This list of games will probably get me in trouble with the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The Campaign to Save Shopping Carts and the League Against Meanness to Trucks are also unlikely to have me in their good books after reading this. The games we are featuring today are totally irresponsible. Anyone who did in real life what you can do in these games would be severely punished. And rightly so.
But, in their defence, there is [giggle] something insanely entertaining about launching a hedgehog into outer space, blasting a turtle [snigger] into the unknown using a nuke or driving a truck up a ramp so fast that it flies like a bird [suppressed guffaw], before crashing destructively down on some buildings. And what self-respecting student has not dreamed of launching themselves into the air in a shopping cart when drunk.
Sometimes it is okay to unleash our darkest (silliest?!) desires. These ten launch-as-far-as-you-can games allow us to do that, which probably explains why they are so fun. But, be aware, these are just games - computer code moving pixels around your screen. No real animals were hurt in their making or playing. Try emulating these tricks with your pet cat, and we can't be responsible for what happens to you… or your cat.
KBH Games is a latecomer to the launching game party. The company only released its first launching game - Reachin Pichin - in September this year, long after more established launching games had snuffled up millions of game-plays. But the wait has been more than worthwhile. Reachin Pichin is among the best launching games we have seen. It has picked up the launching genre by the scruff of its neck, given it a damn good shake and elevated it to the next level.
To say that the game is polished is the understatement of the year. The game literally sparkles with quality, from the appealing cartoony graphics to the addictive game-play. The game even adds a unique twist on the standard launching fare. In addition to the skills boosts you get in most launching games, Reachin Pichin also allows you to evolve the little creature you are catapulting, empowering him to reach even greater heights. Throw in no less than 40 achievements for you to aim for and you have one of the slickest and most addicting online games around. Play Reachin Pichin here.
2Toss the Turtle
Pity the poor turtle in this game. If being repeatedly fired out of a cannon at supersonic speeds were not bad enough on its own, the ground on which he eventually lands is cluttered with sharp rocks, spiked cacti, bombs and many other nasties. By the time he finally rolls to a stop, Mr Turtle is such a bloody mess that you would barely recognise him as a living creature.
But, alas for this unfortunate shelled reptile, death can offer no relief from the pain, for he simply cannot die. No sooner is his heart on the verge of squeezing out its last beat, then powerful regenerative enzymes are flooding his body, restoring him to perfect health, and then the whole pointless and painful process - being fired out of a cannon, badly hurt on the fall and restored to health - is repeated again, ad infinitum. Sisyphus, stop your moaning, you have it easy compared with the poor creature in this game! If torturing turtles tickles your fancy, then play this great game here.
3Hedgehog Launch 2
Sequel to one of the most popular games ever, Hedgehog Launch 2 is a brilliant launch-as-far-as-you-can game where you can literally blast your hedgehog into space. Initially, however, you will struggle to get Mr Hedgehog far off the ground. But as you collect more money by bouncing off platforms, you can buy ever more powerful upgrades, allowing you to propel yourself even higher. To say the sky is the limit in this game would not be quite right, because you can actually escape the earth's atmosphere altogether, reaching as far as the moon and, if you're really good, Mars. Hedgehog Launch 2 was developed by one of our favourite developers; John Cooney, head of development at Armor Games. You can play Hedgehog Launch 2 here.
Brownie points for the developers of this game. They have actually bothered with a plot - something of a rarity in the launching game field. So, kids, remember, when you are propelling peasants into the sky in this game, you are not doing it for the sheer fun of it. Oh no, you are doing it because your castle is under siege and you need to get a message to the neighbouring castle to ask for help. Quite why launching a peasant is the easiest way of getting in contact is never properly explained. But we can speculate that the castle email system must have gone down and all the carrier pigeons were on strike over cuts to their pensions. Whatever the case, Catapult Madness is one the neatest - not to mention funnest - launch-as-far-as-you-can games around. You can play it here.
Hey man, I've got an idea for game. Yeah, man, what is it? Listen, man, you're driving this enormous truck, man, and you're on the top of a roller-coaster ride man, but man, the roller-coaster does not have tracks like most roller-coasters, man, it has, like, a normal road surface, man. Yeah, man, and the roller-coaster dips in front of you. Man, it is freakin' awesomely steep. Once you start going down, man, there ain't a snowball's chance in hell that you're truck is going to stop, man. So, man, you might as well just put your foot hard down on the accelerator, man. Oh and at the bottom, man, there is this huge sudden rise so, man, when you hit that, you're truck is launched way up in the air, man. Then, man, you like can bounce on some buildings and stuff to get as far as you can, man. Wow, man, that sounds like a great game, man. Where can I play it? You can play it here, man.
