When you want to idly flick through a few minutes of a boring meeting, the iPhone gives you plenty of choices. There’s Skee-Ball, an arcade classic, and Paper Toss, born out of office necessity with just a wastebasket and crumpled-up wad of paper. Now you’ve got a new, equally enjoyable option: Can Knockdown 2, based on the carnival game.
There are three modes in Can Knockdown 2. Our favorite is classic mode, where you have just five shots to knock down a stack of cans. Each successful knockdown gives you one more ball, so to stay alive as long as possible you’re going to have to find the weak spot in each stack and hit it perfectly. A perfect knockdown will result in a score multiplier. There are also explosive cans, bonus ball cans, and obstacles to get in your way.
This mode appeals to us because of the excellent physics. Your throw is a combination of speed (how fast you swipe) and accuracy (where you lift your finger off the screen). If you hit a pile of cans just right, they’ll explode outward realistically, sometimes with a slow-motion effect.
Our main complaint is that sometimes you’ll knock over a can, but it’ll stay on the narrow shelf. This has resulted in more than a few broken combos, game over screens, and shouted expletives from us.
The other two modes in Can Knockdown 2 are not quite as fun. There’s a timed target practice mode, where you have to hit the bullseye on blocks of wood, and a mode where cans shoot up in the air. Since these are both timed games, you can’t focus as much on accurate throws. We preferred taking our time in classic mode, discovering each stack’s sweet spot, and continually improving our score.
Can Knockdown 2 is one of those games that performs one simple task very well. Hopefully, over time this app will be updated with even more modes and variety, or maybe some alluring prizes like in Skee-Ball. It’s not exactly thought-provoking, but Can Knockdown 2 is a quality diversion.