Isn’t it weird how clowns are meant to entertain us, but many of us are petrified of them. Admittedly they are kind of creepy looking with they’re chalk white face makeup, oversized onesie, and there big floppy shoes. I really don’t have a problem with them, but Steven King’s IT sure as heck scared me as a kid. No matter how you feel about clowns, one thing’s for sure, you’ll get a kick out of chucking knives at one in Knife Toss, a fun carnie style game for iPhone and iPod Touch.
In this game there’s a friendly clown strapped to a wheel, surrounded by balloons. Yep you guessed it, you’ve got to throw knives at the balloons without hitting the clown. As you play the clown taunts you with his Krusty the Clown style laugh and relentless grin. It takes every ounce of will not to haul of and put a knife between his eyes, but you’ll find you get much more satisfaction out of hitting the targets. Well, maybe it is a little fun to sting him a little bit here and there. To hit targets just tilt your iPhone or iPod Touch until the bulls-eye is where you want it, then touch the screen to fire of a blade. There’s an energy bar in the top left of the screen that lets you know how much life you’ve got left. As long as you keep it full and finish a level before time runs out you can keep playing.
Knife toss comes with three levels of difficulty, the proverbial Easy, Medium, and Hard. The Easy level consists of 15 different rounds, which at first don’t seem very easy, but as you continue to play you’ll find your inner native American come out as you find yourself able to pop balloons with pinpoint accuracy. At least that’s what I was able to do, but maybe I’m way better than you are (you’ve officially been challenged). Ya see, I kinda currently hold the high score (flexing).
Each level presents a slightly different challenge then the last while also sprinkling in little extras here and there to provide you with an edge. For example, the earlier rounds test your throwing skills by adding more balloons and speeding the wheel up. More advanced levels stop the wheel in mid motion and reverse the direction spontaneously, which really tests your concentration, aim, and timing. As you play little extras pop out here and there that can either help or hurt you. There are little targets that can stop the wheel, speed it up, slow it down, add time to the clock, or subtract time from the clock when you hit them. There’s also a bonus target that pops up in the center of the screen that when hit gives you a bonus round where you can pop balloons to increase your health and add time to the clock. The bonus target can be as much of a blessing as a burden. If you fail to hit the target in time it disappears and your knife flies straight into your giggly friends chest.
Honestly I expected not to like Knife Toss that much. It seemed like it’d be a one-and-doner at first glance. That was until I found myself playing for nearly an hour the first time I opened it. The app’s creators, Elevate Entertainment LLC, figured out how to take a simple concept and deliver a surprisingly addictive, rich, and entertaining game. The graphics and sound effects are fun. It feels natural to play, and for whatever reason it begs you to keep playing. So far I’ve only been able to unlock the Medium difficulty level, and once there have only completed a couple of the levels. I obviously have some more practicing to do, but for the time being I sit at the top of the stack on the global leaderboard. If you like games that don’t take long to play, but entertain you and challenge you every time you play them then you’re definitely going to enjoy Knife Toss.
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