It will only take you a few moments to work out exactly what Into The Circle is – endless curling. That wonderful winter sport of aiming your stone and the target and expertly sliding it in to position, combined with that mobile game mainstay of doing it endlessly until you fail.
Here is something I don't have to admit often, I am a sucker for curling games. They take the catapult style gameplay of Angry Birds, but remove the destructible physics to place extra focus on your own skill and precision. The addition of endless mechanics adds to this, focusing your abilities on a constantly evolving playing field.
Okay, ready for the biggest cliché I will use (in this review) – Into The Circle is easy to play but hard to master. Your goal is to send your dot from one circle to the next. Hitting the center of the target nets you extra points, while missing ends your current run unless you use stars to continue (earned or purchased in-app).
An oscillating arrow marks the direction you will slide your dot forward, only stopping when you tap the screen. Holding your finger on the screen sees the power you will use for the shot pulse up and down. When the power is at the desired level, release the screen the dot will zoom off.
Yes, it sounds easy, but it isn't. While the controls are incredibly responsive and fair, the simple task of touching and releasing the screen at exactly the right moments is invariably harder than you would imagine. It is a task made no easier by the fact the further you go up the course/screen, the more the camera pulls back making the distance you have to go and the size of your target ever smaller.
Fortunately the bold red, white, and yellow visuals mean the changing scale is easy to follow, with each point and bonus clearly displayed. Nowhere is this clarity more useful than with the introduction of gravity wells. These push and pull your dot towards them, with the direction and power of their effect subtly marked by cues in the background.
This adds the perfect amount of variety to the challenge without over complicating the gameplay. With your shot being curled around by the well’s influence you are forced to predict their effect if you are to have any chance of finding your mark.
It may not hold my attention for more than 15 minutes a day, but since I installed Into The Circle I have made sure not to miss my daily quarter of an hour. Slick, well designed, and free, there is truly nothing to stop you trying this out - unless you have some bizarre aversion to curling and all derivatives of it.