IndieTrials
Avatar Cannon
Developed by SniperED007
Released on March 19th 2010
Sold on XBLIG for 240 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on March 17th 2011 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art for Avatar Cannon is bright, vivid and conveys to you the setting of the game. The South African flag is the background, with silhouettes of various African animals displayed too. It doesn't however really tell you what the game is about.

The game's intro screens and menus are slick and easy to navigate. It's easy to get into the game by just hitting the 'Play' button at the top of the menu. First impressions are very good.
Trial experience
The game loads up and you're immediately presented with a moving cannon containing your avatar. A single icon depicting an A button clearly lets you know what you need to do. Pressing A fixes the angle of the cannon and brings up a power bar, pressing A again sets the power and shoots out your avatar into the air.

While all this is going on there's a huge bird flying by which looks very well modelled and the animation is very cool.

As your avatar flies through the air you're presented with an extensive tundra containing many African animals, during flight you have very little to do except flap your arms and it's not very clear if that even makes a difference.

As your avatar comes back down to ground level they'll bounce off the ground, or alternatively if they hit an animal they'll bounce with much more force and go higher into the air.

Eventually your avatar will come to a stop and you get to fire them out of the cannon again (you get three shots). As you fly further you'll start to see avatars of other players along with their ranks. This is good as it lets you see the targets you have to beat.

You'll soon hit the 'Bone Breaking Pole', a sky-high pole that blocks you from going further. This is the maximum distance attainable in the trial. Even though I hit the pole I decided to go back and have a few more goes to see if I could hit it with just a single shot from the cannon.

After a few more tries I found a few nice comedic touches. Go too close to a monkey and they'll grab hold of your avatar, bringing it down to the ground, and if you're unlucky enough to come down too close to an Elephant's backside you might find yourself stuck head-first in there.

I also unlocked a new move, 'Superman'. This allowed my avatar to hold both arms out-stretched, Superman style. I think it's just for visual effect as it didn't seem to make any difference to the flight.

After a few plays and still not managing to reach the pole with a single shot the trial time was finally up.
Overall thoughts
Avatar Cannon is a visually stunning game with a very simple concept. It looks great, is funny and I can see it being addictive.

The game looks great, the animals, while somewhat cartoony are very well modelled and the overall look of the level and the backgrounds is of high quality. Since the idea of the game is very simple, and the majority of the time you have little control over your avatar the graphics give you something to look at along the way. You're still left with little to do while your avatar is flying around though.

The trial is somewhat let down by the short-distance of the 'Bone Breaking Pole'. I hit it in my first play, and I'm unlikely to just click through and buy the game at that point. I think it would be better being moved further down the level since in the 8 minute trial you could potentially have a few plays and the further you manage to get the more you'll want to try and beat your own records. Then by the time you hit the pole you'll be more likely to purchase the game.
Rating