Apptagious's Toss! falls short of expectations

Football, cornhole, leap frog and horse shoes. Sound like a Sunday in the Midwest? No – it’s Toss! for the iPhone, a recently-released suite of games by Apptagious. This all-in-one app consists of four games with the same basic premise – you use the iPhone’s accelerometer to mimic “toss”ing, and your goal in all of the games is to throw something to hit a target. Apptagious has definitely demonstrated the iPhone’s capabilities in this game, much like WiiSports demonstrated what the WiiMote could do. However, the game’s charm is ephemeral, and the app doesn’t offer very much depth.

The first game is Cornhole, the traditional lawn game where you toss beanbags onto a wooden plank with a hole in it. A bag in the hole is three points, while landing on the plank is one. If you jerk your hand too too hard, the bag flies past the hole – and it falls short if you are too timid. A major plus is the two player mode, which is great for those alpha males who want to assert dominance over challengers.

The second game is Football. Essentially a field goal kicking game, your task is to split the uprights by performing the same “toss” motion that you do in cornhole. Unlike cornhole, which was a game of gauging depth, this is a game of accuracy. You tilt the iPhone left or right to battle the wind, which unpredictably shifts in either direction.

Next up: horse shoes. This is pretty much what you would expect—your goal is to throw the horse shoe so it lands on the stake at the top of the screen. This would be great if it was actually as hard as horse shoe is in real life. It isn’t. Instead, as long as you throw it straight as hard as you can, you are guaranteed to get it on the stake.

Finally, leap frog. Probably the best of the games, maybe because it’s the only one that is truly challenging. You are a frog trying to jump onto various leaves floating still in the lake in front of you. It’s hard because the leaves are often not aligned with the frog, so there is a depth and accuracy component to it. Also, getting the frog on the further leaves gets you more points, and is incrementally more difficult.

The app definitely sounds fun, and some may find it worth the $3.99. To me, it just doesn’t offer enough. It did offer a much-needed ego boost, though; I managed to get a perfect score on all games within the first two hours of gameplay!

What we like:

  • Solid physics engine. Definitely felt like my faux throwing could have replicated a real-life toss.
  • Two-player. Though only offered on two games, this is a feature I wish more games had.
  • Variety. Four games > one.

What we didn’t like:

  • Too easy. I don’t think a seizure would’ve prevented me from winning at this game. Though the physics of throwing the item deep or short was well-designed, it was too easy to aim laterally, making half of the games ridiculously simple.
  • Lack of depth. Four games sounds like a lot, but it just didn’t cut it for this thirsty.
  • Replay value. Once you figure out how to beat it, this game just isn’t fun to play again.