Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Sminis is a no-nonsense, very straightforward game with a cute but hyper-industrial atmosphere that will bring a smile to the faces of robot lovers everywhere, and perhaps a few tears as well. Sminis is best described as an action puzzle game in which players control an advacing stream of tiny robots -- aptly named Sminis -- as they try to escape from the factory-like laboratory of the evil scientist who created them. The gameplay is simple, but the 3D environments are rich and complex, making the game more difficult than it would seem at first.
Each level is comprised of a path through various obstacles and traps. Sometimes there are pistons smashing down, sometimes there are slicing blades swinging back and forth, and sometimes there are large angry robot bosses bent on destroying the escaping Sminis. In all these cases, the Sminis advance undeterred into danger and it's up to the player to start and stop their forward progress at the right times to keep as many Sminis as possible from getting squashed, smashed, or sliced. To make things more complicated, the Sminis don't all start and stop together either. There is one button for the player to press. Pressing that button will stop the Sminis that are currently moving and start the Sminis that are currently stopped. Quickly starting and stopping the little robots at the right times can get very difficult (even on the easy levels) when there are lots of traps and lots of different robots moving and stopping at different times.
The one button approach to controls works beautifully on the iOS touch screen. And those simple controls allow players to focus on the action and enjoy the awesome visuals. The levels, full of traps and moving parts, are so well crafted that it's easy to get lost in the details and inadvertently lose a few robots to the well animated traps. Titles like this make perfect sense on the platform whether they are being played in the smaller iPhone and iPod screens or the larger iPad screens, and they are a refreshing respite from complicated controls and overwrought gameplay. Sminis is instantly enjoyable and has so much to offer gamers with a few minutes to enjoy its charms.