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iPad  header logo

Smash Bandits

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Not smashing

Product: Smash Bandits | Developer: Hutch Games | Publisher: Hutch Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Smash Bandits iPad, thumbnail 1
Smash Bandits doesn't feel as fresh as its predecessor Smash Cops.

Where the original was a new take on some old mechanics, this game feels more like a little tweak. It shifts pieces of the puzzle around, but they don't fit together in a satisfying way.

The carnage of the first game is intact, as well as the single-finger controls, but Smash Bandits ends up feeling repetitive rather than exciting, and a system that throttles your playing time compounds the frustration.

Crash for cash

The big twist here is that you're not playing as the bad guys. You're the star of a reality TV program that pays big bucks for thrilling police chases. So the more you smash, and the further you get, the more you earn.

IAPs explained
There are two currencies in Smash Bandits: cash and chips. You can spend cash on upgrades and new cars, while you can spend chips on getting out of jail, among other things.

They both come in a variety of packages. The cheapest is £1.49 / $1.99 and gets you either 15,000 bucks or five chips. The most expensive cash bundle is £69.99 / $99.99 and gets you 950,000.

The most expensive chip bundle nets you 350 for £27.99 / $39.99. There are timed deals that let you get cash and chips for cheaper, too.

You're unlikely to be enjoying the game enough to want to fork out, though.
You control your car by sliding a finger around an arc behind it. Once your finger touches the screen the car starts moving, and you need to guide it through an open world, smashing things with blue icons above them.

There's no right way to go, and no signposting to suggest a preferred route. You just drive. Sometimes you're darting through the tight corners of a town, while at other times you're power sliding around sweeping cliffside curves.

There's even a section where you drive into a boat house and continue the chase on the water, jumping over other boats and ploughing through rickety jetties as you try and keep ahead of your determined pursuers.

Crash in?

The problem is, all of the clanging property destruction and law-ignoring chicanery loses its sparkle after a while, and the game doesn't have anything else to keep you excited. Sure, you can upgrade your car and smash bigger things, but it's the same mechanics and the same frustration.

Cops are too eager to ram you off the road from the get-go, meaning some runs fail before they even have a chance, and an annoying system means you only get five runs before you have to use some of the premium currency to bribe your way out of jail and start your criminal career afresh.

It all makes for a game that feels unbalanced, and often unfair. The thrill of destruction still lingers, but it wears too thin too quickly to really recommend Smash Bandits.
Smash Bandits
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 27 August 2013
While it has occasional bright moments, Smash Bandits just isn't interesting enough to hold your attention for long
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