Everybody loves the circus, right? You know, except for the animal abuse and the crowds and the terrifying clowns? The rest of it’s alright, though: Trapeze artists and human cannonballs and food that makes you wonder why we ever bothered inventing food before we had batter to dip and fry it in.
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $2.99 (launch sale; reg. $3.99)
It’s in the spirit of the good parts of the big-top experience that we have Ring Run Circus, a self-described “ringformer” (like a platformer but with rings) by developer Kalio. It’s a two-button affair where you control one of three acrobats who skate around the surfaces of giant rings to pick up a key and take it to the lock to release the celebratory, end-of-level confetti.
It sounds simple, but its controls belie an intricate, complex puzzle game with impressive variety and challenge.
The three playable characters — Nina, Ned, and Nelson — each have unique abilities. Nina can jump over obstacles, Ned can slap enemies, and Nelson can use switches to move rings around to navigate his levels. Each of them plays differently and requires different skills and timing to complete puzzles and progress.
Its simple controls belie an intricate, complex puzzle game with impressive variety.
You activate the special abilities by tapping on the right side of your screen, and holding a finger down on the left side of the screen causes your character to switch to rolling on the outside of rings instead of the inside. You move between adjacent rings by holding the switch button at the point where they touch. You can also get a speed boost with proper timing, and once you pull off a couple of those, Ring Run Circus starts to feel a lot like classic Sonic the Hedgehog games.
It’s extremely satisfying to get a good line going and complete a level in a single, perfect run, and that’s when Ring Run Circus is at its best.
| Game Name: Ring Run Circus|
The Good: Simple, easy controls, clever level design, and a beautiful visual style.
The Bad: Special abilities don’t do a whole lot to make the characters play differently.
The Verdict: It’s a truly unique experience that will keep you thinking and guessing.
Buy from: App Store