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Spin the Black Circle

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Rating: 4.5/5 (143 votes)
Comments (44) | Views (6,670)
spintheblackcircle.jpgzxoLike it or not, you have to admit that Nitrome has managed to bring some unique gameplay to the masses. In fact, a handful of games have sprung up recently that seem to have been inspired by — or at least are similar in spirit to — previous Nitrome games, Shift, Yin Yang, Space Kitteh, and Space Hopper.

One characteristic these games seem to have in common is that they manage to improve upon their respective Nitrome counterparts, at least from the perspective of actually playing through the game. The same is true for Spin the Black Circle, by Alejandro Guillen, the latest game to join this list. It's hard not to compare Spin the Black Circle to Nitrome's Roly Poly (which in turn was inspired by one or more prior arcade games). Both require you to rotate a board while maintaining a constant gravity, and both present a variety of different obstacles, enemies, and surfaces. Yet, I think you'll agree that in most regards, Spin the Black Circle comes out ahead.

Not only is Spin the Black Circle smoother running, the physics also feel more natural and play a larger role in the level design. This could have something to do with newer and better versions of Flash released in the last few years. Inertia, all but ignored in Roly Poly, becomes the focal point for the challenges put forth. The first few levels let you practice the skills you will need later on in the game, such as navigating corners, pulling U-turns, and making floor switches. These can be tricky, because as you rotate the board, your inertial frame of reference rotates with it, but gravity always remains down. Expect to see your ball fly off into the spikes a number of times before mastering the controls. Then expect to see it fly off anyway as the levels get harder and harder. To succeed requires not just controlling your ball's inertia, but learning how to take advantage of it to squeeze through some tight spaces. To add even more challenge, Spin the Black Circle keeps track of your best times for each level, although simply finishing is achievement enough for some.

All in all, though Spin the Black Circle may not be nearly as cute as Roly Poly, but its superior performance, pleasing soundtrack, and more realistic physics do a better job of engaging the player, sucking them into that compulsive "just one more time" spiral of anti-productivity that we all love and hate to find ourselves in.

Play Spin the Black Circle

Cheers to Alejandro, Bob, L0ser, slgalt, Jacob, and Kristi for suggesting this one! =)


Some of these levels are just plain evil, lol. I got to the second one after the game stopped giving hints, the one with the spinning wood circle in the spiky box. Will have to come back to this one later.


Can you add an "add to favorites" for this please? At the moment there is only an "add to del.icio.us"


Wow this game is difficult, distracting, frustrating, and evil.

I love it!


Wheeeee! I suggested this game!


This game is similar to a game i play on another site, but this one is more challenging with more intricate level design and obstacles. But I think the physics in this one isn't completely right. It feels a little slanted to me so that at some points it looks like the ball is rolling uphill.

Or maybe my head is just always slanted and no one has the nerve to tell me.


I've just come in here to say that I love the name of the game, taken from the title of a rocking Pearl Jam song about old vinyl records.


This game is excellent, but some of these levels are definitely evil. On a scale of "extremely frustrating but makes you come back again and again" from 1 to 10, this is definitely a 10. Twice today I was playing and closed the window out of frustration, only to re-open the game literally a minute or so later.

In particular, I think the level design here is really what makes the game. The physics are great, but without a good set of levels, this game would be nothing. Fortunately, the levels are excellent and very satisfying once you finish them.

I highly recommend this game, but make sure you don't have anything else to do before you start playing, 'cause you'll literally be playing for a while and you won't be able to pull yourself away.

LSN: The physics seem right. But sometimes the ball can roll uphill because it has enough inertia. That happens in real life too, you know. :)


The only thing i hate more than this game is, that i cannot stop playing it :(


Very very good. Took me 4 hours to beat it. Looking forward for a sequel.


Stuck on 16.

The level has you in a little hidey hole, and you're supposed to 'fall' in an arc between walls covered with spikes.

Hard, but I'll probably go back to it.


The game is clever and plays well, but seems more difficult than it needs to be. In some levels the difficulty comes from having to be ridiculously precise, especially on

the final level, where you have to drop from corner to wall at an exact angle

It's the equivalent of pixel-hunting in a room escape game. You can see exactly what you need to do, but you don't have the ability to do it.

There were also places where the spikes can destroy you even though you appear to have plenty of space.


After what seems like an eternity, I finally finished all 24 levels- I can now die happy. The walkthrough on Youtube was invaluable- I never would have beaten level 24 without it. However, know this- even if you beat the game, the highscore (best score) board has been hacked as the best time is just 1 min. 29 sec. Those of you who have played even the first 10 levels know it is physically impossible to finish the game that quickly. My total time was 6 min. 48 sec. and I think that's pretty damned good. Oh well, I suppose some pathetic little jerkwads will always feel the need to cheat to get what they can't achieve legitimately. Good luck, and may this game take fewer years off your life than it did mine.

Papachabre February 20, 2008 6:06 AM

Neat game. I got to the spiral level with the spikes on the outside walls and I decided I didn't want to pull the rest of my hair out this morning, so I quit.


