Title: Toy Story: Smash It! (link)
Publisher: Walt Disney
Released: February 27, 2013
Platforms: Apple iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), Android Soon
Pros: Familiar intellectual property, addictive play, well executed spin on popular mobile game franchise
Cons: Restart button isn’t immediate
Review: Toy Story: Smash It!, a new title from Disney Mobile and Disney Mobile Studio Prague, is a physics oriented game that’s sure to make any player anything but angry.
Admittedly this review is a bit early since I’ve only spent about 45 minutes with the game, but that’s about 40 more minutes than I needed to tell you that this is easily one of Disney Mobile’s defining games. It won’t take long to see that the game’s play is modeled upon a very popular mobile franchise (and similar physics-based games), but the obvious similarity of destroying structures with projectiles is pretty much where that ends.
The game takes place inside Andy’s room where the toys are armed and ready for what’s sure to be the space battle of the millennium. Starting off as Buzz Lightyear, the player is armed with several of the iconic Pixar balls which are thrown at building-block structures that are topped by Little Green Men, the objective of which is to knock them down. The fewer balls the player needs and the amount of damage done with the ones that are used contribute to the overall score which then determines the number of stars awarded for the levels. After enough stars are earned, a new level pack is unlocked (there are four at launch with more promised). In addition, other building block materials such as metal and glass are introduced, affecting gameplay, as are obstacles.
By now, this should all seem pretty familiar to even the most casual of gamers. But here is where there is a twist: Toy Story: Smash It! uses a 3D graphics engine so the shooter can actually move around the room (to a limited extent) to find the best places to attack the structures.
Ultimately what makes the game shine, however, is the execution of play. Everything from the music, to the sound effects, to the physics to the actual game play (which manages to remain true to the characters) is absolutely spot-on perfect. Few pleasures in life can compete with hearing Little Green Men taunt you by saying ‘victory is ours,’ only to immediately concede with ‘victory is yours.’
All that said, there is one slight nuisance that I hope Disney will address in future updates and that is the restart button. There is absolutely nothing wrong with its functionality and placement (they thankfully place it right on screen during play), but restarting a level means you have to see the level’s introduction over each time which can be annoying when you’re looking for that first perfect shot. This really comes into play when there is ‘dialogue’ to scroll through or the level introduces some new element to the game. Other than that, this game is an absolute masterpiece and should be a welcome addition to anyone’s mobile device.
At this time, only the iOS version is available, but an alternate version of the trailer is promoting an Android version which should be available on Google Play here when it’s available (link provided by trailer).