Smash Hit is a game about balls. You have balls, you throw balls, you get more balls, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll lose a lot of balls.
For all intents and purposes, Smash Hit could be summed up as feeling like a cross between an on-rails shooter and an endless runner. You move forward constantly, and your goal is to shatter numerous glass objects and obstacles which litter the course with your limited supply of balls, thrown by touching a spot on the screen. Certain cone or spike-shaped glass objects will replenish your supply by three, though as you move along, hitting them becomes more and more difficult, making it a matter of choosing whether to potentially risk more balls than you’ll receive in return.
You’ll also encounter some different power-ups along the way. Shattering ten of the aforementioned cones in a row will grant you a double-ball shot, which allows you to fire off two at once (at no extra cost to your stock), making it easier to hit various objects for a limited time. An item pick-up will also grant you unlimited balls for a short period, allowing you to basically hold your finger to the touchscreen and fire off a constant barrage of balls.
However, your balls act as your lifeline as well. Run out, and it’s game over. To that end, you’ll want to make sure you open any doors which come up by hitting their sensor and destroying any glass obstacles threatening to get in the way of your constant forward movement, or else you’ll lose a whopping ten balls at a time. Again, there’s a certain risk-reward factor going into this, as you can play it safe by trying to destroy everything but using more of your supply, figure out which obstacles are not going to actually hit you, or wait until the last minute to break apart only the most immediate threats. The choice is yours, and each strategy has its benefits and detriments.
Smooth as Glass
Despite the somewhat-violent act of throwing balls around to shatter glass, Smash Hit is a rather smooth, relaxing, and engaging title to take part in. The environments are simplistic, yet at the same time sort of complex, almost futuristic, artistic, or both. The glass itself shatters in a variety of ways, never seeming to break in quite the same way twice, and the physics of– while not necessarily realistic– are fascinating just the same.
Accompanying all of this is the music, which is somewhat alien yet calming in nature. It changes as you progress through the game’s 50 rooms, with the obstacles moving in tune with the music.
The “endless runner” part mentioned before comes in the game’s free-to-play nature. Put simply, you’re allowed to progress for as long as you can keep a hold of your balls, and you’ll even be notified of when you’re passing a point you’ve previously reached. However, failure will send you right back to the beginning…
…unless, that is, you’re willing to shell out money for the “premium” version, which adds cloud saving, statistics, and most importantly, the ability to restart from checkpoints when you’ve run out of balls.
Raise a Glass
Smash Hit is a simple premise with an effective presentation, and is overall rather addictive. There seems to be a slightly growing trend of games being produced with a more serene nature in mind as you make your way through various levels with unique styles and a lack of enemies to speak of (NightSky being a good example of this). Smash Hit feels like the latest game to be made in such a style, and is definitely worth checking out.