6Homerun in Berzerk Land
Sometimes it seems that geeks are taking over the world. Nerds like Bill Gates and Mark Zukerberg run some of the most powerful companies on the globe, skinny guys with bum-fluff goatees and rectangular specs are increasingly getting all the girls, and even rock and roll stars are looking ever more geeky nowadays. What is a proper unreconstructed guy to do about all this? Well, according to this game, he should find himself a nerd, and whack him as hard as possible.
Like most games on this list, Homerun in Berzerk Land requires you propel some object as far as possible. That the object in this case is a geek does not add much new to the genre, but nor does it take much away. What you get is a solid launching game, featuring neat graphics and a wide range of upgrade options. If you think guys should drink beer, arm-wrestle a lot and sport a faceful of stubble, then this game should be right up your street. Don't forget to moisturise before you play, though! Homerun in Berzerk Land can be played by clicking here.
7Crash Test Launcher
This game might best be described as the bastard offspring of Toss the Turtle (No 2 of this list) and Dummy Never Fails, a physics game that also involves doing nasty things to dummies. We are talking dummies, as in those plastic and metal replicas of humans, rather than stupid people, just in case you weren't one hundred percent sure.
While in Dummy Never Fails you have to carefully calculate angles and acceleration to ensure the dummy bounces off the walls and to the exit, in Crash Test Launcher, things are a lot easier. You simply press 'd' or the right arrow to cause the car to accelerate into the barrier, launching the dummy into the air. Okay, there is a bit more to it than that. You need to get the timing absolutely right for the perfect launch. Plus, once in the air, the dummies trajectory can be controlled to a certain extent. All in all, a pretty decent launching game with a cool premise. Play the game here.
If deceased Gonzo writer Hunter S Thompson had ever been propelled back in time to the age of dinosaurs, then he would probably have done exactly the same thing as the protagonist in this game. That is, he would have strapped himself into a wooden vehicle and launched himself into the air using a giant catapult.
You might think that Hunter would have been a bit more sensible than this. He was a famous writer, after all. But, then, you obviously never met him. This was a man whose hobby was collecting artillery and firing it off in his backyard. He also did an enormous amount of drugs and ended his life by eating a shotgun. But don't fret, you don't need to be anywhere near as mad as that to enjoy this interesting take on the launching genre. A simple case of talking to yourself or shouting at babies should suffice.
Stonepunk has a cute Flintstones look, plenty of skill upgrade paths and even a few different environments. So there should be plenty to keep fans of the launching genre occupied. The game can be played here.
To say that the girl in this game has anger issues does not do justice to sheer strength of the rage she is feeling. I would even go as far as saying that she was not a little miffed. Her fury is directed at some random young man. We never find out exactly what he did to deserve her wrath. However, we do witness - indeed, take part - in her vengeance. Pumping the pedals as fast as her legs allow her, she slams her bicycle into the unfortunate guy, catapulting him into the air.
As a form of vengeance, this seems to work pretty well, especially as the girl has also recruited all her female friends to help out too. They stand around waiting for the poor man to land near them, wherein they give him a good whack, propelling him even further. We would not ourself recommend this course of action if you have been ill-treated by a man (a couple of laxatives in his morning coffee has always worked well for us) but we can't deny that it is great fun. Nanaca Crash can be played here.
10Shopping Cart Hero 2
The graphics in Shopping Cart Hero 2 might be a lot less refined (you're basically a stick person) than the other launching games on this list. However, this should not deter you from giving this game a bit of time, because it offers a few things that none of the other games do. For example, once you have launched yourself and your shopping cart into the air, you can use the left and right arrow keys to perform acrobatic tricks. The better the tricks you do, the more cash you get each turn. But don't expect to be performing brilliant tricks straight away. You will initially need to earn enough cash to invest in some upgrades to allow you stay in the air long enough to complete tricks before crashing into the ground. You can play Shopping Cart Hero 2 here.