Smash Bandits by Hutch Games has been around for a few months now, but it’s being promoted at the moment on account of an update that introduces The A-Team. That’s the recent Hollywood take on The A-Team and not, like, the actual A-Team from the 80s.
In any case, Smash Bandits is available to download for free from the App Store, though there doesn’t appear to be an Android version. Market share FTW.
How does it work? Well, Smash Bandits is the sequel to Smash Cops and indeed Smash Cops Heat, er, neither of which I played.
But what we have here is a game similar in style to EA’s brilliant Burnout Crash, which I described as “Possibly the dumbest game you’ll ever play” while awarding it 5/5.
Ultimately the goal is to cause as much destruction as possible from the seat of your vehicle, but while Burnout Crash typically sees you driving into junctions and causing pile-ups, Smash Bandits is almost more of a free roaming endless driver, with your run ending when the damage meter maxes out.
Being free, there’s all sorts of stuff to buy in the Smash Bandits shop, including cars, upgrades for cars (speed, smash power and handling), and one-off gadgets including the Ram (ideal for taking out cop cars), Oil Slick, Puncture Proof Tires and the Tank Stash.
Other Smash Bandits features include a boat, and the ability to continue in a cop car, SWAT van and then agency car – if you’ve got the in-game currency to spare.
And that’s pretty much Smash Bandits in a nutshell. Let’s start with the positives, shall we?
The little intros are pretty cool, and the Smash Bandits camera is positioned to make it look as though you’re watching a high-speed chase on TV. Also: smashing stuff is always fun.
Alas, Smash Bandits is nowhere near as smashy as I’d hoped, or as the App Store screenshots implied. It all feels quite tame, particularly compared to the ridiculously over-the-top Burnout Crash.
Furthermore, playing for consecutive sessions raises your wanted level, and when it hits five the difficulty ramps up severely, at which point all fun is sucked out of the game.
You can pay to clear your wanted level, of course, and when I say “pay” I mean with in-game currency or real money – preferably the latter from Hutch Games’ point of view. And on the freemium note, needless to say, saving up for cars and upgrades takes forever.
To make matters worse, investing in those one-off upgrades is a dangerous game, as you'll often find yourself putting in more money than you get back out. You might spend 2,000 bucks on the Ram and Tank Stash but only reap 1,500 bucks, for example.
Oh, and if you fancy using the A-Team van, you’ll have to fork out £1.99 for the pack, which includes the official theme tune, special vehicles, exclusive challenges, and the “Jibba Jabba”.
On the whole, Smash Bandits is fine, but you should probably go buy Burnout Crash for 69p instead.
- The intros
- The high-speed chase-style camera
- Smashy smashy
- It’s not Burnout Crash; feels comparatively tame
- The wanted level
- The freemium stuff
Summary: Smash Bandits is entirely fine, but if you want a truly over-the-top smash fest, go check out Burnout Crash instead.
Developer: Hutch Games
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular, and iPod touch (5th generation). This app is optimized for iPhone 5.