Saturday, October 11, 2014

Smash Hit Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/smash-hit-review-6cce38c5e12e#.xleorlwhs

Smash Hit is an arcade game that tasks you with traveling as far as you can down a path riddled with glass obstacles. In order to get past these obstacles you have to throw metal balls at them to (you guessed it) hit and smash them. You have a finite number of balls, and the game ends when you run out. If you fail to smash an obstacle before running into it, you lose ten balls. To replenish balls you must smash crystals as you pass them.

The game adds complexity through different types of obstacles. Each stage of the game has a theme, with similar obstacles showing up together. The stages also serve as checkpoints: once you have completed a stage, the number of balls you have is saved. From the main menu you can start any stage that you have reached previously. There are eleven stages, and once you have completed them all you gain access to endless mode.

Power ups also add a layer to the game. Each power up is suitable to a different situation. Some slow down time, some allow you to throw a rapid fire stream of balls, and some make your balls explode on impact. Figuring out when to use each is not difficult, but it is important.
They have added several difficulty levels, each of which has separate progression (but only Classic and Mayhem have leaderboards). This gives the game replayability through added challenge. There is also an extensive collection of achievements to strive for.

I have become quite enamored with arcade games on mobile. The genre fits well for three reasons: they tend to be easy to learn but difficult to master, they can be played in quick sessions, and comparing high scores with friends is much more reasonable than real-time multiplayer. Smash Hit hits most of those categories on the nose. The only exception would be quick sessions; checkpoints are several minutes apart, meaning that I only start up this game if I know I have some time to spare.
The free version of the game only includes Classic difficulty and does not include checkpoints, essentially making it a demo version of the game. So don't take my word for it, go check it out on Android or iOS. The premium version is well worth the $2 they ask for.