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"Test Your Strength" Game

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Also known as a "high striker", "strength tester", and "strongman game", this attraction is a staple in carnivals and Amusement Parks, where the contestant uses a mallet to hit the button or puck on the base. The button is attached to a lever which causes a weight to fly up a tower. If the button is struck hard enough (or a rigged version is hit the right way and merely permits the whacker to make progress) and the weight reaches the top of the tower, it rings a bell that's suspended there. The game usually has different "scores" written on the side of the tower denoting the player's Power Level, such as "wimp", "strong", "Hercules", etc.

In cartoons and series featuring characters with Super Strength (or are just ridiculously strong), a common occurrence is for someone to hit the device so hard that the weight hits the bell and sends it flying into the air. Sometimes characters forego the use of the mallet and just hit the device with their bare hands.

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Conversely, the device can be used to set up a joke where a character makes a pitiful showing, either because he's just that weak or because somebody sabotaged the works to mess with the user.

Though high strikers are the most commonly seen, any arcade or fairground attraction that tests the player's strength counts.

In Video Games, the strength test game, when it appears as a Mini-Game, oftentimes tests the player's timing.

Not to be confused with the "Test Your Might" minigame from Mortal Kombat.


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Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • In this advert for Duracell's Copper Top Tester, an anthropomorphic Duracell battery tries its hand at one of these.
  • In an early McDonald's commercial, one which features the McDonaldland characters, the Hamburglar sets up a carnival (the admission to which, as well as each attraction therein, was one cheeseburger). After Ronald enters, he tries his hand at the test your strength game. After Ronald only gets the weight up a few notches, the heavy-set Grimace accidentally steps on the lever, sending the weight so high it knocks the bell off the hook.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the late stages of Dragon Ball Z, a punch-strength machine is set up for the entrants of the tournament. The heroes all give the machine light taps that send it to the maximum rating (to the horror of the organizers)... then Vegeta comes up and destroys the machine in one punch.
  • In an episode of Wedding Peach, a devil pulls one of these out of his pants to show an ancient devil that he need to regain his strength after getting out of his Sealed Evil in a Can.
  • One of the gags during the hero exams in One-Punch Man involved a punching a machine to test strength. Like the Vegeta example above, Saitama doesn't hold back and sends it crashing into a wall.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Yusuke and Kuwabara go to Genkai as she's holding exams to find out who will become her student. The second part of the exam involved playing some arcades to secretly gauge their spirit energy, one of which is a punching machine. We see Yusuke get a high score when he plays it, much to Kuwabara's chagrin. A jock gets a low score and complains the game is rigged because he always gets a high score at other punching machines. Genkai says the punching machine measures spirit strength, not physical. The jock tries to attack her and is taken down.

    Comic Books 
  • Achille Talon has a High Striker at which Achille hoists the hammer over his head... then falls over backwards, with the shockwave of his landing sending the weight up to hit the bell.
  • Gaston Lagaffe finds a boxer-shaped machine at a junkyard and takes it home. Predictably, it gets away from him wheeling down a slope and rams De Mesmaeker's new car. The last panel has a cop writing a ticket for De Mesmaeker (the punch machine had right-of-way), while Gaston notes that the needle reads "Champion".
  • The titular character of Itty Bitty Hellboy hits "the Strongman Test-Your-Strength Thingie" with his powerful fist, which earns him some plush toys for his female teammates.
  • Kid Paddle has a variant with a punching ball instead of a piston. He goes up to it wearing a motorcycle helmet and delivers a headbutt that gets him the high score.
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In "Wonder World" 15 year old Diana wins large stuffed animals for Riley and her friends at a high striker while the shocked attendant looks on.

