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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Cannon Cat!

An ex-rocket scientist and a brilliant programmer – David Ngo and Don-Duong Quach – teamed up to form Loqheart, the studio behind Cannon Cat. The duo created an addictive adventure game based on a heroic cat on a mission to rescue goldfish from a villainous emu. This 2-D action-adventure game reminds me a bit of Donkey Kong, as you blast the superhero feline from cannon to cannon, collecting floating fish and avoiding hovering obstacles along the way. The game is simple and fun; it requires a little coordination and precise timing to advance to the next level.

The Corona team loved the quirky characters (I’ll confess that we have some cat lovers among us) and the fantastic graphics (every minute detail from the floating clouds to the determined expression on our hero’s face was exceptional). Cannon Cat has a lovable storyline, offers great gameplay and is super high quality to boot.

Cannon Cat hit the App Store on Thursday, April 26 and has since received accolades from a number of review sites and was an instant hit among players. The game was featured on the App Store as New & Noteworthy, has quickly risen to become one of the top 3 free iPad apps in the U.S. and is the #1 free iPad game in both the Kids and Adventure categories. Cannon Cat also snagged the Game of the Week title in the European App Store and is a Top 10 game for iPad in 59 App Stores worldwide.

So whether you’re a cat lover, an adventure game fan or just have a fondness for goldfish, Cannon Cat is a blockbuster game that’s certainly worth a download.


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39 Responses to “App of the Month: Cannon Cat”

  1. Shane

    Love the game. Just love it. Should be app of the month. Except:

    Was never app of the week.

    Isn’t listed in the showcase.

    Does not display the required “made with Corona” badge on website (though it is on the credits page of the app)

    It is very discouraging to us that we follow the rules and are not selected, but an app that doesn’t is selected. Inna seems new. Maybe she doesn’t know the rules yet?

    Reply
  2. Inna

    Hi Shane – Glad you enjoyed the game! You make a few good points regarding the criteria for App of the Week/Month. We’ll aim to be more stringent about these requirements for future selections. If you have any questions, shoot me an email: inna@anscamobile.com.

    Thank you!
    Inna

    Reply
  3. don

    Hi Shane,

    This is Don from Loqheart. We’ve been meaning to get on the showcase. So we’ll definitely follow up and play by the rules. Thanks for keeping us honest. :)

    Reply
  4. MikeJ

    I think the game is great as well, however I am in agreement with Shane. I realize that the game has recently seen a lot of success by being featured by various sites and in the app store but so has the other games that where chosen as game of the week this month. So what determines game of the month? Success? Or the quality of the product, because In my opinion all of the games had impeccable quality but it seems that this one has been chosen specifically because it they are friends of Corona and they have hit the lottery in the app store. Not to mention their game was released originally in April wasn’t it?

    I mean no disrespect to the developers I’m just having trouble understanding.

    Reply
  5. David_Loqheart

    Hi Mike,

    The game was released actually last Thursday on April 26th.

    I know there might have been confusion because we kept pushing back the launch date.

    Reply
  6. MikeJ

    My apologies. I must have been confused. There have been a lot of people who have said that they played the lite version of cannon cats that was released a few weeks previously.

    Reply
  7. Vane

    This comes as a bit of a surprise, as each of the April´s Apps Of The Week outshines by a great margin Cannon Cat in terms of production values, originality and gameplay. But then again, taste differs, and Cannon Cat seems to be a good game after all, so congratulations :)

    Reply
  8. MaryP

    Agree with Shane & Mike.

    I did everything according to the rules and then some, e.g. every time I posted to a forum to promote my app I always mentioned and praised CORONA so I can’t help but feel a little cheated when this happened (I’m not saying that Cannon Cat is not a worthy winner, I am however saying that the process here is questionable.

    BTW I also entered my game into the Showcase on April 26 and had my fingers crossed all week, so you can imagine my disappointment.

    Everyone here knows how difficult it is for an indie developer to get a break and we all grab at every opportunity we can, App of the Week being one of them.

    ANSCA I think we need to see an act of good faith here like offering all the App of the Week entries for the last week in April a free review with Crazy Mike.

