Review: Smashell

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Review: Smashell

Postby yyr » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:29 pm

Smashell is not an epic. It will not change the way you think about gaming. But it's really good-looking, plays well and is a solid purchase at its asking price of 400 points.

Smashell is most definitely one of the top games on Community Games, speaking solely from a graphics perspective. The environments are small but are gorgeous. Various special effects are used--not overused--and the textures are great. The action is always running at a smooth 60fps. I'm not saying that it looks as good as, say, Gears of War, but that game had a huge team of people working on graphics. Smashell proves that you don't need a big team to make a game that looks good.

But what's a good looking game if it's no fun to play? Fortunately, Smashell does not suffer from that problem.

There is no tutorial; there is nothing that even tells you what to do. But as you discover multiple ways to defeat enemies, you find that learning what to do is half the fun. Every few minutes, the game changes in some way, by either adding a new ability, adding a new enemy or challenging you to fight a boss. There is no time limit and survival is not particularly difficult in most cases. Add this all up and you get a pleasant time-waster, something you can relax with and enjoy for a while. I played for nearly an hour without realizing it...and that was only on one map. The game gives you three others, and although the basic concepts and rules are the same, the different environments will force you to play differently. So the experience is a little different on every map.

It's not perfect; there probably should be a period of invincibility when a new life appears, for example. But it's a solid little game, one that kids can definitely enjoy, and one that anyone can waste a good little time with. I'll note that the 4-minute trial is not really a great indication of the full game; you barely see any of the elements that the game adds over time. So if the trial time runs out and you feel like you didn't see too much, know that there is a lot more to see.

You can probably get at least a few good hours out of Smashell before you get tired of it, and $5 for a few good hours of entertainment is a relative bargain these days. Consider this a positive recommendation for Smashell!
Aaron Teplitsky
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Re: Review: Smashell

Postby slowbro » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:09 pm

Smashell is to big sprawling 3d platformers what single-screen games like Donkey Kong/Fire and Ice/Bubble Bobble are to big 2d platformers, and that's no criticism! It's a niche that should be filled by more games.

All the platforming takes place in one of a few small arenas, and it's a lot of fun with good variety. The graphics are sweet, at least on par with N64 games. And nothing detracts from the experience.
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