    Fan Works 
  • Ashes of the Past : Chapter 127: Wishmaker 1 : Ash and some Pokemon want to play a Strength Test Game, May asking him not to because their Aura powers may break the machine.
    "No, Ash," May said firmly.
    "Aw..." Ash said. "But May-"
    "I've already had to tell Blaziken not to," May added, unmoved. "And that goes for Lucario, too! No Aura enhanced super strength on the test your strength machine!"
  • In From Dusk To Night, the Fetlock Falls Winter Festival features one of these (a pony variant with a vertical target for kicking). Like several other games at the festival, it's rigged: the target is just high enough to be awkward for the average pony to hit it. As a result, the only one to win a prize is Night Flurry, the least athletic of the protagonists.
  • Opal, Sapphire, Ruby, and STEVEN!: From Chapter 7, The Wallflower:
    "Here!" Steven pulled her over to the tall, red metal structure with a brass bell on top. 'STRENGTH-O-METER' blinked on a sign beside it. He grabbed the heavy mallet and turned to Opal as he explained, "Just hit the pad to see how strong you are!"
  • In My Huntsman Academia, one of these is set up for Hunter's Day in Mountain Glenn. Yang, Nora, and Coco beat it with ease even without their Semblances. Izuku is horribly embarrassed when he comes up just short despite more than a year of Training from Hell and months of living with an Aura.
  • Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, the punch strength variation is set up at the U.A. Culture Festival. Izuku immediately runs up to win it with his Kryptonian Super Strength after spotting a rare Beebo doll among the prizes. His plans are cut short when it turns out that Kendo Rappa is after the same doll. While Izuku initially tries to back out, the two end up getting egged on into a strength contest that ends with Izuku destroying the machine while actively trying to lose. The strength levels range from city-destroying, to country-destroying to planet-destroying, to wrecking the space-time continuum itself. The student manning the stall admits that she didn't know it went that high.

    Film 
  • Beetlejuice: When the Ghost with the Most is summoned in the climax, he gets rid of Mr. and Mrs. Dean by putting each on high strikers and, by turning his arms into mallets, sending them flying through the ceiling.
  • In Grease, there's an end-of-school-year carnival toward the end of the film. Someone rings the bell just before the final number of "We Go Together".
  • One game that's in the bonus features of the Open Season 2 DVD is called "doggie strength test", where you play a strength test game as the dog characters.
  • In Hell Fest, there is a test-your-strength game kept in the employee locker area. When Gavin wanders in to steal a prize for Natalie, The Other attacks and ultimately kills him with the strength game's mallet, smashing his head while it was on the target... and ringing the bell.
  • In The Peanuts Movie, at the last-day-of-school carnival, one little boy tries his hand at one of these games, but before he can try to hit the target with the hammer, Charlie Brown races through the fair on his way to the Little Red-Haired Girl before she leaves for summer camp and accidentally steps on the target. He rings the bell, and the little boy is happily rewarded with a giant teddy bear.
  • In Strangers on a Train, Bruno follows Miriam and her two beaus to an amusement park where he impresses her with his strength by winning the "Test Your Strength Game". The vendor half-jokingly says that Bruno broke the bell.
  • In The Secret of the Hunchback there is one at the Day of the Innocent festival. Quasimodo plays one and he is so strong that he breaks the device.
  • In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the big guy whose nerves Caractacus gets on is seen winning at one of these.

    Literature 
  • In a The Berenstain Bears book, Papa Bear faces off against a very large guy in one of these games. The big guy makes the bell ring. Papa Bear is stung by a bee, and the shock makes him hit the device hard enough to make the bell fly off.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Ace Lightning, the Carnival of Doom has a "Test Your Strength" game which Anvil hides in.
  • The Monkees: During a music video a few of the guys are used as the puck. We see a closeup of the bell and a foot or two of the tower, and the guys' heads rise up from the bottom and hit the bell.
  • In The Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin tries this at a carnival. Using his bionic powers, he knocks the bell off the hook, freaking out the barker.
  • Step by Step: The intro theme is set in an amusement park where the whole new family is enjoying their time together. J.T. tries hand in "test your strength game" and he reaches the top score "WIN".
  • In Series 20 of the UK Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond held an invitational 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' segment for the Vauxhall Astra, with a few features including an arcade punching machine. Boxer David Haye ended up going past 700, while Clarkson almost totaled himself attempting to punch with style.

    Puppet Shows 
  • An episode of Sesame Street has Cookie Monster try one of these games. The barker reveals in an aside to the viewer that the game is rigged. Because the prize for the game is a cookie, the Cookie Monster wins anyway.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pie Face!: In Pie Face Sky High!, the player tests their strength by strongly hitting the plate with a hammer and making the pie hit the opponent.

