I’m assuming that everyone, with the exception of some non-conformists, have played a slingshot/cannon shooter. I bet if you search YouTube you can even find kittens playing these games (if not I call dibs and I’ll train a kitten this weekend). This time around you’re a penguin, X, that’s controlling a turtle to shoot out pufferfish in order to free the captured sea-life inhabitants of Vazooka as well as your penguin Chica, O.
Stay with me for a second while I cover the basics because XnO offers a good chunk of fun. XnO shares similarities with other cannon-shooter games with its 3D camera view. The goal of each level is to knock off every can placed on top of a cage. Once done, the trapped sea critter will be freed.
Aiming and shooting is easy to do by dragging your finger across the screen. Determining the angle is easy; the turtle’s head is used as an aiming guide and there’s also a visual cue in the bottom left hand corner showing you the exact angle. This creates easy quick aiming fixes. The only downside to aiming is that you can’t always see where your pufferfish hits so, at times, it becomes trial and error. This really only becomes an issue when you need to bounce the fish off of objects. The other factor that I want to mention is that you can’t adjust the speed of each shot. While this is no means a bad thing, it does make it a bit easier for people wanting a challenge. The younger gamers as well as those wanting less to think about will have no issues here.
Okay, now for the fun part–level design. Every pack of levels (generally 5 to a pack but there are a couple exceptions) continues to add something new. Some levels are more puzzle-based where you have to figure out how to use bouncers to bounce your pufferfish around objects in order to knock off the cans. Other levels are more time based that have you shooting your blowfish past swinging anchors as well as avoiding red-blowfish that’ll pop your fish. Of course later on these two elements are combined. Wait! There’s one more. Torpedo-like blowfish are being shot at you and you’ll not only need to shoot down the cans, but you’ll also have to strafe your turtle-cannon to evade the onslaught of blowfish. This style of pacing is refreshing and much appreciated. Sure the game is a bit shorter than other physic-games, but it’s because it trims away the rehashed levels that plague other games in this genre.
The Bottom Line: XnO is adorable and its appearance, controls, as well as extremely mild cartoon violence is great for kids (I would say same violence level as Teletubies–so pretty much non existent). Also the variety of levels as well as ramping up the challenge near the end will keep you entertained no-matter your skill level.