Developer: Twenty Percent Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone5, iPad3, iPod5

Graphics/Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Ah, the simple things in life…

If anyone reading this is like me, they are on the go 24-7. Even their down time may be “up” time – participating in sports and other types of exercise, or playing with intense video games and apps. These activities take energy and focus. Circle Stop is a simple pleasure; one that incorporates zen-like down time with competitive up time.

photo 3 photo 5Bright and splashy colors, a variety of musical tunes, and simple one-touch controls work together to create a blend of harmony and competition that is surprisingly calming. Just tap anywhere on the screen when the constantly-moving spots line up with the reappearing target spots. Try to hit the bullseye spot in the middle for the most points. Round and round go the spots in a Halley’s Comet-like streak – sometimes changing direction but always moving – splashing colors and patterns brightly across the screen as the spots connect. It’s almost hypnotic. Keep the flow going as long as possible. Don’t miss! Three strikes and its game over! Each miss, however, creates a striking pattern that radiates across the screen.

Change the color scheme and its accompanying tune (all aurally pleasing) by choosing nighttime, daytime, spacetime, ragtime, or partytime. Try to hit the pink spot in the middle for extra points, or hit the “bonus” spot – a bit harder to hit, but it will emanate eye-catching colored patterns and boost the total score. Sometimes the target spots will also be in motion. Sometimes one will show up with a tail; hit it from the bottom, hold it, and release at the end to enjoy the full effect. But don’t get too comfy as the action can slow down or speed up without notice to shake up a player’s groove.

photo 4photo 2Check out all five of the color themes, which are each captivating in their own way. Partytime is a bit wilder, with sounds and music that change with each new game. Players can check the top ten scores at any time, or check their standing against others on the Game Center leaderboards. They can also tap on their score and challenge a friend, or share their brag-worthy scores via Twitter, Facebook, Message, or Mail.

It’s a likeable game; one that folks who appreciate simplicity, and who need to take a quick time-out from life once in awhile, will enjoy. I usually burn through so many apps, moving on when interest wanes, but this one is sticking for me. I honestly can’t find anything to pick on. My only suggestion would be to continue to add new patterns and themes, and maybe throw in a few more challenges – any little tweak to keep the players coming back.

Circle Stop is simple, yes, but also crazy addicting. Keep calm and tap on.


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