These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.
There's nothing quite as soothing as soaring steadily through a three-dimensional crystal maze, lazily lobbing metallic balls at geometric power-ups. And then BAM! A swinging glass block hits you squarely in the face, causing you to see red as ten of your carefully collected marbles go flying in every direction.
Welcome to Smash Hit, a futuristic endless runner developed by Mediocre, the same studio that brought us quirky hits like Granny Smith and Sprinkle. Smash Hit's concept is ridiculously simple, making the game easy to pick up and play right away, However, it's difficult to master.
You fly through an all-glass, geometric world at top speed, and obstacles are popping up left and right. To avoid getting hit, you'll have to smash your way through the obstacles with metal balls that you launch with a finger tap. Along the way, you'll see crystal power-ups--pyramids and octahedrons--which you can hit to collect more balls. Hitting an obstacle means losing ten balls, and running out of balls means game over.
The premise makes it interesting, but three gameplay elements will make you want to keep coming back for more:
A blend of physics and running: Endless runners (think Temple Run) are wildly popular, and it's not difficult to see why: There's a certain mindless appeal about a game that forces you to constantly move forward. But Smash Hit isn't your average endless runner. It's also a physics game, which means timing, precision, and attention to game mechanics matter. Smash Hit offers an extra layer of complexity for endless runner buffs who need a little more challenge, because you can't just toss your balls any which way.
Immersive mobile gaming at its best: It's hard to draw a casual gamer into a mobile game environment, but Smash Hit does an excellent job. Not only is the surreal, crystal environment enthralling, there's just something about the far-off glass horizon and the serene-yet-effective soundtrack that lets you get lost in this futuristic world. Unlike other endless runners, Smash Hit has you soaring, swooping, and whooshing through its environment--not simply running and jumping. In a way, it reminds me of those old-school screen-savers I used to watch as a kid, the ones in which you zip through star fields.
Not an easy win: Smash Hit is a cinch to pick up. Anyone can knock through the first checkpoint after a couple of tries. But after the second...and third...and fourth (there are five total, but Mediocre promises more to come), it starts to get more and more difficult. You move faster. Obstacles fall from the sky and are held up by glass tethers. Lasers shoot from every angle. You start spinning. Smash Hit isn't the type of game you'll speed through in an hour, or two, or even several weeks. And every new level is different enough that you'll want to keep coming back to see what new world lies just beyond that next checkpoint.
If you're looking for a slightly different take on the endless runner genre, Smash Hit is...well, a hit. It's both soothing and cathartic to soar through this beautifully designed world and smash the crap out of things.