Apr 29, 2011
Don’t you love games with accurate titles? Portal is a game all about portals, for example. Angry Birds involves a lot of malcontent birds. Fruit Ninja involves ninja-type activities with fruit. In this proud tradition, Can Knockdown 2 involves knocking down cans. Similar to carnival and theme park games designed to take your money, this $0.99 app has you tossing balls at cans to knock them down. There are 3 different modes to play: one mode has you launching balls at stacks of cans, trying to knock them down from a set of 5 balls. Every time you complete a level, you get an extra balls, so you obviously want to try to knock them down in one shot, or knock down the cans that provide extra balls if you can. As you complete levels with one ball, you get point multipliers as well, for high scores. There is also a mode that has you trying to hit cans that are being tossed in the air, with the goal being to hit as many as you can in a minute, and a mode that has you not hitting cans at all; this mode has you trying to hit targets, with bonus points awarded for hitting closer to the center of the targets.
The target mode (officially known as Classic mode, according to the OpenFeint leaderboards) of Can Knockdown 2 is probably the most fun of all 3 modes, as it is the one that develops your skill and encourages proper strategy. The mode is a static sequence of can structures, so the repetition teaches you how to knock down the cans perfectly, and how to properly use the controls, in a way that the other two modes don’t. The target mode is fun, even if it doesn’t exactly involve cans, and it doesn’t teach you as much on how to play the game’s other 2 modes. The game comes with support for OpenFeint for achievements and leaderboards.
The controls can be problematic at times – I often found myself shooting for a certain spot, and I’ve often thought that I was shooting for one spot, only to have it be slightly lower than I expected. It can be frustrating, as it gives the expectation of the game just being inconsistent, and untrustworthy in its mechanics. This makes it harder to enjoy the game, as when you don’t have faith in the controls, it leads to frustration over the idea that your performance is based on factors besides your own skill. The time attack mode where you have to hit cans that get launched up in the air just isn’t as fun because of the entirely new and difficult challenge.
Can Knockdown 2 can be entertaining, but its occasionally sketchy core gameplay mechanic drags it down a bit. Check out the first Can Knockdown before deciding to “invest” in the sequel.