    Reply
  9. David

    Hi everyone – I just want to leave a quick comment here. Thank you all for your enthusiasm around the App of the Week/Month. I do have to say that while there are rules, no one has ever said this is a scientific process. Games, like other things, are a matter of taste. For the record, Don/David did a fantastic job with Cannon Cat, it has great production values, and it followed all the “rules”.

    We try our best to help all our indie developers – that after all is why we started this whole thing. But we get so many submissions every week that it is impossible to make everyone happy.

    Again, thank you for all your enthusiasm and comments.

    David

    Reply
  10. MikeJ

    Thanks for the clarity David. There is absolutely no way to make everyone happy. Everyone feels that they have a great game and are deserving and rightfully so. They put a lot of hard work into their games much like the folks who made this game. So it must be incredibly hard to make the decision every week on who is chosen. It might not seem like it, but getting app of the week/month is something that many Corona developers strive for because even though the monumental success in the app store is like hitting the lottery and very rare we have a better chance at some kind of glory by becoming app of the week/month. That said there are a lot of emotions that hang on this because when our apps don’t do so well as indie developers this game of the week is our sense of acceptance and validity for our hard work.

    For what it is worth, I personally feel that Cannon Cat’s quality and originality doesn’t compare to the other options that were chosen for game of the week. I think it is a good game, but not original or high in visual quality. But while Cannon Cat might not be a better option, in my eyes, it does make the company look good because it is currently high in the sights of world in the app store and held in high regard so that obviously makes you guys look great being associated with that. I don’t blame you. But should the determination be based upon success or merit? If it is based on success then they clearly win, however if it is based on true quality and merit, then there are better options this month, hands down. Nightlings and Galaxy Pool’s quality is far beyond the quality of this game and Spin Up is one of the most original games to come out of Corona.

    There were a lot of great games and apps that were released last week that did follow the “rules” that you have set forth in order to judge or be entered into the weekly and monthly contests. They might not have high accolades or come highly regarded according to apple or Touch Arcade, but they deserve the same consideration regardless. I think they feel like an exception has been made for David and Don because they are friends of Corona and because they have seen such great success and that just isn’t fair and that doesn’t match the vision that you have portrayed for your company as people who help indie developers. If that was the case then we’d see just as many retweets, tweets, facebook posts for all indie apps that come out of here as we do for Cannon Cat.

    I apologize for my frankness, I do not mean to take away from their success because they deserve it. But doesn’t everyone? And shouldn’t

    Reply
  11. Davide

    It will be available for Android too, in future ? Or it will be remain an Apple-only game ? :(

    Reply
  12. dingo

    Just one thing to add about crazy mike. if you’re app of the week, you might get a review by crazymike. you MIGHT.

    Reply
  13. MikeJ

    Yeah you have a better chance at getting a review if you are a big publisher, hit it big in the app store, or pay for it. You are probably better off putting your money into a small banner ad on touch arcade. You won’t get many clicks but at least you will be in front of the eyes of people who might want your game/app and visual repetition helps get you out there.

    Reply
  14. Nenad Katic

    I’m here with Mike, but wanted to add there is still some merit to Cannon Cat. Although it falls short on creativity and execution (sorry for being brutally honest), there was obviously great work put into game’s PR and that alone deserves some praise. The fact that all of us knew about the Cannon Cat well before it came out, through preview, making of video and similar, is a testament to team’s well done marketing, and something we can all learn from.
    On the side of Ansca Mobile, monthly and weekly contests is equally an opportunity for Corona marketing as it is for game developers, and good numbers are always good news, so this month’s decision shouldn’t come as surprise.

    Importantly, I don’t want this criticism to sound bitter and ungentlemanly, being one of last month’s App of the Week winners. I am deeply grateful to Ansca for giving my game the great honor to be App of The Week, and thought that other weekly winners, Nightlings or Galaxy Pool, are both great company to be in, as well as fierce competitors for the App of Month title. I would be equally glad to see any of these 3 games win the montly contest.

    As for Cannon Cat, I am sure that developers are well intentioned, talented and hard working guys, and the success is well deserved, maybe not through the criteria that I normally judge my own and others’ work, but certainly there are many things they have done very well.