    Video Games 
  • The original Art of Fighting and its sequel had "Test your Might" mini-games that rewarded the player with a longer health meter if they successfully completed the challenge.
    • For AOF1, it was the Ice Pillar Smash, which required the player to rapidly press the punch button to fill the power gauge before time expired. If the gauge was full, or near full, Ryo and Robert's punch would smash the entire stack. Anything less resulted in failure.
    • In AOF2, the challenged was revised so the player had to build power to punch down a tree. If you stored enough power within the time limit, the player character would topple the tree with a single blow. If the gauge wasn't high enough, the punch would only shake the tree, causing apples to fall on their character's head.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, in the Witchyworld level, there is a strength test game called the Cactus of Strength, where the grand prize is a jiggy. Banjo and Kazooie must hit the button three different ways note  within the time limit in order to ring the bell.
  • In Chapter 4 of Bendy and the Ink Machine, among the attractions in Bendy Land is a strength test game. Hitting the bell will cause Alice to sarcastically remark that Boris's rescue can wait.
  • Bioshock Infinite. One of the attractions at the Raffle fair is a High Striker. Booker can pick up a large mallet and hit a board, which will send the weight up and hit the bell.
  • In Bully, you can play a strength game when you visit the carnival. To play, you must mash the A button to build up strength as Jimmy, the player character, swings back the mallet.
  • In The Cave, the Hillbilly's level takes place in a carnival where you need to get 6 tickets to win a giant pink stuffed bear so that the Hillbilly can impress The Amazing Two-Legged Lady, and one of the tickets comes from winning this kind of game. The puzzle here is that the wimpy hammer that comes with the game can't win the game; you need to find a sledgehammer to do that.
  • Chrono Trigger has one at the Millennial Fair. Because it's a video game, it's actually a test of the player's timing- Crono moves back and forth, and the player has to hit "A" when he's at the farthest point from the game.
  • One of the puzzles in Contrast involves using the shadow of the weight of a Test Your Strength machine as an improvised moving platform (it makes sense in context).
  • This was one of the games in the Fall Fair (later known as The Fair) events in the original Club Penguin, and it was more a matter of timing than actual strength.
  • The goal posts at the end of each non-boss level of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest are a variation of this. Jumping on the target normally completes the level as usual, but jumping on it from a high-enough height will send the barrel up the pole and win you a prize. The prizes include a single banana, a bunch of bananas, an extra life, the "G" letter of the word "KONG", a banana coin, or a DK coin. The key to getting the prize you want is to jump from the right height at the right time.
  • Haunt The House: Terrortown: The Ghost Train has one on the Carousel car. It's one of the many items that the ghost can possess.
  • A variant in Kirby Star Allies: the minigame Star Slam Heroes has multiple Kirbys trying to slug an incoming meteor into space. Time the charge meter and precision meter precisely, and the Kirbys will slug the meteor further and further away (in points).
  • Left 4 Dead 2 has one in the Dark Carnival campaign. You have to use adrenaline and pills at the same time in order to beat it, which earns an achievement.
  • Moshi Monsters: The circus features a playable strength test game. At first, it was rigged with a rubber hammer, but then the Super Moshis fixed it, so it's playable now.
  • In Octodad, an anaconda-themed version is one of the minigames you have to beat in order to win prizes in the arcade.
  • Pajama Sam 3: You Are What You Eat From Your Head to Your Feet has a high striker at the carnival at Muscle Beach. Because Sam isn't strong enough to ring the bell from the bottom, he has to come up with his own unique solution. He has to untie the shoes of a balloon vendor, who will give him his balloons while he re-ties his shoes. Sam can then use the balloons to float up to the bell and ring it from there.
  • In Popeye Beach Volleyball for the Game Gear, one of the bonus games involves Popeye trying to ring the bell of one of these.
  • Dr. Eggman's Circus Park in Shadow the Hedgehog had a variation involving Shadow's homing attack. The loud "DING!" of the bell and the prize (fifty rings) are the same.
