Pirates are a rough lot, constantly searching for treasure, hunting one another, and getting scurvy. However, they’ve enjoyed a cultural resurgence for some time now, and many games have adopted them as their theme. Cannons is one of these games, and though its simple name doesn’t say much about its content, it holds a great deal of puzzling for the crafty pirate at heart.
The game and all of its modes are based on a board that holds a series of differently-shaped pieces of fuse. On one end is a column of cannons, and on the other side there is nothing visible, though we assume there is a vat of oil. When there is a path connected to each side, a torch lights on one end and brings the flame throughout every connected piece to the cannons, firing each one it reaches. The pieces are rotated by touching them, and you can even rotate a few pieces after the fuse ignites, to reach more cannons.
Give me your booty.
The variety of gameplay in Cannons impressed us. There are three modes– strategy, classic, and arcade– which have different time limits, number of torches, and pieces. The purpose in every one is to fire a certain number of cannons. All of the modes are presented throughout the story, but each type is also available separately in the quick play mode. Not only that, but the three difficulty settings are available in both modes, offering a great deal of play time.
As much as we liked the puzzles and their variety, however, we felt as though we were left hanging on the implementation of the story and the tutorials. The tutorials exist only in the form of a few brief panels before each puzzle, and they fail to mention several elements of the game, like bonus pieces on the board.
As for the story, it’s presented with a good deal of grammatical errors, which don’t make its somewhat uninspired plot any better. In fact, besides being presented with a few stylized drawings, the only thing to take you through the story between missions are a couple of lines of quick dialogue, like “Look! A note that says we should go there!”
The game is well crafted, and despite the typos, we liked its addictive variety. Without a complete tutorial, we can’t recommend it highly to all, but if you enjoy puzzles, you’ll definitely get a good fix.