Big Top 10 is a great example of a game based on a simple idea that turns out to be an addictive and great fun game. In Big Top 10 you have a total of 25 numbers in rows and columns of five each, and you have to add up to 10 to score. By just dragging your finger over the numbers you add, and the longer chain you make the more you score. For example you might choose 3,2,5 to create 10, but 1,2,2,3,1,1 is better for your score. There are also a couple of negative numbers thrown in that can give you really high combinations. 1,3,4,5,-9,6,3,-4,1,3 is a long chain. If you manage to include a bomb it explodes, and you get all points from the adjoining numbers. Multipliers and time stoppers are also good to include, all these powerups count as zero when counting. A really neat powerup is the reducer making the numbers on the board lower allowing you to create longer chains. If you have trouble making anything out of the available numbers simply shake the iPhone to get 25 new numbers to work with. I think a shuffle button should be included as you loose a lot of time when the shaking doesn’t register correctly. You only have one minute to rack up the points but successful chains give you more time to play with.
The game calculates as you drag your finger across the numbers, meaning you won’t have to keep counting yourself. Trial and error can be used but soon you will see good combinations right away once your mind is set on it. There is no minus points for trying the wrong combination of numbers, you just lost a bit of precious time. Controls work brilliantly with this drag and release gameplay.
The game also features a versus mode where two players can compete against each other within the same Wi-Fi network. You can affect each others game by using the powerups, and a simple game can turn into a heart pounding battle.
Big Top 10 has got a nice carnival theme to it with colourful, bright graphics and upbeat carnival music. I can’t help but fall in love with this gem of a game. You can play your own music in conjunction with the game sound effects.
Only having one game mode is a limitation in Big Top 10. The mode available is great, but I would like some kind of casual mode without time limit to just relax with.
The game only features local high scores in the reviewed version. It lets you email your best score to your friends, but that isn’t really the same thing at all. I like how the game keeps track of your statistics. You also get achievements but those are poorly implemented, as you just get to know you got an achievement when it is game over but you don’t know which of them you achieved. There is nothing to unlock.
Big Top 10 is great fun, and you don’t have to be a mathematical prodigy to enjoy it. If you can count to ten you can play the game. Limited gamelife, and a lack of game modes bring the game down, but it is still a great game that is easy to get into.
At a buck I can really recommend it as a fun casual game with great polish. Big Top 10 plays like an action puzzler, and not a logical game such as sudoku. Now I just have to play it one more time, got to beat my last score just one more time.