    One more thing – what’s the deal with Crazy Mike Apps, and why is everybody mentioning it? It doesn’t have almost any internet traffic (my scruffy personal homepage that I haven’t updated in 2 years apparently has 14 times better Alexa placement, and their youtube videos hardly reach 1000 views) ?

    Reply
  15. MikeJ

    @Nenad – I was trying to be nice regarding Crazy Mike’s Apps, that’s why I mentioned to go somewhere else with the money because he doesn’t have the traffic or clout to warrant paying for a review. Also his videos are less reviews and more just him playing the game and commenting on it. So he should offer “commentary” as his service.

    Regarding your comments, all very valid. They did an amazing job at marketing themselves however they did it. And being a app of the week winner myself, I hope that my brutal honesty is not misrepresented as me being unappreciative and it is intended to advocate honesty and more importantly integrity in our great community. While I feel that Ansca is justified to pick whomever they want to be as app of the week or month, from a community perspective their choice did not hold up to the integrity that they have promoted with their service. There are a lot of people who submit their apps the final week of the month and most of them hope to gain that title but they are shafted, in a way this month. Looked over, it seems because, rightfully so, Ansca wanted to promote a game that is very successful. To them it seems like the rules were bent in order to allow this game to become game of the month, and rightfully so from their perspective as well. As of this post I still do not see Corona’s seal on their website. What is the answer to all of this? I do not know. Perhaps the community votes on app of the week/month?

    By the way these are my own opinions and do not represent general opinion. So they may be biased or out of emotion and hence completely invalid days, weeks or months from now. :D At the end of the day I still praise Ansca for their wonderful product and look forward to making many more games with it and interacting with a great community of people who do as well.

    Reply
  16. J. A. Whye

    Wow, this thread of comments has been an eye-opener.

    I’m self-censoring like crazy, but are you guys insane? And by “you guys” I mean the people who are saying there’s nothing special about Cannon Cat.

    There may be games you like better, but that’s all opinion. I tried CC because it was a Corona-made game (and free didn’t hurt) and 5 minutes into it I was jealous because I *knew* Loqheart had hit one out of the park.

    And I don’t even like cats!

    App of the Week means to me that in this particular week someone at Ansca liked a specific app better than some others. I never even thought it HAD to be an app that was released that week. Same for App of the Month.

    Do you know how many apps Ansca has to choose from every week and month? Just in the Showcase alone I see 45 apps in the last week. I don’t think for a minute that someone at Ansca plays every single one to determine App of the Week. I think what happens is the same thing that happens in the real world — someone looks at the icon and maybe that pulls them in to see the screenshots, and maybe that pulls them in to read the description — and if they get that far maybe they’ll download and install to try it out.

    I could be wrong. Maybe someone at Ansca does install and play every app that’s submitted. But I’d be very surprised.

    Want to get App of the Week? Make a game that will be successful WITHOUT being App of the Week and you’ll have a better shot at it I think because it will attract attention instead of attention being forced into it.

    Jay

    Reply
  17. MikeJ

    @J.A. Whye – I did not say that there wasn’t anything special about Cannon Cat. There obviously is. My son plays it and loves it and I found myself quite taken by it as well. Their game is great. Now, to me, it goes without saying, had the other three games that were chosen as app of the week had the same marketing that this game had, I think they would have all shined, they would have blown the roof off this house, and that their quality, creativity and originality is far superior than Cannon Cat’s without question. But at the end of the day Cannon Cat was superior in the way of instant success. I do not blame them for choosing Cannon Cat regardless of whether I personally feel that other games are better. And that is my personal opinion.

    Reply
  18. J. A. Whye

    MikeJ – We’ll never know how those other games would have done if they’d had the exact same push, but I’d bet actual money they wouldn’t do as well…

    …simply because I believe there’s a certain amount of luck involved in marketing.

    If it was as easy as doing Step 1 through Step 10 we’d all be rolling around in our Scrooge McDuck vaults. You can do the same thing with two different apps and have wildly different outcomes. That’s seen every single day. There are certain things you can do to better your chances, but I think it’s still (in a large part) a crap shoot.

    Jay

    Reply
  19. Shane

    Don and David, again, great game.

