Ahhh... Cannon Brawl. It's been ages since I played a game like this. In fact, come to think of it, I have never actually played a game like Cannon Brawl in my life. Published (and presumably developed by as well) Turtle Sandbox Games, Cannon Brawl is a very unique breed. Gameplay largely resembles the Worms franchise, but my knowledge of those games is based largely off of fabled tales told by friends and the scarce images I sometimes see on Steam, so I'm not exactly sure how accurate that is.
Regardless, Cannon Brawl is a very fun and enjoyable game, one that I ended up playing a decent amount. The game is fairly straight-forwards in how it operates and functions. At the start of each level the player, controlling an airship, is given the task of destroying the enemy's castle while protecting their own. To accomplish this they need to build cannons to fire over at their enemy to destroy their castle while keeping their own intact and alive. Sounds simple on the surface, but they make a LOT out of it.
First off, you need cash to build your cannons, so you need to expand your territories outwards to encompass various mining spots upon which you can build mining depots. You can't build outside your own territory, or in contested territory, meaning that you'll need to make sure the way is clear. You do that by building cannons and shooting down or destroying any enemy buildings that are a threat to you! And boy is this NOT as easy as it sounds!
Firstly, a cannon, shield, bomb cannon, etc., will not function unless the player is directly operating them. This means that, should the player have five cannons up, they won't 'just fire automatically, but rather each of them must be controlled separately by the player to fire their rounds. To make it more complicated there is a cool-down timer for each of the various turrets that controls when it can act again. What this means is that the player will be building multiple turrets, flitting between them as they try to fire off tons of cannon shots, missiles, bombs, and put up shields while also trying to build new buildings and keep an eye on the cooldowns, making for some very fast-paced and chaotic action.
There is a lot of variety in the various choices of turrets and they each interact in completely different manners with each other. For example, the shield turret will put up a shield that can block incoming shots from your cannons, but it's only so strong, so the player can upgrade their cannons or build more. But a well-place shield or two can stifle an enemy assault... so what do you do? You bring in the bombs. Bombs walk along the ground and, as soon as they touch the ground, can't be blocked by shields. Your enemy sees this and builds a laser, which can quickly rip through terrain, to cut a cliff so your bombs can't reach the shield turrets. So you build a shield by your cannons. Why? Because laser shots bounce off of shields and into other places rendering lasers ineffective. Complexity in simplicity at its finest!
Even something as outright simple as blowing the terrain out from under an opponents building, or even castle, completely bypassing defenses and health, while seemingly simple, can end up being a very complex and interesting part of the game. The game features several puzzle levels which showcase this very well as they can require something as simple as 'win the entire fight in one shot'. How do you do that? Where does your shot have to go? Where does the cannon have to be placed? All for one, simple, shot.
There is more to it, though, as the game features a cool experience-based method of unlocks. Players are provided with a series of quests, things like 'win this many battles with this character' or 'cause a certain amount of buildings to be destroyed via falling'. For each quest completed EXP is earned which can then be redeemed in the armory for new buildings and characters.
The game also features a fairly solid multiplayer game that was decently fun to play, but it also exposed me to the games major shortcoming.
Things get a little TOO hectic! Between flitting about from the various turrets, some of which are very closely placed to the point of easily picking the wrong one by accident, trying to keep up with the various cooldowns, and building it can simply be a LOT of work to try and keep up with what's going on. This can lead to the game becoming chaotic and a bit daunting/difficult to play for a bad reason.
But even with that reason in place, I had a lot of fun with this. It's a great little game to play with friends when you just need to kill a bit of time, is very fast-paced with a lot of action, and has a sizable amount of depth to it.