When you boot up Jelly Cannon Reloaded, it’s hard not to notice an immediate similarity to another well-known game featuring, ahem... annoyed avians. It’s all there, from the menu system to the basic setup of the game play: fire one object from left to right to interact with other objects and make stuff happen. Only in this case, you’re using a cannon instead of a slingshot and firing out blinking black globules instead of, ahem... colorful orbs of disgruntled feathers.

Your goal in Jelly Cannon Reloaded is to aim those cannonballs with eyeballs at these little suckers called “Sunjellys” and knock them into one another, uniting them into one big Sunjelly ( for some reason, that name gives me a craving for British candy).

Another thing that's apparent right off the bat - the game is meant for little kids. Which shouldn't come as much of a surprise, since Nickelodeon's name is attached to it, along with mobile game giant Chillingo. Sidenote: as far as I can tell, Jelly Cannon Reloaded seems to be a polished up version of this online flash game.

But back to the kids. Now that’s not to say that games meant for children can’t be fun for adults as well. Why, there’s a certain game featuring, ahem... pissed off members of the class Aves that happens to be just great for both. However, this game is really simple. Everything is huge and shiny and round-looking. Just take a look at all those options you have in the Settings Menu.

So okay, it’s for toddlers. With this in mind, I blew through the first three levels pretty easily, thinking to myself that this could be a satisfying and fun challenge for a kid. A lot of the puzzles are pretty well conceived, with clever solutions that involve using different pulley systems, trap doors, and destructible blocks of ice.

But after awhile, it becomes clear that the physics are off in this game. That is to say, the programming feels a little rough around the edges. Around midway through the third stage, I found myself turbo-firing out of frustration in a lot of levels, before finally having the patience to find the tiny spot that you need to hit in order to progress. It’s a lot to expect toddlers to go pixel hunting, and there’s not really enough here to compel an older fellow to keep going.

There is a way past some of the more frustrating levels with a Magnetic Sunjelly that just draws in all the Sunjellies in a given level. But you can only use it once to progress. Then you have to, surprise, surprise ... purchase more for a buck a use. And the buy button is huge. To this, I must cluck my tongue. It also would have been nice if these creatures had a bit more to them. I mean, they’re cute and relatively well designed, but they’re a little bland and lacking variety.

For only $0.99, you could do a lot worse in finding a game to keep you (and hopefully your kid) occupied for a little bit. Just be forewarned that there’s some frustration ahead. And definitely don’t let your kid play if they know your AppleID! The last thing you want is to have to drop a Jackson on Magnetic Sunjellys. Though if your kid does know your AppleID, then maybe this is the perfect game for both of you.


App Store Link: Jelly Cannon Reloaded EP for iPhoneiPad | By Chillingo | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 36.8 MB | Rating 4+

6.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating