Toy Story: Smash It! Review

A Light Buzz


Buzz Lightyear stands on a rickety wooden scaffolding, pondering his immediate future as a demolitions expert. Palming a large yellow balloon in his right hand, he takes aim at a weak link – a small space just below a platform holding two aliens and an explosive birthday present. With a heave, the balloon drifts away and toward the enclosure. In three, two, one… Buzz triggers the self-inflation device and the balloon expands to nearly triple its original size! But alas, he tossed it too far… As the balloon floats-away into the clouds, Buzz mutters under his breath “Rats! If only these balloons came with laser-targeting satellite up-links…” If only.

One Day All Seven Will Fall

“Toy Story: Smash It!” Is a brand-new release from the folks at Disney Pixar and features a familiar cast. You play the role of Buzz Lightyear – cocky man-toy extraordinaire – in an endless quest of unseating alien toys seated high upon their stacked-block thrones (think Angry Birds). Armed with simple rubber balls, helicopter drill-drones, remotely-inflatable balloons, and TNT-like birthday presents, you will puzzle your way through Domino-style levels trying to knock-down all the aliens in as few throws as possible. Sound simple? It is.

Unless you’re a stickler for perfection, this game is a cakewalk. The first “episode” is easily completed with minimal effort as most key-targets are highlighted by bull’s-eyes. But, things really get complicated when you actually have to move from side-to-side *gasp*. Not really.

Solo Dodge-Ball

Smash It! slowly feeds you new “weapons” as you progress through the levels – each of which taking maybe 2min at the most – and coaches you on how to use each one. The basic rubber-ball will knock pieces of wood around and shatter glass. The helicopter drone will hover up in the air until you press a button, whereupon it will drill-through everything in its way. The balloon will inflate on command, shoving nearby blocks out of the way and displacing any aliens sitting on-top. Any presents you find (or throw) will explode shortly after contact with another block, creating a fun chain reaction.

Each stage has a number of aliens seated atop blocks – which are made of various types of materials. Wood and glass are the most fragile and easily impacted, whereas stone and iron are nearly immovable. By taking a minute or so of planning before your first shot, you can easily surmise where the weak-point is that will collapse most of the structures. The fewer shots you use, the more points you get (translated to stars), and the latter-episodes require you to meet a certain star-threshold to continue further. If you manage to complete a stage efficiently (with balls left-over), you’ll net three stars. It’s fairly easy to net a two-star rating from most missions with minimal effort, so don’t stress yourself out. However, you’ll quickly find yourself at a point where you’re re-visiting missions simply to find that “one move” that will net you the final third-star. This game gets repetitive and the levels aren’t nearly long enough to be engaging.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

In order to get to the third episode (15 stages each, 4 episodes total), you’ll need to earn 75 stars. In just under an hour, I plowed-through the first two episodes with two stars on each stage. Once you hit this barrier-to-entry, you’ll find yourself restarting missions several times before finding that “perfect technique” to get the third star… on a stage you’ve already played. Do this enough times and you’ll be able to move-on.

There honestly isn’t a whole lot more to this game aside from knocking aliens off of their perches with different types of balls, although some levels do sport moving objects that you need to time your shots around. Rough. The stages themselves are old-West themed with cute little props, but they all tend to run together (bland). Even after you’ve progressed through ¾ of the game – a whopping 1.5hrs of effort – things still end up looking the same. However, it should be said that the game runs smoothly, the graphics are sharp, and the soundtrack is swanky. And thank God it runs smooth, because you’ll spend plenty of time reloading stages to max-out your stars.

Less Than Minimum-Wage

This game will run you 99c in the Play store – which is ninety-nine cents more than a whole lot of other more complex and engaging games out there on the Android platform. While Smash It! might be a fun time for kids who haven’t quite advanced to a game like Angry Birds, the one-dollar price tag really isn’t worth two hours of your time. Perhaps this game is simply a reflection on Mr. Lightyear’s intelligence quotient… he never was much for conversation.

3.0 / 5


Toy Story: Smash It! is a simplistic Angry Birds clone from Disney Pixar featuring yourself as Buzz Lightyear. Throw balls and balloons at blocks to topple the aliens and make your way through over 60 old-West themed levels. tweet

Jason Stengren · Mar 1, 2013

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