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Smash the Office

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Casual violence

Product: Smash the Office | Developer: Tuokio | Publisher: Tuokio | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade, Casual | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Smash the Office iPad, thumbnail 1
Last week Apple had to endure some very uncomfortable headlines following its decision to remove Littleloud's Sweatshop HD from the App Store on the grounds that it deals with a subject matter that isn't suitable for games. In other words, a serious subject matter.

If you were unhappy about losing the opportunity to play a game featuring a severely dismayed employee then this is your lucky day, because that's exactly what Smash the Office is about.

You play as a nameless bespectacled white collar employee of a company called Slavetech. It's never made clear exactly what business Slavetech is engaged in, but that hardly matters, because Smash the Office is solely about smashing its premises to pieces.

The vaguely sinister pretext - illustrated by a genuinely discomfiting animated portrait of a mental breakdown in the title screen - is that you've had enough and basically gone bananas. Armed with a golf club, you have to destroy as much company property as you can within a minute.

Postal strike

You move with a big virtual stick on the left and smash things with a button on the right. During your rampages you occasionally become a whirling tornado with amplified destructive capability, but for the rest of the time you're confined to going from room to room breaking down fragile objects - desk, monitors - quickly and more robust items - filing cabinets, data banks - through attrition or by hitting nearby exploding fire extinguishers.

IAPs explained
There are two ways to spend money in Smash the Office. You can either buy packs of coins for between £1.49 (2,000) and £20.99 (50,000), or you can buy a Coin Doubler for £1.49.

The perks that you can buy with these coins start at 240 and go up to 999. This means that for £20.99 you can buy the LCK+ perk 50 times. Few consumers would call this value for money, but the game doesn't goad you into paying.
There are combos to aim for and power-ups dotted here and there which allow you to pause time briefly and double your points, but your clearest route to success is to buy a perk before you commence your run. You pay for these with in-game coins that you acquire - relatively slowly - through normal play or by popping in your password and spending a bit of actual money.

There are Game Center achievements and leaderboards, broken down by the perks that you choose to employ (Faster Action, Explosive Destruction, or Luck Moments), but they're not particularly prominent or well done, which apparent shortcoming has the advantage of not making you feel as though you're being goaded into spending money in order to compete.

Putter nutter

Smash the Office is a paper-thin game, but it's fairly enjoyable all the same. The IAPs are unobtrusive, the controls work well, it looks nice, and there's a satisfying heft to the movement and the violence.

There's even a degree of strategy, in that you can choose to concentrate on increasing your score or enlarging your bankroll, and so you have to pick your targets according to your game plan.

Smash the Office has a mature theme and some genuinely unsettling presentation. Exploitative working practices in low-skill jobs are a real problem, and in helping a little man to destroy his workplace in a storm of psychotic aggression you're virtually re-enacting violent breakdowns that have certainly occurred in the real world.

But this game is probably safe from the censorship that serious games like Sweatshop HD can fall prey to. Smash the Office might be uncomfortably evocative of workplace violence, but you could never accuse it of being serious.
Smash the Office
Reviewer photo
Rob Hearn | 27 March 2013
Smash the Office isn't a particularly deep game, and it comes with relatively few features, but what little it does it does well
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