Into The Circle is Solid Sliding Fun!

Into The Circle (Free) is a ridiculously addictive, endless physics challenge that requires precise rhythm and proper vector throttling in order to advance to the ever higher levels. The freemium game is inspired by the sport of curling, and though I couldn't watch even five minutes of the real thing, it translates well to the hybrid platform-like application represented in this game. One try and I guarantee you will not want to stop trying to get into the circles.

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I'm not a huge fan of freemium games, but it doesn't annoy much at all in this game. There are ads between plays (which an upgrade will remove). Stars are the carrot-stick currency of ITC and honestly do not provide a die-hard arcade gamer like me much incentive. Harkening back to the Donkey Kong era, I have no compunction with starting over when I die, and five stars a pop for a continuation is more stick than carrot. You get stars for making combos and logging more playtime, as expected (or you just buy them though IAP).

The game is dead simple. Your game icon is the curling disk on a vertically endless and nicely stylized animated course. Your job is to slide your way from one circle to the next. Missing the next circle entirely means starting from the first level again (unless you burn some stars to keep going). A pendulum of an aiming reticule swings back and forth toward your target, and like the force meter style control on most virtual golf games, is activated to increase sliding power once you tap on the screen. You can take your time to refine your aim and power before releasing the shot.

If you release when the pendulum has the optimal vector force applied, the curling disk will slide to the center of the next circle above you. Even a partial slide onto the larger circle perimeter will allow you to survive to continue sliding. A "Perfect" slide into the center gains additional bonuses, particularly when you do it in serial fashion.

The sights and in-game sounds are all expertly crafted. I found superior advancement is often achieved when one establishes a sort of shot rhythm. Taking longer had the effect of making me over think and more often miss. So far I have made it to 38 on my best play without using stars to continue.

Pros

  • Easy to get the hang of
  • Free to play

Cons

  • Freemium IAPs and ads

Final Verdict

Into The Circle is an engaging and well-crafted physics game. The simple concept is so addictive it has been effective in wasting several hours of my time already, and I have only just downloaded it. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in sliding things around—or really anyone just looking for a great physics game!

iPhone Life Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Nate Adcock's picture

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.tumblr.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.