    To the “other” David:

    Putting quotation marks around the word “rules” as if to imply they are arbitrary or to be administered at your discretion is insulting. Claiming this game or its developers are in compliance is wrong. Yes, as of yesterday they have submitted the app to the showcase. As of this writing however their website does not include the badge “necessary” to be included in the contest.

    The “rules,” as published by Ansca:

    Include your studio information for our Studio Directory (it’s a great promotional tool)

    Display the “Developed with Corona SDK” badge on your website (we will give you the code after you submit)

    Make sure the badge links back to the Ansca Mobile site. The code we provide you already includes the link.

    Your app must be made with the Corona SDK.

    This info taken from (again, at the time of this writing):

    http://developer.anscamobile.com/showcase/submit-your-game-or-app

    There is more than bragging rights involved. This is a contest, with publish rules, and with a monetary value. For Ansca, free advertising. For the developer, well, again, from the same page:

    App of the Week winners get a 3 month Corona subscription extension

    App of the Month winners get an additional 3 month extension (for a total of 6 months)

    The bottom line is that at the time of selection, the developer was not eligible for the contest, but can expect to receive an award of between $100 and $175 dollars (depending on if the extension is indie or pro), and the actual April App-of-the-Week winners are deprived or a legitimate opportunity.

    I would say, hey, pick my app as App of the Month, and I’ll consider placing it in the showcase , which is the extent of what has happened in this situation so far. I would say that, but I wouldn’t want you to waste the subscription extension on someone who has decided not to renew anyways.

    Good job, Ansca. Good job.

    Reply
  20. David

    Hey guys – just a last quick response on this. Like JA Whye I’m a bit surprised about this becoming an issue. The fact is we chose a great game as App of the Month. Sure, technically they had not yet fulfilled all the rules we wrote down in a blog post over a year ago (which they have since fixed). At the same time, they credited Corona inside their app, which is not required by those rules and almost no one does. I think that’s more than reasonable.

    So I think we are well within our right to choose them as App of the Week or Month. As I mentioned before – don’t expect a highly scientific process. We obviously are not able to use all the apps and put them through some sort of arbitrarily objective battery of tests. We choose the apps that, in our opinion, look good, are fun and do a good job of demonstrating the power of Corona. Sometimes you’ll agree with us, most times you probably won’t. I don’t think that justifies taking any credit away from Don/David or arbitrarily deciding that very different apps are somehow “better”.

    Having said all this, it is our goal to help our developers as much as possible. We are evaluating whether or not it’s worth changing our rules (or at least restating them) and we may do so. We also have other things coming whose sole purpose (like that of this contest) is to help developers, not direct benefit/monetization to Ansca. So stay tuned for that.

    Beyond that, I really think we should put this to rest. I’m sure we all have better things to do than argue about what game is better than another and what contest rule may or may not have been violated.

    Thanks,

    David

    Reply
  21. JaSon

    Wow… Yeah… This pretty much guarantees that I won’t be renewing my subscription either. I can’t believe this…

    Reply
  22. nick

    Wow this thread is nuts. I will say that as soon as I saw App of the month I was saying to myself “I thought they hit app of the week or something then went app of the month…hmm oh well”

    People can get worked up over all of this, but not worth me getting bothered by it.

    Rules, bird crap, people stealing my sandwich at work (why? WHY?), seagull snatching my ice cream code while I was a kid. All things that I could spend a lifetime thinking about, ESPECIALLY that damn seagull who snatched my ice cream!

    Point is, it’s done it’s over with….

    moving on!

