Developer: Hutch Games
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.02.12
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

003001Smash Bandits puts players on the run from the police in this free-to-play endless runner of sorts. There’s an open road that can take them anywhere they wish to drive, smashing into cars and other random items along the way. Of course these actions don’t go unnoticed as the police are in heavy pursuit and trying to smash the player off the road. They’ll also set up road blocks and tire spikes to try and slow players down, which can eventually lead to the destruction of their car.

The gameplay is pretty simple and it’s easy to contro with one finger. Also, the visuals are fairly nice to look at but it really losses its appeal after the initial few runs. Like any type of runner, it’s the players job to last for as long as possible to earn a higher score. Progression allows them to earn more money, which leads to car upgrades for speed and handling. Players will also unlock the ability to smash into cops and have stinger tires that allows them to run over the spike strips, among other abilities. These things all add something new to the gameplay, but that pull and addiction that’s usually there in most high score arcade games just isn’t apparent here.

I do appreciate that there are alternate routes for players to take while outrunning the police. Also, players will come across a marina that allows them to travel by boat for a short period of time before returning to their car shortly after. However, it’s not nearly enough to make the game interesting. It really feels as if there are a few additional features missing that the game desperately needs.

008005Smash Bandits is free-to-play. However, players go to jail without having the ability to play the game for 10 minutes once they’ve reached the max wanted level by playing 5 games, unless they want to bribe the cops with chips. Players can hold on to chips to pay off the cops as they earn them throughout the game, but they’re also spent on continuing the race once the player destroys their car, which helps them continue on for a higher score. It’s not horrible having to wait for time to expire before being able to play again, but it certainly doesn’t help with the appeal as the game isn’t very inspiring in the first place.

Smash Bandits looks good and handles fairly well, but it’s completely missing any excitement or fun that will keep players coming back for more. The fact that it’s free-to-play is enough to give them a taste of what it offers, but once they get their first bit of jail time without being able to pay there won’t be anything that brings them back for more. Avoid jail time by avoiding this game altogether.


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