I loved the game right until I clicked "back to menu" and suddenly all my progress got erased. I don't get it, wasn't the game supposed to save your progress?? <:(

Ignoring this extremely irritating issue, the game is pretty satisfying. As the review said, inertia is really the main attraction here - seems to me that ball carries a really really fat Pokemon inside...

I do prefer this game to Roly Poly, although the fixed moment speed makes it a bit harder, especially when the ball is near the center of the gameplay area.


On 16

I launched out with a good amount of momentum to the left (relative to the maze's starting position), and then rotated quickly so that the ball was just above the second set of spikes on the inside wall. I was moving about parallel to the spikes. I continued the rotation so that the ball curved the last few inches needed to avoid hitting the spikes on the far wall.
The trick is for the ball to be falling almost parallel to the *second* set of inside spikes, so you can turn away from the outer wall. If you move slowly at the start, the ball will fall parallel to the first set of spike, and you won't be able to turn fast enough because you have to avoid hitting the first set, and your momentum will sling you into the second set

Now for 17. I know what I have to do, but I keep messing it up.


There is something wrong with the saving, I opened a new instance in IE and it shows Saved Games and total time, but no levels to select so I don't know how to continue. Guess I won't close firefox for a while.


I am stuck on level 20.. really hard. I don't know how to get past the combination of spikes and electric wire...



Currently stuck on level 22. ARG.




Having completed the last level with the help of a walkthrough, I think my earlier comment isn't fair - it's all about mastering technique, and timing.


23 will murderize me totally.


OK, level 24 is the epitome of frustration.

Having to do the EXACT SAME dodgy manouever six times in a row, each time with less control precision and less breathing room is irritating as hell. Especially when you consistently mess up the sixth time and have to do everything all over again and again and again and again.



Upon seeing level 22, I simply burst out into fits of laughter. Seriously?!


Finished it.

My time: 43 h, 23 m, 14 s. Guess I shouldn't have left it on during the night :).


I guess it must be my computer,
but the save or the game is corrupt,
this is what my screen looks like: http://img259.imageshack.us/my.php?image=spinro0.jpg there's nothing to select and I can't restart.


help with 22?

Runescape-Weapondude70 February 24, 2008 9:55 AM

I'm stuck on lvl 22! help please!


I've proved empirically that tilting my head while playing doesn't affect the ball. This game is evil in a good way!


Read "proven" for "proved" in my above post.


im stuck on 19


how in the world do you beat the last level? im completely stuck


i would totally play this on my iPod!!! it would be perfect on an ipod.


HOLY! The last level is killing me. I'm playing here on the can and yelling in my bathroom at this damn game. I love it. I love it in the way that I want to razorblades to my wrists this frustrates me so much.


I'm currently on 23. There were a few of the levels that caused me to giggle with fear at the horrible complexity and injustice of it all... I've got through most of them, 2 levels left. 23 is kicking my ass so far though.

Mighty Poo March 12, 2008 2:41 PM

I can't finish the game (level 24 is just TOO hard), but here are my times so far if anyone needs a new challenge:

Level/Time (in seconds)
01- 4:54
02- 5:32
03- 3:79
04- 3:52
05- 2:72
06- 5:19
07- 5:40
08- 3:97
09- 4:19
10- 7:55
11- 5:42
12- 26:82
13- 15:65
14- 9:04
15- 18:10
16- 4:72
17- 10:84
18- 16:59
19- 20:85
20- 26:57
21- 19:17
22- 12:27
23- 46:35
24- (no time)

Total time: 4:38:50

Good luck! =D


Total Time: 5.55.35

Level 24 wasnt that hard as I thought it was the first 20 times xD...finally figured it out

Kelson aka Arena 54 aka Chrome March 13, 2008 4:36 PM

HELP! I'm stuck on level 11. Sad, yes. I love this game even though it makes me want to beat on the computer until my hands turn bloody. Please help me!!!

pingpongengineer March 23, 2008 6:53 PM

Amazingly true to gravity, both translational and rotational inertia of the ball, and friction. I'm totally addicted. Too bad some hack the high scores and some place multiple scores. my time of 3:43 is legit and was continuously improved based on increased skills obtained in the higher levels then replayed on the lower levels.

Brilliant game Alejandro !


Yes, I finally beated it! After 11 hours of playing time. :D The levels are not too hard, but it is just plain luck most of the times and a little bit of reflexes.

Pkerowm May 3, 2008 8:48 AM

help im stuck on level 16!!help me please!


Level 24 makes me want to kill myself. I feel that I have mastered most of the other levels and after a few failed attempts at 24, I usually go back and try and beat some of the other levels faster. Without completing 24, my total time is 4 minutes 00.25 seconds. I'm not sure I even want to beat level 24 because then I'll have nothing to play for.

rakhi5828 July 28, 2008 1:16 AM

I am a new member to this site. I had played lots of games but I found this game a really an interesting one. The game is not tough but need luck to pass out each level. I don't know the rules of this game. can anyone help me out of it.


Wide Circles


My best time is 3:15:38 so far!

Anyone wanna beat that? B]


These are my times:

1- 00:04:37
2- 00:04:74
3- 00:03:27
4- 00:02:94
5- 00:02:35
6- 00:04:75
7- 00:04:57
8- 00:03:65
9- 00:02:02

Good luck!



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