November 27, 2022

Smash Hit Plunder

Smash Hit Plunder – PSVR Review

Smash Hit Plunder is a brand new PSVR game that allows you to indulge your most wanton destructive tendencies in your search for money and jewels.
1,856 Views

Smash Hit Plunder is a brand new PSVR game that allows you to indulge your most wanton destructive tendencies in your search for money and jewels.  Smash Hit Plunder’s big draw though is that you can play as the title character in PSVR and have up to three friends play on PS4 at the same time.

Story

In Smash Hit Plunder you play as a young mage who has just returned from school having achieved mage status. Your dear grandma has passed away and left you the family castle! Exactly what any mage worth his salt needs to be taking seriously. 

Unfortunately, though a ghostly debt collector has closed off the castle with magical barriers and refuses to unlock them until the family debt is cleared.

So with the guidance of your grandma’s ghost, you set about the castle smashing pots, trashing rooms. Generally destroying everything you can in order to find the money needed to clear the debt and reclaim the castle.

Smash Hit Plunder

Gameplay

Straight off the bat, I need to point out that Smash Hit Plunder is great fun. It is quite refreshing to run around a medieval castle with the simple aim of smashing up anything you can.  The premise is simple but extremley enjoyable.

The control system in the PSVR mode is simple and intuitive. After a brief tutorial it becomes quite natural and you can breeze through the rooms with ease. The addition of differing “comfort” settings to minimise the amount of discomfort and motion sickness is a nice addition too.

Unfortunately, it is the multiplayer that let’s smash hit plunder down. What sounds like a great idea and an opportunity for some great couch co-op fun quickly unravels.

For this review, we played Smash Hit plunder with one PSVR player and two couch co-op players and it really just doesn’t implement well. PS4 players see the room from an isometric view that is often too small and dark to be explored properly. 

On PSVR you see the a well light room in a first person view so it his extremely difficult to co-ordinate with each other as its hard to get a frame of reference when looking at differing screens. The constant frustrations really pull you out of the virtual reality experience.

Add to this the fact that if one of the PS4 players leaves a room before the other one they are left off-screen and cannot see themselves to be able to catch up. 

Smash Hit Plunder

Game Modes

Smash Hit Plunder has an impressive list of game modes for both single player/co-op and multiplayer PvP.

In single player/co-op modes you have three different game modes. “Treasure Hunt” which is a simple smash and grab mode. Smash everything in sight in order to gain loot before the time runs out. 

“Scavenger Hunt”  Has you frantically running around a room looking for a certain item. Once found you get a little extra time and a new item to find. This mode is slightly more difficult as it requires a few playthroughs of each level and a fair bit of recollection.

The final mode is “Free Run” which allows you to explore a room at your own pace. 

Multiplayer adds two PvP modes to the roster withPoltergeist Panic and Jewel Duel. These are essentially party games that whilst fun has massive drawbacks due to the differing viewpoints. 

The isometric poorly lit rooms make it a lot more difficult for PS4 players. This doesn’t really set up a level playing field and any fun quickly flatlines.

Smash Hit Plunder

Overall Thoughts

Smash Hit Plunder is a fantastic example of the creativity of indie games. It takes the behaviour of most gamers in adventure games and gamifies it into its very own genre. 

The concept of Smash Hit Plunder is simple and unique. Think Supermarket Sweep in a castle. It is fun, frantic and certainly enjoyable…in single PSVR player mode. 

The addition of cooperative multiplayer is an ambitious expansion that ultimately fails. It is clear to see what the developer’s Triangular Pixels are aiming for but it just doesn’t materialise.  Which is an incredible shame as the concept is great. It is just the design decisions of the PS4 player’s screen that lets this game down.

Hopefully, this is something that Triangular Pixels can fix somehow. I would love to see more of this smash and grab genre. I also like the idea of PS4 and PSVR co-op. We just need to find a way to implement it correctly.

Overall Score – 6/10