Platform: iOS, Android
Developer: Mediocre AB
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the best games to grace Apple products are the simplest, and Smash Hit is no exception. With its crisp graphics, sharp sound effects, and uncomplicated gameplay, it screams addiction. The premise of the game sees you travelling through a series of glass obstacles in first person which you must destroy with a limited number of metal balls (that you can win back by destroying crystals). It is a concept that through their sheer simplicity breeds a brilliantly attractive and effortlessly engaging past-time with no waiting time, and no ads.
The basic foundations of the gameplay have allowed for the developers to easily create new challenges, keeping the game fresh with a wide variety of tasks presenting themselves as you move up levels. These obstacles may warrant a few attempts before being beaten, but most of them rely on quick thinking, timing, and aim.
The premium version is required for picking up from where you left off last time, however this isn’t so much of a downer as it first seems. Though the higher levels are more difficult and often pose a real challenge, the therapeutic simplicity of the opening stages and the game’s compelling nature makes it a pleasure to retread your steps. This is improved by the changing dynamics of gameplay in the form of certain power-ups. Hit ten consecutive crystals in a row and shoot multiple balls at your targets, allowing a greater impact and wider target range, with the number of balls awarded correlating to the number of crystals you have hit. This ensures that no two plays are the same, greatly increasing replayability.
The game is consistently enjoyable due to its ability to challenge the player with new levels and threats while maintaining the entertainment required to play the game enough to learn how to proceed. Even then, it only takes a few tries to break through tricky levels which are just as favourable as the first ones and easily defeated with practice. While there are ample opportunities to boost the number of balls at your disposal (hit an obstacle and lose 10 in a heart-stopping moment of red screen terror), it only takes a few mistakes to seriously set you back from even the most promising of situations.
The impressive physics establish realistic reactions and forces, however it is not 100% consistent as there are some instances when the player is able to travel through a sheet of glass despite the fact that the area smashed area was nowhere near where it needed to be. This happens rarely however, and is quite frankly a relief in times of frantic ball-flinging.
The sound reflects the crisp graphics, with coolly calming music accompanying the satisfyingly sharp shattering of the glass. Hearing the impact of the initial hit and the echo of the crashing obstacles makes for incredibly gratifying gameplay.
Overall, Smash Hit is an intensely addictive game with a beautifully simple design and infinite replayability. Managing to maintain an enjoyable balance between entertainment and challenge, all aspects of the game collaborate to create a thrillingly original experience… which is probably why it is currently featured on App Store Best of 2014.