    ng

    Reply
  23. Nenad Katic

    I don’t think its a big deal that the game has won monthly title without being app of the week, but this happened at very delicate moment. This month has seen most developers concerned about the mysterious leave of Carlos, who was basically the public face of Ansca and has successfully handled this sort of issues in the past. While there has been a lot of talk to reassure that Corona and Ansca are doing fine, and are here to stay, the community on large are still a bit lost in the sea of changes and crave for a sense of continuity and order. It is our psychological default as human beings, and also on the other side it is practical: very closed black-box architecture of Corona, with its non-expandable feature set and online builds, has made us very dependent on what goes on with the company.
    Therefore any public relations move should be handled with lots of care, and especially App of the Month which is one of the most visible ones.
    The team at Ansca had failed to follow a simple procedure and it doesn’t so much matter for the fact alone, but it backfired because it hit a very vulnerable spot where many doubts still reside within many developers. No developer would say “I am canceling Corona subscription because this game has won the contest unrightfully”, but what they really say is “I am canceling Corona because I invested money and time into something that I grew very dependent on and I am not sure which direction is heading now”.
    That’s why there is so much concern about the banal fact that a game has been given a prize that apparently was not eligible for. Ansca should have at least publish a post where it was declared Weekly winner, let the developers know there a few more thing they should quickly do to become eligible in the first place, and then post again as App of Month.
    I know this looks like double work without reason, but there is a strong psychological reasoning why it was important especially at this moment to keep the tradition and don’t skip the form.
    David has additionally put out the fire with gasoline with details like putting quotes around “rules”. Then promised this: “We also have other things coming whose sole purpose (like that of this contest) is to help developers” followed by a nonsense Twitter contest published next day whose sole purpose is exactly to raise Ansca’s twitter base.
    Two PR strikes in two days… Careful, people!

    That’s why I don’t think this shouldn’t end with “it’s done it’s over with… moving on!”, because it’s important to draw attention that Ansca’s PR is important for us, and lately it has been handled extremely clumsily.
    I am saying this with best of intentions.

    As for the merits of the game itself, instead of ranting here, I decided to dedicate some time and articulate the thoughts into a longer article/essay about how the gaming industry has recently been on a downslide that previously other media has seen, like the creative apocalypse of Hollywood where most of production is based around predictable patterns for maximizing profits, or TV where reality shows like Big Brother targeted at lowest common denominator has created culture of no-substance celebrity, or simply comparing the value of all of the above media (Hollywood romantic comedies, Big Brother, games that take no risk and are designed to sell) to the cultural equivalent of a “granma style” McDonald hamburger. If anyone is interested to read about this I will put a link in forum once the article is finished.

    Reply
  24. JaSon

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. David’s lack of care for the community. ANSCAS lack of care for the community, the people who fuel their business is very apparent and their bottom line is what is important. That’s why these people are in an uproar. You broke your own rules! There is no integrity here. Do you not realize there is another amazing option that supports lua out there? That’s where I’m headed and I hope you giys follow because where Ansca is headed they will be another beurocratic company that only care about numbers and I fear they are already there.

    Reply
  25. JaSon

    And another thing… You want to sacrafice the integrity of your standing in the community to ride the coat tails of this game for what?! The general public? No the potential developers who will use your software. What is something every developer looks for in software? Community! A respectable company who values their usrer base! That is NOT You right now. Shame on you for turning your back and acting all smug at your developers who got you where you are today in the first place. What happens when this app loses steam and you rely on your next coat tail that isnt there or doesnt trust you! I’ve made my peace, you aren’t worth any more.

    Reply
  26. David

    Ok guys. I’ve debated whether to respond again as no one wants to get into an unproductive back and forth. But we are already there, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to just not answer in this case. I am again surprised, but that’s ok – reasonable people can disagree :)

    So I’ll be brief and just address the 3 points are think the most important to be clear on:

    1) I put quotes around rules in an earlier post not because we have some conspiracy against our developers or because we are trying to find devious ways of bending our own rules. I put it there because, as I said twice, choosing an App of the Week/Month is an inherently subjective thing. I happen to think Cannon Cat is a very good game. If someone on the thread doesn’t, their entitled to that opinion. Is Cannon Cat better than any other game? I have no idea.

    I also put quotes around rules because, as I also mentioned, Loqheart put a Corona badge *inside* their app, which in my book is as good or better than putting a badge on their site (which they have *also* done). So, as with all things in life, we exercised some flexibility. I think that’s also ok.

    2) App of the Week vs Month – a lot of the outrage seems to center around whether we first chose Cannon Cat as App of the Week or not. This was not explicitly stated in our post. But it effectively was. You may notice that there was no other App of the Week for April 23-29. So Cannon Cat *was* the App of the Week for the last week of April and then chosen as App of the Month for April. We apologize for not making this clearer.

    3) Finally, we have done a number of things to try help developers (beyond putting out Corona) and will continue to experiment with this. You may remember some announcements around discounts for App.net and MacinCloud. We also, as I mentioned, have other partnerships coming.

