There are numerous games that can be played on both the iPad and smaller iDevices, but they tend to lose something in the transition. We strongly suspect that Can Knockdown 3 is one of those games.
The objective of the game is simple: As the title implies, there are cans, and it’s up to you to knock them down using baseballs. It’s basically like a carnival game, except it’s not rigged.
After touching one of your three balls (write your own joke), you can swipe your finger up the touchscreen to “throw” the ball at the cans, ideally using the fewest shots possible to earn a full three stars for the level. There are tools to assist you, including explosive cans that let you take out numerous cans–sometimes all of them–with a single well-placed shot. Other cans add another ball to your lot when struck.
Combine this with different obstacles such as swinging hooks, unbreakable barriers, and conveyor belts moving some key cans around, and there are plenty of opportunity for various puzzles. Making it more interesting is that the physics engine is detailed enough to register just where the ball hits, and small variations can result in enormous changes to how everything falls.
The biggest problem we had with this was playing it on a small iPhone screen, where real estate is at a premium. This gives you very little room to add more force to your throw with a faster swipe without sacrificing accuracy, which is key. There are even numerous cases where you need both speed and accuracy in order to get the job done, which proves a tall order for a small screen. While we haven’t been able to play this on an iPad to see if it makes a difference, we can’t help but think that the larger screen would be a considerable asset as the game wears on, particularly given the affect the aforementioned small variances tend to have when you make your throw.
Overall, Can Knockdown 3 is a pretty good time, at least for a little while. The early goings are fun, while the later stages can become slightly irritating, though still doable. By that point, it becomes a question of whether you prefer to win by your own skill, or just doing it over again repeatedly until what you’re trying to do finally works.