Smash Hit REVIEW

The most satisfying glass-breaker/ destruction-maker I’ve played this year. Or any year, actually. 

You open your eyes to find yourself being whisked or ferried or taxied through a hall of natural stone and clean lines. 

You’re at Warp Speed, or thereabout, and have but one task: Think FAST

Or, like…

Don’t Let the Glass Hit You on the Way Out. 


Coz that’s what this game is all about. 

That beautiful aforementioned hall is broken into either eight or infinite levels, depending on how you calculate it. 

Each room or sub-level has a different theme, aka distraction factor, and an assembly of obstacles.

But the obstacles are (usually) moving. 

So are (some of) the targets.

Oh, I almost forgot all about the targets! A few of them are obvious power-ups, such as more time or extra “bullets” or the explosion factor, but a majority are of the sort that makes this game so beastly/challenging/ADDICTIVE. 

While you CAN advance in the game without hitting any or all of the ethereal, electric-blue CRYSTALS, the only way to avoid those moving obstacles – which are usually sliding/rotating glass panels or metallic blocks on elastic bungees – is through avoidance, or by striking them with a sphere of chrome. 

You start with the bank of 25 spheres, and if an obstacle hits you (or vice versa), your bank diminishes by 10. 

Hitting a triangular Crystal (which is the most-common of the lot) gets you three more spheres; diamond crystals net five spheres, and a few shapes get you ten. 
One of the most frustrating points of the game is the one where your single sphere levels up to a double, triple all the way up to five; just in case you were having a nap, get on up and try to imagine the destructive power of five spheres (aka bullets) as opposed to the single one. 

“But why on earth is that frustrating, Sally?”


Because the only way to level up your bullets (I’m just going to call it bullets from now on, since AutoCorrect is experiencing an Epic Struggle with the manner in which I pronounce “spheres,” and I really don’t feel like putting on a different persona just to dictate this, since, like, I need to get back to “field-testing” this beautiful game, Muahaha.). 

Where was I? Oh yeah. 

The ONLY way to level up your bullets is to AVOID breaking your crystal-smashing-streak. 

If you can make it to 10 crystals, you get upgraded to double bullets. 10 more, and you get to triple, and so on. 

And again, if you miss one measly Crystal, you have to start over (aka create another unbroken streak of crystal-breaking). 

Am I criticizing this mechanism, or complaining, though? 

Not by a longshot.

A game without challenge is no game at all; to my mind, anyway. 

That said, the game does have a well-mapped difficulty curve, and, to my utter delight, it also introduces unpredictable elements of, like, unpredictability. 

As in, stuff you can’t account for; kind of like playing golf in a hurricane. 
What kind of stuff am I talking about?

Well… In a few sub levels, there’s an underwater-kinda feeling, and in a few of those, it would appear that some bubble-like thingies are floating around in a similar manner to actual bubbles in water. BUT… Sometimes they appear to be blowing in the wind, rather than floating to the surface, so it’s really anybody’s guess. 

Although, technically, this isn’t the real world, it’s a work of art created by a developer or team – whom I love and adore and would love to shower with Cadillacs and Porsches, though I can’t, since I am broke part-time teacher and full-time mad scientist, so whatever. 

(And anyway, it’s the thought that counts, right? Although, I would much rather have baskets of luxury cars than a wimpy old sentiment, but that’s just one person’s opinion.)

And sometimes if you play a particular level… oh, say, 38 times in a row or something… you may notice a slight (or not-at-all-slight) variation between the taxiing speed in each go-round. 

I find the this game’s treatment of movement and speed to be among the most thrilling I have ever experienced, and in fact, I do believe that it’s this very element that causes me in particular, to be SO-thoroughly-obsessed with Smash Hit; allow me to elaborate on this for a few small seconds, if you would. 

See, I’m clumsy. Really, REALLY clumsy. (Actually, I’m not a bit clumsy at ALL, but I may as well be, coz I’m a Bob Vila wannabe who lives in a cabin filled with such disrepair that I can’t imagine how there is a millimeter of space left over for me, my roommates, my junk, and their junk. (AND my Secret Lab.)

And I’ve busted my knee more times than I can count, from wrestling with an upright piano, to single-handedly mixing and pouring 450 ft.² of metallic epoxy flooring, to building a set of the most not-steep stairlettes in the galaxy (and so many other projects that I could fill a book–or three–with). 

So I don’t get to jog as much as I wish I could. (Aka moving is a PAIN when you’re, like, in pain all the time.) Once this house is finished, however, I’m going to build an agility course, just for me. Muahaha. 

But UNTIL that blessed day, I have SMASH HIT! 

Seriously, if you play this game whilst very close to the screen, i.e. two or 3 inches – so you can’t see the edges of the iPad, anyway – it really feels as though you’re sprinting through the galaxy. 

If you can’t imagine what I’m talking about, and you aren’t able to download the game at this very moment, then try to picture this, instead: assuming that you’ve been to an airport with one of those flat escalator things–People-Mover, I think it’s called – picture yourself stepping onto the alleged people-mover-thing, then rapidly gaining speed as you FORCEFULLY stride forward with as much BRISKNESS as you can manage (before airport security give you threatening glances), or as your failed leg joints will allow you.  