  • In the Krustyland level of The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants, there is a strength test game located next to the high dive act. Since merely jumping on the platform that sends the weight up won't help it reach the bell, Bart has to climb to the top of the high dive and jump off there to provide enough force. When Bart does ring the bell, he wins three coins and the disembodied head of Jebediah Springfield.
  • In Stardew Valley, one of these appears among the attractions in the Stardew Valley Fair during the fall season. Instead of a hammer, a pickaxe is used. Perfectly timing the bar with the top of the meter nets one star token.
  • In the carnival room of Stay Tooned!, there is a strength test mini-game featuring Frank. Clicking will make him lift his hammer, and the longer you wait before clicking again, the more strength Frank will build up. Waiting too long causes Frank to fall over, but clicking at the right time will cause Frank to hit the target. What follows is a cutscene corresponding with the height, and if the weight reaches the top, the player will win a door key (the first time only, though).
  • Team Fortress 2 had one as the center piece of the 2014 Halloween map.
  • Toonstruck has one in the arcade. Naturally you have to cheat to win it.
  • In Yooka-Laylee, Galleon Galaxy has one of these, where the grand prize is a Pagie. In order to ring the bell, Yooka must first swallow a cannonball to make him metallic. Then, he and Laylee must jump from a high-enough height and land on the target before the effect wears off.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Runaway" has Toph hitting a high striker, complete with the weight going flying into the air to the amazement of the audience.
  • Blaze and the Monster Machines: Stripes and Zeg are shown playing this at the beginning of "Runaway Rocket".
  • On the Donald Duck cartoon "Canvas Back Duck", Don tries his hand at a high striker, but he slips and falls headfirst on the machine, with the mallet hitting him immediately afterwards. This makes it strike the bell, and Don wins a prize.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Dipper vs. Manliness", Dipper's inability to get a high score on a grip-strength-testing game (combined with relentless teasing from others) is what prompts him to try asking the Manotaurs for help in becoming more manly.
  • Johnny Bravo: In "Going Batty", a vampire named Lois goes on a date with Johnny to spite her ex-boyfriend. At a carnival, Johnny tries the high striker to win Lois a prize, but her ex-boyfriend, who was following them, uses telekinesis to stop the weight from hitting the bell three times. The attendant mocks Johnny as a weakling and Lois is disappointed in him.
  • Kick Buttowski: Gunther and Kick both try the mallet machine. Gunther barely moves the weight. Kick finds the mallet unbalances him and he falls on the target instead; the weight hits hard enough to send the bell flying.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has one appear in the Iron Pony competition. Since the characters are ponies, the test involves kicking an upright target rather than using a hammer. Applejack, who bucks trees for a living, hits hard enough to shatter the target and blast the weight into the sky.
  • Peppa Pig: One of these appears in the episode "Funfair". After Mr Bull, who is manning the game, makes a rude remark about Daddy Pig's weight, Mummy Pig (who has had sexist remarks doubting her skill made to her by characters manning fairground games) is pushed over the edge. In a fit of rage, she whacks the button so hard it hits the bell five times, winning her all the giant teddies at the fairground.
  • Popeye: In their debut short, Popeye and Bluto try their hands at a ring-the-bell game to impress Olive. Bluto grabs a hammer (and the guy holding it) and hits the bell, while Popeye slams it with his fist and the puck shoots past the bell and all the way up to the sun (giving it a black eye).
  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, "Foul Play in Funland": Scooby and Shaggy compete to see who is stronger on one of these. Scooby is the winner, until the Monster of the Week comes along and hits it so hard he breaks it.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Know Your Fusion" Sardonyx sets up a variety of carnival-esque challenges for Smoky Quartz to attempt, including a high-striker.
  • In Storm Hawks, when Arygyn is training the Storm Hawks with carnival games, Piper gets the test-your-strength game.
  • In the Transformers: Rescue Bots episode Cody's 11, Heatwave goes to a carnival and keeps ringing the bell with one finger, earning lots of stuffed toys for all the happy kids of Griffin Rock - and an exasperated look from the carnival worker.
  • Wander and Lord Hater compete in one in Wander over Yonder. Wander hits it hard enough to ring the bell and it hardly moves at all for Hater.
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