Incredible Circus is a relatively new game to the Marketplace, having been released less than a month ago. Since its release, it has consistently been given the top ratings. According to stats provided in the AppFlow application (a great supplement to the Marketplace), from 30 ratings (admittedly a small sample size) the game has earned an average rating of 4.93 with 93% of ratings being a five, with the other 7% all being fours. This supposedly puts its seventh out of 5417 free games on the Marketplace. I decided to find out what this game is, which has earned so many top reviews in its first month.
The aim of the game is to take on the role of a “bodysuited daredevil” who uses ropes, trampolines and cannons, amongst other things, to ascend vertically towards the finishing platform, all whilst avoiding obstacles on the way up.
The game starts off as quite easy with few obstacles and a relatively straight upwards jump to reach that platform. The game takes this opportunity in the early stages to pause the game a bit and introduce the player to the game’s features as a sort of learn-as-you-play tutorial. It is good it offers this, but for the most part the game is, and you will almost undoubtedly agree when you have the game in hand, fairly straight forward and self-explanatory. In the early stages, the main control is pulling back the rope to catapult the daredevil upwards. To get higher, the daredevil needs to land on more rope which is then used in the same way, to eventually reach the finishing platform. There are also obstacles to be avoided, and objects which can help. An example of the latter is the trampolines which he bounces off – at first, these are useful for landing on the next bit of rope, but later they are essential.
In terms of the obstacles, at first these are just knife-throwers (this is a circus after all). They throw their knives horizontally across the screen at regular intervals in a predictable manner. Initially, they are fairly spread-out, but in alter levels are more compact and generally more of a nuisance. As would be expected, being hit by a knife constitutes a loss of a life, of which the player starts with three. Falling, meanwhile, results in a restart, and grants the player the three lives again. Later, there are even fireballs – like knives these are to be avoided, and you will suffer the same consequence of losing a life for failing to do so.
Around the same time as the fireballs are introduced, a new object for ascending vertically also comes into play: these are barrel-shaped cannons. With these, it is possible to aim the resulting shot, but not control at which point the daredevil will be fired from it. I should note also that vigilance is key to surviving with all lives intact. For example, when looking upwards and wanting to avoid the knives of the thrower above, it is tempting to pull the rope back in preparation, but this may actually place the daredevil in the line of fire of one below. Likewise, not doing so may result in the same outcome; be alert!
The graphics here are, as I am increasingly finding in games I review, of a high quality, but this also means there is not much to note about them; with many of the WP7 games passing through my phone having such good presentation and clean, polished look, it is difficult to distinguish ‘exceptional’ graphics and it is almost the case that when I find need to comment on this aspect it is negative. This is a great problem to have, the graphics of games all being so good they cannot be called better than others. The music, on the other hand, consists of little more than perhaps a couple of lines on repeat; this quickly becomes boring and repetitive, shortly followed by its switching off.
As far as levels are concerned, it is again a case of being rated according to a three-star system, and a sufficient number of stars across one set of levels will unlock the next set of levels. There are currently two environments, or sets of levels, in the game, with a third slot labelled as ‘coming soon’. Two environments is not a big amount, but they do amount to 32 levels between, and the ‘coming seem’ would seem to indicate a promise of an impending update bringing yet more. The 32 there are already provide good gameplay, and are sufficient for a fairly long stint of gameplay, and yet more would just be great.
This game is very good for a quick play, but is also suited to a more serious time investment. It is lovely to play and easy to pick up and learn. As a free game, it is absolutely brilliant – and as far as I could tell it is not supported by adverts either. I class it as “brilliant” already, and there seem to be even more levels promised.
Incredible Circus Screenshots
Version Under Review: 220.127.116.11
Incredible Circus is a FREE game for Windows Phone 7. If you like this you might also want to check out the xBox Live Game Carneyvale Showtime
Our Rating for Incredible Circus