kaSmash — Review

kaSmash. It’s a great name for a video game, that’s for certain. It sums up the whole thing in one nice little word that’s a little bit too fun to say: kaSmash! The main question is if that’s all the game has to offer or is there a little bit more to it than that?

Short answer; no.

The game is somewhere between a puzzle game and a test of your reaction time. Visually it looks like a Match Three Objects style puzzle game in that most of the screen is taken up by a large group of similar shields, flags, knights helmets and the like. The game shows you a picture of one of the objects and it’s your job to smash everything similar to this in the play area as quick as you can. This is done by tapping the object in question, or kaSmashing it if you will. After you clear all of one set then you move on to the next symbol then the next until the whole screen is cleared. It’s against the clock so the quicker you finish the higher you score.

That is it in a nutshell. You sit there stabbing at your iPad screen like an idiot trying to smash all of the yellow shields with a red cross swearing because you hit one of the yellow shields with a red T shape for the third time in a row. Every time you hit the wrong object a chunk of your time is taken away so it’s about finding that knife edge between quickly finding the objects you want and randomly hitting everything on the screen.

The game looks pretty good on the iPad with nicely detailed graphics. The medieval theme of the game is certainly an acquired taste and doesn’t leave much room for any different looks in future updates. This type of game doesn’t need to blow your socks off with flashy effects, all it needs go do is show the objects as clearly as possible which it does.

kaSmash is compulsive but it gets repetitive quite quickly. All the game can do is to throw more complex shapes at you as you get further into it. The way the game plays doesn’t change, so all you are doing after a while is competing against your previous high scores. The game is helped in this respect by having a decent amount of online options; there are online leaderboards and you can also post your score onto Facebook and OpenFeint.

What really would have helped is a bit of local multiplayer. It would be great if there was a mode where two of you were trying to clear your side of the iPad screen before the other. Something like that would give the game an extra dimension that at the moment it’s lacking.

The game ends up not being not complex enough to be a satisfying puzzle game and not quite fun enough to hold your attention. It’s still a great name but there isn’t anything really there beyond that which is a bit of a shame.

Two stars out of five
Reviewed on iPad
Originally published 24th November 2010