    So that’s it. I’ve tried to explain our thinking as clearly as possible. Again – we aren’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. We think Cannon Cat is a great app, and we awarded App of the Week/Month because of that. The other apps that won App of the Week earlier in the month are also great, but this whole thing is subjective and is not going to make everyone happy. We will also refresh the rules around the whole thing for added clarity, as we are all going on something put out in a blog post over 1 year ago.

    Thanks guys. Feel free to email me directly (david AT anscamobile) if you have any other questions.

    Reply
  27. BT

    @David I think this whole thing would’ve gone away like you wanted it to had you just come out and said, “Yes, we didn’t follow our own rules. We apologize and we will do a better job of communicating in the future.”

    Instead, you come off like a shyster defense attorney parsing words in attempt to convince people you did actually follow the rules, when clearly you didn’t.

    The result, what you call “an unproductive back and forth,” is outrage by your customers — outrage NOT directed at the actual result of the contest, NOT directed at the devs of Cannon Cat, but at YOU and your smarmy attitude.

    If this was an isolated incident you would not see such “an unproductive back and forth,” but unfortunately it isn’t. I have never seen a company argue with their customers and go on the defensive as much as Ansca. Your last post David is pathetic and it should be included in all Public Relations text books as a perfect example of what NOT to do.

    Reply
  28. jmc42

    Wow, for a company as successful as Ansca and the number 1 framework you have a lot of customer relation blunders. Guess y’all didn’t learn anything from Skin Gate. Don’t treat your customers like they’re idiots.

    Reply
  29. Alex

    It’s a great app no doubts about it but at the same time the rules are there for a reason, or at least they should be. Doing this is an insult to all the developers who play by those rules and then following up with justifications rather than apologies is salt in the wounds.
    Because of the approach this has become a very negative thing which is unfair on the developers of Cannon Cat as well as your users, you have marred it.

    jmc42 had a good point about Skin Gate, Carlos was the one to make amends when that messed us all around and I can’t help but think this never would have happened if he were still with Ansca. He always seemed to be the one manning up when something went awry.

    Reply
  30. JaSon

    The fact that they are ignoring the issue should be evidence enough that they do not respect nor care about their customers. They might think we are wrong at the end if the day but as a business sometimes you have to set pride aside and admit you were wrong. It is a move of a coward he who can not own up to his faults. But what do they care? They are living it up with their buddies from Loqheart while a crater forms in the foundation of their institution all because they insisted on being dishonest. The only other person to defend their decision was another 3rd party developer, go figure you have something to gain from their success of course you will support it. How you can not appologize is so far beyond me at this point And I am disgusted beyond compare. I hate to say it but just because you ignore it or can’t see it doesnt mean that it isn’t happening. Well people there are other options out there! Lets see if they ignore it when their numbers start dropping. Cannon Cat wont be at tha top forever my friend.

    Reply
  31. JaSon

    And another thing David, I am insulted and I’m probably not the only one that you would insinuate that your customers are not “reasonable”. Someone else needs to step up and get this guy an office with no windows because he is going to set fire to your company’s reputation. Act like you know how to manage a company Mr. COO you are setting a dangerous precident.

    Reply
  32. Walter

    Holy conspiracy theories, Batman! What’s going on here?

    Walter, co-founder, here.

    This has gotten out of hand. It’s no longer a constructive discussion.

    Honest mistakes were made. We are going to address this. Stay tuned for a follow up post.

    I’ll allow the prior comments (vitriol and all) to be publicly posted b/c our policy has always been we have nothing to hide. However, I will ask everyone here to let the better angels of their nature prevail.

    Let’s focus on being happy for each other :)

    BTW, come join me in celebration of Corona’s birthday here:
    http://blog.anscamobile.com/2012/05/the-coders-dilemma-and-happy-belated-birthday-corona/

    Reply
  33. J. A. Whye

    JaSon, if you check back here, what’s a name and site for you? Posting anonymously makes me wonder about you.

    Jay (not officially connected to Ansca Mobile in any way)

    (Yes, J. A. Whye is a pseudonym, but it’s not secret, it leads to my web site, it’s been posted on the forum and mentioned in webcasts, and anyone who can check DNS knows who I am.)

    Reply

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