Cheap Shot: Big Top 10

Big Top 10, from Bight Games, is surprisingly fun for a microgame based on kindergarden-level arithmetic. It’ll give you double digits on the brain.

Bravo, old bean!

A jumbled grid of integers stares out of the screen, filled with numbers from -9 to 9. These must be assembled into groups that sum up to exactly 10. A drag of the finger starts adding them together, while a counter keeps track of how close you are to the magic number.

Each game of Big Top 10 starts with a minute on the clock, but can last many times longer than that, since making 10s puts a little time back. The idea is to strive for the high score, but there’s a catch–the longer the number chain you find, the bigger score bonus you get.

It’s a case of risk vs. reward. Do you want to tread water by adding 4s to 6s, or would you prefer to spend time hunting for board-spanning combos that score mega points? The situation is complicated by powerups that blow up nearby spaces, freeze the clock, and shrink the board’s numbers when included in a combo.

Big Top 10 is a simple yet addicting game with a jaunty circus theme (the achievements are presented by an old-timey strongman striking weird poses) and a WiFi versus mode. Although we’d like to see online high scores too, it’s a decent use of a buck.

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