all dead meat!

Such is your task in Saga Catapult, the new game from Silverlode Interactive. And frankly, hurling rocks has never been so fun. Enemies enter from the left side of the screen and make their way to the right. All you have to do is tap the ground where you think the bad guy will be when your boulder arrives. Shooting is a simple, yet surprisingly satisfying, tactile experience. Each enemy to make it to the right side of the screen drops your life one point.

What a lovely day for a jetpack ride.

The game takes place in a generic fantasy setting from the Saga series, but it keeps things fresh by constantly adding new enemies with different characteristics and abilities. Some fly, some sprint and juke, and some cast spells. You’ll fight everything from orcs and rocketeers to tanks and dragons. Between enemy waves you can upgrade your catapult to increase its abilities, like its power, reload speed, and damage circumference. Sure, there’s only one background, but you’ll be too preoccupied squashing invaders to care.

Rousing fantasy music and humorous one-liners lay a pleasant audio backdrop to the game. Add to that an impressive boss battle or two and online score tracking, and you’ve got some bang for your buck. There’s even a bonus mode with an entirely different enemy set, but we’ll leave that unspoiled so you can see for yourself. So what are you waiting for, rookie? Hop on and start flinging boulders!

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Saga Catapult Hands-On

Utah-based developer Silverlode is entering the iPhone arena this summer with two games based on their PC MMORTS, Saga. The first, Saga Catapult, is an action-based tower defense game that is centered on the concept of beaming orcs in the brain with a heavy hunk of rock.

Saga Catapult in Action

You don’t have to build any defenses yourself. Instead, all you need is a catapult and a quarry’s supply of rocks. By simply tapping anywhere on the screen along a dirt path, your boulders will fly out to meet the shambling hordes. In the early levels we played, only a few thugs slowly moved from left to right, but later a tougher ogre that took multiple shots came by to eat our villagers.

The environments and enemy characters are all based on assets from Saga on the PC, so they’re in 3d and look pretty nice, even if they’re often viewed from very far away. Using gold you earn by bopping bad guys, you can unlock new catapult options like a nice “aftertouch” effect that lets you glide rocks left and right by tilting the iPhone.

That’s pretty much Saga Catapult in a nutshell. As for the other Saga-based iPhone game coming this year, it’s called Saga Tactics, and we’ll have more on that online, turn-based strategy game in just a few months.

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