| |

Human Cannonball Review

Developer: Atari Publisher: Atari
Release Date: 1978 Also On: None

You’ve got to wonder about those people in circuses who make their living getting shot out of cannons. Do they have a death wish or something? Evidently, the people at Atari were big fans of these people though. In 1978 they came out with this game, Human Cannonball. But is this game anything that’s worth playing? Read on to find out.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

The concept behind Human Cannonball is simple. On the screen is a cannon and a basket. You will be given a speed in miles per hour. Your objective is to choose the angle at which you think the cannon should shoot the human inside it so that the human will land in the basket. Once you have done so, you hit the button and the man goes flying out of the cannon at the angle you’ve selected. If you’re right, the man will land in the basket and then stick his head out and wave. If you’re wrong, the man will hit the ground or go flying off the screen.

Making matters worse is that the game keeps track of how often the guy lands in the basket and how often he meets a painful demise. After ten shots, the game will end, so I guess the objective of the game is to get as many of the ten as possible into the basket. The speed varies with each shot, whether you hit or you miss, so there’s no chance to correct your mistake on a next shot. Granted, this isn’t the most exciting game in the world, but it is one of those things that strategy buffs and people who like to think should get a kick out of.

Aesthetically, Human Cannonball isn’t much. The background on the screen is all one color, although there’s a different color background behind the numbers of hits and misses, which are a third color. This color scheme will shift after your ten shots to different colors. The lines connecting the basket you’re aiming for to the ground are actually quite thin for a 1978 game, but the other pixels in the cannon and the basket itself are fairly large, as is to be expected for a game this early. So far as I could tell, there is no sound in this game whatsoever, but the game doesn’t lose anything as a result of that.

What then is the conclusion? If you’re looking for an exciting game, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for something action-packed, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a game that’s slow-paced and is going to make you think, then Human Cannonball might be just the game you’re looking for. If you are in the latter group, you can probably find this game for a fairly low price, and it is certainly recommendable to those of us out there who like having to think while playing our video games. It won’t last forever, but it’s brand of strategy would last a while nonetheless.

Graphics: 7
Sound: N/A
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.5
Written by Martin Review Guide