In the same direction as that people-moving thing. 

Assuming that the people-mover isn’t, like, an unsatisfying 300 feet or something, you should feel as though you’re actually flying, practically. 

And that’s what it feels like to play the gorgeous and beloved game that is TRULY a Smash Hit. (To me, anyway.) 

Although I cannot, in good conscience, call it a game, because games are supposed to be FUN and stress-relieving, while this GAME makes me want to throw the iPad of Doom…

CLEAR across the room

(Where it shall crash and go BOOM! And make your chamber a TOOMB. Oh, er… Heh heh heh. *sputter*)

Oh, games aren’t “supposed” to be anything? You’re right, you’re right. My new book is about that very topic, come to think of it. But whatever. 

Speaking of whatever, that’s exactly what I’m going to be talking about next time, aka “The Philosophical Gold Mine That Is SMASH HIT.”

For now, however, I’ll address my less-than-favourite things:

Music: I could be wrong, but it would appear that every level and, indeed, some sub levels, even, all have their own distinct songs or instrumental tracks. Most of them are ethereal, many of them are great, but some of them contain a dissonance of great Moogness (not to be confused with Moogleness, kupo) that always makes my skin crawl for some strange reason. Let it be known that most people probably will never ever ever in their lives feel that exact way with these exact musical tracks, but it had to be said. So there. 

Zen Mode: in the premium version, which was, I believe, either 199 or 399, there is a boss mode which is called Mayham mode, there’s a beginner mode and a local Multiplayer (co-op and not) mode, and Zen mode. I was hoping that Zen mode would be the sort that Fruit Ninja has, aka the exact same game (in appearance and in scoring and in everything), BUT with unlimited whatever. The Zen mode of this game, however, was more stressful for me than anything else; true, you did have unlimited spheres, but that took away the challenge. Which would’ve been fine if the Zen mode used the same path or rooms or hall or whatever that one had acquainted oneself with while playing the non-Zen mode. Alas, the Zen the hall was completely unfamiliar, with different game mechanics, even, if you could call it that. So, without the challenge of having to get crystals or beat the clock or whatever, traversing a whole new world Felt more daunting and work-like than Zen- like. 

End-Game: some of you know that I am an old-school RPG game or from way back; from Dragon warrior to Final Fantasy 12, i’ve enjoyed the endless variations of plot, game mechanics, inventories, materia, and, of course, questing. But, like the Zen mode fiasco above, this aspect of the game falls a bit flat for me. Why? Well, because The game isn’t a game (to moi) if there’s no resolution, aka, if I haven’t beaten the game. And even though the technical end- game of this game is that you get to go into eternity mode — which is almost exactly what the Bible says will happen to persistent and determined followers of the AWESOME Lord of the Universe when we leave this world (and clock) and enter into Eternity with JC, Who ROCKS–it doesn’t really feel as though I have beaten the game. Rather, it’s as though I join a club. Which is fine, in the grand scheme of things.

(I am grateful enough to have been born in an age when apps exist–and that I was able to con (jesting) a former employer into gifting me with an iPad in the first place when I didn’t even have a job or an income or a single pouch of ramen for the following week, even. Thanks be to God, Whose unfailing kindness ROCKS! He also rocked when my stomach was roaring for food that next week, and when I went into the hospital and almost died from some dolty mosquito bites that made me sick for almost a year. 7 cases in the entire US that year, y’all. But blessed be The NAME of The LORD–regardless of the insanity in this totally- insane,  loveless, FALLEN world!)

BUT (back to the end-game fiasco), for me, there is a marked and supremely-unfulfilling lack of closure. I know, I know–I can’t think of any “good” way to end it, either. But anyway. 

Awards? Since the game is somehow tied to that Google games function that always crashes my cell phone, I thought there would be more awards or achievements or milestones or trophies, but as far as I can tell, there’s only one, for best distance. Obviously, I anyway I’m not playing the game in order to rack up intangible awards and or honors, but the future direction might be in game bonuses or just trophies, even, for hitting every Crystal or every obstacle or not missing any whatevers. 

Obviously, this is not a huge deal, and, as always, I’m simply making a suggestion just in case the developers feel like going in that direction; that’s what this is all about, right? Brainstorming about games and what makes them great and trying to make them better – which does not always or ever mean “more achievement-based,” btw. 

Because –despite the past paragraph or seven–I still believe that this game is so awesome that I don’t even have the words to describe its awesomeness. Or, at least, how much I love and adore it. OH, I know:

Smash Hit, you had me at YO. 

(NO, Sally! Resist the urge to rhyme and or say lines of such unmitigated CORN that all the people in the WORLD will start to chant things like, “bring on the butter!” (Uh oh, this is bad. And I’m not talking about the line itself, even though it was. Argh.)

In SUM (well, today’s summary, anyway, for my next installment shall, most-likely, fill a tome about this engrossing, health-endangering, and OUTSTANDING game!), I shall say that: 

The game is Smash Hit IS a smash hit, because, even though I hit Restart every five seconds, I frequently drop five HOURS into this game without realizing it. 

(And, five seconds from now, methinks I’m going to do just that.)