The ring's the thing for Ring Run Circus, and this physics based platformer will have gamers collecting stars and keys as they dodge and weave with the greatest of ease. Acquiring the skills for success requires a combination of coordination and mental acuity, so if you're a dunderhead like me this app may leave you perplexed and occasionally frustrated. Is this game worth all those wasted brain cells, or does it leave players running around in circles?

Many physics based titles have cute little animals or adventurers jumping through hoops or moving planks to get to another direction. Each of these levels may require a few seconds of thought and, if you have the right amount of timing and coordination, all the dominoes fall into place and then you can move forward.

Ring Run Circus isn't a quick gratification app wherein a question is easily solved. Whether you're playing as circus performers Nina, Ned, or Nelson, you must understand how each ring within a puzzle is solved. When elephants, lions, and rings of fire are also inhabiting certain circles, that job gets even more complicated. The mechanic of finding stars and grabbing a key may seem easy, but the process of getting all your ducks in a row is a pretty tough task.

Controlling your performer requires just two fingers. To run outside the circles, hold press down on the left side of your device, and when you release the finger, your player starts running inside the circle. As far as your right finger, it's used to employ the person's different skill set. For example, Nina can jump and Ned slaps the living heck out of anything in his path, so pressing on the right side of the device triggers their respective abilities.

As far as the app's level of difficulty, check out this ring laden level and if you think this is a piece of cake, then you're a total Einstein.

Even with all its complexities, the dreamy and surreal universe Ring Run Circus creates is a sight to behold. If I'm six minutes into completely failing at a certain level, I'll take a few seconds, collect my breath, and check out the beautiful vision before me. This is not a game that's used solely to satiate one's touch and tap addiction, as the inspired visual and architectural design of each level gives this app an appreciated level of gravitas. Maybe I'm dreaming, but select images from this circus adventure linger in my mind.

Although one may question its $3.99 price tag, the great news is that once you sacrifice a few bucks for the download, the rest of your money stays intact. There are no in-app purchases to speak of, and Ring Run Circus exists as a game devoid of freemium model distractions. Playing while having ads or links pop up during the adventure would be a disservice to the pure, delirious joy this circus tale has to offer. Thankfully, the developers understand the importance of giving gamers an uninterrupted visceral experience. Plus, who doesn't want to unlock a rabbit now and again?

My only gripe regarding Ring Run Circus lies in its complexity, but that's just me whining about my lack of intellectual dexterity. Finding the right circles to run in, as well as when to collect stars and slap elephants, really isn't my forte. For some, life is just a circus, and for others, it solely exists as a dream. This app offers a bit of both, so choose your circle wisely.


App Store Link: Ring Run Circus for iPhone & iPad | By Kalio Ltda. | Price: $3.99 | Version: 1.1.2 | 85.1 MB | Rating 4+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating