Carnivals are a mecca for those who have a burning desire to squander their disposable income on useless plastic novelties, unhealthy food, and unjustifiably difficult fairground games.
Toss The Ball combines this carnival theme with elements from the popular arcade game Skeeball to create something that thankfully doesn’t measure success by your ability to win an oversized stuffed animal.
However, it is no more than a glorified mini-game with bells and whistles, whose superficial nature fails to make a convincing argument for you to part with your money.
CarniesToss The Ball comprises four modes, each of which features the same basic aim of throwing a selection of novelty balls into holes on a board. Success is rewarded with points, while rewards and bonuses are dished out for throwing balls into illuminated holes.
Controls are simple: you dictate the speed and direction of the ball by the manner in which you swipe the touchscreen. The boards and animations are visually impressive, and the game grants you a great deal of control over the ball.
In Rolling Race mode, you must hole balls to ride to victory in a fantasy race, while Ball in Time mode tests your ability to score points within a time limit. Chill mode issues you with a finite number of balls, and Multiplayer mode, well, you can guess that one.
Each of the balls has a different speed, score, and XP value. A super-fast lightning ball, for example, may be quicker, but a ball with a high XP stat will gain you more experience. The boards, meanwhile, feature different layouts and unique elements, such as pinball-style flippers.
Playing any of these modes is rewarded with XP, which improves your level and unlocks new balls and boards, but to use these items, you must buy the full version. Trying out the different varieties of balls and board is somewhat entertaining, but in reality they fail to modify the challenge in such a discernible way as to make purchasing the full game essential.
They feel more superficial than anything, and in any case your interest is likely to have waned before you have unlocked everything.
The overarching XP system and unlockable content can't mask the fact that Toss the Ball is at best a free time-waster, whose add-ons are only likely to appeal to the most ardent of carnival players.