Developer: Ongoz
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 1G, iPod touch 4G

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Physics puzzlers have certainly been angry, but rarely have they been this painful. Circus Pain puts you in control of a cannon launching a circus performer named Igor, who apparently enjoys getting launched out of cannons so much that he’s willing to let himself get tremendously injured for fame and fortune, just to continue his masochistic thrill. You launch Igor through 55 levels full of barriers, bubbles, springs, and even electric fences. Your goal is to get him into the basket, but to also do as much damage to him as you possibly can before then.

This is an interesting take on the physics puzzler genre – especially the aspect of trying to hurt Igor as much as possible, it sometimes gets you trying to think differently about the levels, and how you’re supposed to play them to get the maximum 10 coins out of 10 for doing the most damage possible to Igor in the level. As well, the game is a universal app – something I wish we got to see more from games on iOS. The controls also work well, with firing meters on each side of the screen, so firing never gets in the way of setting your angle. As well, if you like irony, you can make Igor’s voice higher pitched from the pause menu. Does it cause any actual change in gameplay? No. Is it kinda funny? Yes.

The game’s levels have often wildly varying difficulties – even some of the final levels were completed in one attempt. It would have been nice to have some kind of synchronization between versions of the game, especially since OpenFeint offers this kind of functionality. There’s no Game Center support for achievements, either. There are no leaderboards, but this is largely due to the nature of the game not needing leaderboards, as each level has a maximum possible score. Also, on some levels, the cannon fires less powerfully than on others just for the purpose of challenge, without ever indicating in any meaningful way that your cannon is less powerful – you won’t know until you launch.

Sometimes the design of Circus Pain is confusing, and it lacks some replay value at the moment, but this is a reasonably entertaining, if not brief foray into the physics puzzler genre. Go out there and bring the pain, Igor can take it!

Posted in: Games, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , ,