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The game has two modes, the 'classic' turn-base game and the-real time game. The idea is very simple - to connect 4 balls in a row. In real-time mode you can win by getting "4 in a row" 6 times, hit 50 sheeps and fill 3/4 of the grid. If you did manage to get "4 in a row" 6 times, you'll be the winner. But in the other 2 cases the winner will be the one with the most points.
In the classic mode it is completely different but "try" and get 4 in a row. Sounds easy? You'll be surprised... Note that in real-time mode you have to think fast but fortunately the computer often recommends where you should aim at in order to get a row removed and it also shows where the computer aims at meaning that you can sometimes hit at the same spot before the computer does - of course only if you are very fast.
The graphics are quite good but simple though since it is a board game after all. Different music play during the entire game but it is nothing special since it really doesn't fit well to the game. Overall a decent board game but it is limited to how long you find the game challenging and it quickly ends up with playing the same game over and over. It is quite challenging at first though.
Catapults is a fun "Connect-4" variant for Windows that introduces some interesting features to the traditional concept. There are 2 modes in the game: 'classic' and 'real-time.' In classic mode, two opponents take turns placing colored ball on the isometric board. The first to place four balls in a row in any direction (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) is the winner. You can play against the computer or another human player. Networked mode is planned, but not yet supported.
The real-time mode is where Catapults shines. As the name suggests, you play this mode in real-time, and up to 4 players can compete on the same board. In addition to balls, there are sheep (yes, sheep) and bombs you can fire to kill them. You can choose from 3 different objectives: place 4 balls in a row six times, hit 50 sheep, or fill 3 of the board. Although killing sheep (by firing the same balls you use to place on the screen) is more of a distraction from your focus than a well-integrated element in gameplay, it's still a lot of fun, and requires strategy because balls you fire remain on the board, while bombs get rid of them.
With pleasant SVGA graphics and the same "easy to learn, hard to master" quality that characterize classic board games, Catapults is a great variant that comes highly recommended - especially if you can get 3 other friends to join the mayhem ;)
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