Monday, March 31, 2014

IOS Spotlight #52: Smash Hit

Title: Smash Hit
Developer: Mediocre
Platforms: IOS Universal, Android
Price: Free ($1.99 for premium version)
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Perhaps what makes Smash Hit so fun and appealing is its simplicity. The core mechanic is tapping the screen to fling balls at glass structures. Mechanically, it's even simpler than Angry Birds. But simplicity isn't negative here, quite the opposite. Mediocre takes this straightforward gameplay and designs an stylish and surprisingly satisfying experience.
Smash Hit is most easily compared to a runner: you move forward automatically, dealing with obstacles in your path. You start with a limited number of balls and acquire more by smashing certain objects along the path; chaining hits reward you with multi-balls, allowing you to fire up to five balls at once. Rather than avoiding hazards, here you're tasked with destroying them and it's this aspect that make Smash Hit shine. One would think that such a simple task would get boring or repetitive, but Mediocre continually changes up the formula with different obstacles. Mindless firing is an easy way to fail;. The amount of balls you have doubles as your health and hitting an obstacles results in a loss of ten, so precision and timing is a must. It helps that shattering obstacles is so satisfying. Personally, the physics, sound effects, visuals, and how it's always linked to a successful hit meant the gameplay never got old for me across the game's nine levels and endless mode.
Any impressions of Smash Hit would be remiss without mentioning the visuals. While the shattering effects are great on their own, the environments are just impressive, abstract areas reminiscent of the brutalist architecture seen in NaissanceE. Smash Hit is free to download here; a $1.99 IAP unlocks stats and the ability to continue from checkpoints (rather than starting from the beginning when you fail.)

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