Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult
Devices Used: Samsung Galaxy On5
Platforms Available: Apple, Android
The goal of Smash Hit, one of the most popular apps in the game store, is to get as far as you can while the screen continually moves forward. You start with 25 metal balls which you can throw by tapping the screen; if you hit a crystal, you get three additional balls, but if you crash (into glass, a door, metal, or another object) you lose ten balls. The game is over when you run out of balls, and your points are generated based on the distance you traveled. The app is free to download and play, but the free version only includes basic elements of the game, such as starting from the beginning and recording your farthest distance. For the price of $1.99, you are able to restart from checkpoints, save your progress to a cloud, use alternative game modes, view gameplay statistics, and also participate in multiplayer modes.
There are several factors that make this simple yet challenging game extremely enjoyable. For one, the 3-D graphics are phenomenal, bringing the player into a type of space-age world. For example, when a ball strikes an object, the object is affected specifically in the way it was struck. Second, the sound effects of metal crashing glass are surprisingly satisfying, and the futuristic, robotic music adds to the other-worldly aura already created by the graphics. Third, each new level adds something exciting and challenging that wasn’t there before--new objects, new movements, and occasionally even new speeds or a rotating screen. Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, or that it’s becoming boring, the game changes enough to recapture your attention and continue to challenge you. The biggest downside is how limited the free version is; it is just enough to get you hooked but not enough to truly satisfy. On the other hand, $1.99 seems a small price to pay to unlock all of its many features and be entertained for hours on end. Lastly, be aware that the game is highly addicting and parents may need to help children limit their time with it.
*In-App purchases are available.