Smash Hit -- Game Review

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After all the Flappy Bird knock-offs and the 8 bit graphic games and the "match three" games flooding the App Store recently, Smash Hit is a real breath of fresh air.  When I first started playing this game I was a little less than impressed, but as I kept playing it grew on me more and more.  Now, it's ranking as one of my all time favorite games.

The What

The game play for Smash Hit is really pretty basic.  You're traveling though a corridor with glass obstacles in your way and you have to throw marbles at the obstacles to break them.  But you can't just chuck marbles out willy nilly, once you run out of marbles the game is over.  You can obtain more marbles by hitting special pyramids that give you marbles each time you break them.  And that's all there really is to it.  Oh, if you run into something you loose ten marbles (which is quite a big loss, so try to avoid that)  

There are some other power ups you can use like continuos ball shooter and time slower and explosion balls to help you through your journey.  There are also multi ball power ups you get for hitting 10 marble pyramids in a row.  These stack up so eventually you can end up through five marbles at a time while only depleting one from your inventory (if that makes sense)

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The Good

Basically everything about this game is good, but the thing I think really stood out to me were the graphics.  A lot of games lately have adopted retro 8-bit graphics, which do give games a certain flavor, but I was kinda growing tired of it.  The graphics in Smash Hit are insanely good.  Well maybe not like "holy crap it's like there's not even a screen here and I'm just looking through my iPhone into another dimension" good, but for an iOS game with a simplistic gameplay the graphics are very, very good.  The way the obstacles shatter when struck with marbles gives the game an incredibly realistic look and feel.  In stead of talking more about it just check out these screen grabs from some of my actual game play.

The gameplay is another thing that made this game enjoyable. The simplicity of tapping to throw the marbles make the game easy to pick up, but theres a bit of strategy and some skill development that make the game relatively challenging.  You have to get used to the timing of throwing marbles so you don't end up wasting all of them.  Getting your aim just right so you can hit every marble crystal to get the ultimate five ball multi ball is another skill you'll have to hone over time.

One last thing that I feel like we can't gloss over is the physics engine behind all of the exciting gameplay and smooth-as-glass graphics.  Simply, the physics engine in this game is pretty freaking awesome, and it's probable one of the main reasons the game plays as well as it does.  If the marbles didn't bounce off of obstacles in the right way, or if the obstacles didn't shatter in just the right way, the game wouldn't have the clean, quick, exciting gameplay that makes it so enjoyable.

The Bad

I didn't really find a lot of bad in this game, although there were a couple of things I think could use some improvements.  The first is that it can be a little difficult to tell when you are, and when you aren't, going to run into an obstacle.  Sometimes it will appear that you've made a large enough hole in an obstacle for you to get through but then you run into the left edge and lose ten of your marbles.

I'm not a huge fan of the way the leveling is set up.  In a sense, it's kind of an endless runner game where you have to start over from the very beginning once you run out of marbles.  This can be quite trying when you realize that the average gameplay is about five minutes.  However, if you pay the $1.99 you can pick up from your last check point, making it easier to get to the end of the levels.  I'm not mad about having to pay the $1.99.  There are no ads in the free version and it seems like a very fair price to pay for the game.  I do think it would be better, though, if it was done as a game with levels, as apposed to an endless runner with check points. That's all

The Rate :: 9/10

Overall, I'd probably give this game a solid 9/10.  The gameplay was fun and the graphics were a breath of fresh air.  The game is free to download with no ads.  If you end up wanting to give the hard working developers a little bit of compensation you can get the premium version for $1.99.  This will basically let you start at the last check point you got to, letting you avoid going through the entire first couple of levels every time you die.

The intricate physics engine behind the game make it fun and give you a challenge.  This game has turned out to be one of my favorites and will probably end up with a place on my game's front page on my iPhone.  I would highly recommend you go and get this game.