Toy Story: Smash It!

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Toy Story: Smash It! App Poster Image
Familiar puzzler has some frustrating control issues.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Toy Story: Smash It! wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of Play

The controls are a bit erratic, which makes aiming difficult sometimes. Figuring out the best angle from which to throw the ball is also tricky -- and could be frustrating for younger players. 

Violence & Scariness

While the game has players toss balls at bombs occasionally, no damage is inflicted on any character. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The game is based on the highly successful Toy Story franchise, which could prompt kids to ask for more merchandise surrounding the property. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toy Story: Smash It! is an Angry Birds-like title, where players must smash structures with different balls to knock down aliens and collect blocks. While there's nothing objectionable about the game's content, younger players could get frustrated easily, as figuring out the best angle to throw the ball and learning how to perfect their aim is more difficult than other games in this genre. That will be doubly frustrating, given the popularity of the Toy Story characters who appear in the game -- especially the playable Buzz Lightyear. 

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What's it about?

As Buzz Lightyear, players will attempt to defeat Zurg, catch bandits, and more by flinging balls at structures to knock the aliens down. Players move back and forth across the screen through arrow buttons on the right and left, then aim where they'll throw the ball by pulling back on Buzz and adjusting the reticle on the target. The game uses real world physics to determine how much damage is done.

Is it any good?

While Toy Story: Smash It! is bound to draw comparisons to Angry Birds, it's really more like the older Wii game Boom Blox. Players toss balls at blocks to knock down rubber aliens and collect glowing alphabet blocks. The key to solving the puzzle is figuring out how to accomplish the goal with the most finesse, whether that be by knocking it down with one well-placed throw or finding the point in a structure where you start a chain reaction.

The problem with the game is the aiming mechanism isn't overly precise -- or perhaps too precise. The reticle wavers on screen as you try to line up a shot, and precise hits aren't as easy as they should be, especially given the kid-focused setting. Younger children, who might be excited to play a game starring Buzz Lightyear, might get frustrated after a short period. 

App details

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