Everybody in town is depressed, but you've got the cure! In the arcade game Pill Cannon, you are a robot with just one arm, and it's your job to feed pills to the sad people, firing them at their little pods as soon as they show signs of growing morose. The faster and more accurately you work, the better your score!
Each level is stocked with a few windows and a couple of solid objects and walls to create a nice environment for ricocheting. When people first step into their pods, they'll be green and content. After a few seconds they get sad, at which time you can feed them their happy pills to send them back to the land of the lovely. If you don't get the medicine to the people in time, they turn red and leap from the window straight to the ground. Nobody wants that, especially not one-armed robots.
Pill Cannon's main game will probably be a bit too easy for most, as it's pretty much just straight cannon work. Once you figure out where to lob pills to hit the people, it's a simple matter of moving the mouse to a certain spot and clicking the mouse button at the right time. Some special characters make appearances, such as the blue people that slow your pills down or bigger people that require a few pills to sedate, but it never becomes a focus of the game, more like a side bonus to look forward to. If you want a challenge, try Survival Mode from the main menu.
Analysis: Pill Cannon manages to take a rather morose topic and turn it into a light-hearted arcade game. The subject matter is handled well, in that it's not really a part of the experience at all, and Pill Cannon avoids the soured fields of "that's not something you can poke fun at" territory. It's like Whack-a-Mole in a number of ways. Does anyone ever worry about hitting the moles, or do you just play the game and grin like a little kid?
The visuals are clean, polished and smart, exactly the kind of thing we like to see in a browser game. The sound effects are trimmed to a minimum, which is absolutely perfect for a game of this nature. Pill Cannon doesn't throw anything at you that doesn't need to be there, not in its presentation or its gameplay.
Its streamlined simplicity is also a slight drawback, as Pill Cannon doesn't give you many reasons to come back for more. The main game has 25 levels which you'll charge through in less than half an hour, and Survival Mode is seven stages of endless pill firing. The points system isn't too demanding or competitive, so unless you want to be a dedicated lobber of pills, your first half hour with this game will probably be your last. But it's a good half hour, to be sure.
Pill Cannon is a sweet and simple arcade game of careful aim and ricocheting physics, perfect for a short afternoon diversion.