Classic Game Review: Cannonball Blitz

Donkey Kong for the Apple; at last! Well – almost, that is. The familiar gorilla has been replaced by a rigid soldier, the rolling barrels are now rolling bombs, and the beautiful maiden towards which you strive has been replaced (alas!) by a flag.

What has remained the same about this game is its incredible challenge. This is not a game for someone who likes to sit down for ten minutes and play something simple and relaxing before going to bed. CANNONBALL BLITZ is an addicting, hair-tearing game that cannot be turned off. After playing a game or two, you will be convinced that absolutely no one can play this thing. Skill, however, does gradually come; and soon you’ll have even greater challenges to frustrate you. The first level starts with you at the bottom of the screen, an enemy soldier at the top, and several ramps storming across the screen from top to bottom.

The soldier then begins lighting bombs and rolling them down the ramps toward you. The mission is to get up the ramps and capture the enemy’s flag without being run over by any of the bombs. The only way to get from ramp to ramp is to be thrown up there by one of the catapults on the ramps. A bomb falls through one of the trap doors on the ramp, drops to the next level, hits the one side of the catapult and, if you’re on the other side, up you go. There is another way to go up a level. That is by catching one of the balloons that occasionally fly by. I strongly advise that you ignore these however, as they seem to invariably deposit you on the next level directly in front of a rolling bomb. The only time the balloons are needed is when you reach the top and you have to get to the flag. When you finally do get to the flag, you are ready to go on to the next level… The Cannons.

The Second level begins with you at the lowest of six floors. There are 2 or 3 ladders going up from each floor and, on each of the floors, there are 2 rivets. All one needs to do is to run over each of these 12 rivets and the whole structure will come down, the guard at the top falling to his death. (This is war, you know). This would all be quite simple, if it weren’t for one little thing: the cannons. These little critters just won’t leave you alone. They can kill you by running you over or they can give you a nice cannonball in the gut. They can follow you up and down ladders, but they cannot jump over the gaps left by the rivets that are popped.

Also, on two of the floors, there are hammers with which you can mash the gunpowder out of the cannons. It should only take you a few decades of trying before you manage this feat, and by then you’ll be ready for the next level. On the third level you find yourself on a ledge surrounded by a variety of ladders, steps, and two large elevators (one going up, one going down). The only things that can stop you from getting to the top and completing this level are cannons, bouncing bombs, flying cannonballs and a big soldier with very big cannon. (Really, that’s all.)

When (if) you get that third level flag, you can relax for a minute and watch the intermission provided for your entertainment. Then, it’s back to the battlefield and the same scenario as the first level only this time someone must have put shorter fuses on the bombs, because they now have the nasty habit of exploding while you are jumping over them.

I’ll let you find out about the next levels for yourself (mostly because I haven’t gotten to them myself yet). In the final analysis, CANNONBALL BLITZ is a game every bit as challenging and fun as the arcade original. It will give you hours (days, months, years) of enjoyment.

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