Tiki Toss 3D Review (iPhone)

Game Review: Tiki Toss 3D
Release: October 14, 2010
Genre: Arcade
Developer: Mellow Militia, LLC
Available Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later)
Players: 1
MSRP: $0.99 launch special ($1.99 normally)
ESRB Rating: 4+

Tiki Toss 3D is the classic hook-and-ring game brought to an electronic platform. Featuring three different play modes, two difficulty levels, OpenFeint leaderboard support, and relaxing island beats, this traditional game is easy to pick up and play.

Tiki Toss 3D is simple and straightforward when it comes to gameplay. There is only one element the player has control over: a small, metal ring on the end of a rope. The goal is to throw the ring with just the right power and trajectory so the ring lands on the hook. The hook is secured to a tree several yards away and the rope is long enough for the ring to reach the hook without hitting the tree.

Just get the ring on the hook. Sounds easy, right?

The ‘Best of 10’ mode gives you ten tosses to make as many ringers as possible. ‘Session’ gives you unlimited tosses with the goal of making as many consecutive ringers as possible. ‘Arcade’ gives you the opportunity to score random bonuses such as 3x and 5x points, as well as the Double Or Nothing challenge. The ‘Pro’ setting makes ringers noticeably more difficult to achieve than in ‘Amateur’, although I cannot discern what exactly makes it more difficult.

Don't let the surfer distract you!

The game looks great; there is no denying that. The palm leaves gently sway in the breeze, the ocean waves ebb and flow, and a surfer occasionally rides a swell into the beach. There are four different reggae songs you can choose from to relax and settle into a groove. The mechanics are also smooth; the ring feels realistic as you pull it up and throw it. I appreciate the attention to detail, especially when the camera zooms in on the hook as the ring swings in.

Sometimes the collision detection is at fault when the ring hits the hook. Occasionally the ring seems to jump onto the hook without reason. This obviously benefits the player and isn’t gamebreaking by any means, but it detracts from the authenticity that I think Mellow Militia is striving for.

Scary, I know, but it is the only way to get your name in lights.

Whenever you set a new high score, the lag caused by OpenFeint when updating can mess up your throw. This may not seem like a big deal, but in ‘Session’ mode one mistake will cost you. In addition, the OpenFeint achievements of “Play the game 4 hours straight” and “Missed 50 throws in a row” sound more like capital punishment than achievements. It was a good move to have leaderboards, but the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch platforms should have separate lists.

Tiki Toss 3D is what you want in an iPhone game: Easy to start up, simple game play, clear goals, and leaderboards to foster a competitive atmosphere. This is a good buy at 99 cents, but I would pass at the $1.99 tag.

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