Smash Champs is stunning, unique and action-packed

Smash Champs screenshot

Smash Champs is a unique action/adventure game in which you must train your fighters to battle their opponents and gain power and success. It sounds clichéd but it has a few tricks up its sleeve that make for some interesting gameplay. An indicative example: having a familiarity with Fruit Ninja helps in certain aspects of the game. The iOS game is free with in-app purchases and universal for iPhone and iPad.

Just about everything in Smash Champs strikes me as a mix between what is conventional and what is unconventional. The game as a whole follows a traditional template for this specific genre yet the idiosyncrasies are in the details. The team of six fighters in Smash Champs are all personified animals, as is the pig sensei.

Smash Champs screenshot

You start out with a single fighter, which you get to pick freely among the six. After you pick one, the other five get locked away until you gain enough XP to unlock them. To begin a duel, you first must train your fighter, or "champ" as the game puts it. This is where that Fruit Ninja experience comes in. As the sensei, you present what appear to be some sort of training orbs to your trainee and throw them by swiping across the screen as they appear. The process is very much like slicing fruit, except one "slice" actually propels the orb forward. Avoid throwing spikes.

If your champ is trained enough, it should win the battle that follows. The battles, by the way, are against a computer, a live friend in possession of the Smash Champs game or a live online opponent matched at random. Continue this process to gain new power and intensify your battles and training sessions, plus unlock goodies like new characters as you move forward in the adventure.

For a free title, the graphics and performance are absolutely blow-away. The game design is beautiful in every aspect and it runs buttery smooth on my iPhone 6. I didn't catch on to a single hiccup even when panning around details of the environment.

While free to download, Smash Champs does offer in-app purchases, but it's not necessarily easy to come to a point in the game when you feel compelled to spend your money on them. They're just bundles of coins; the cheapest pack is $4.99. You earn coins throughout your progress in the game though. Coins can help you skip difficult tasks, but is it really that fun to cheat your way through the game?

Smash Champs screenshot

Smash Champs is a thoroughly compelling action/adventure game and it's truly unlike anything I've played before in the App Store. Major creativity points go to the developers (who, by the way, are the makers of the immensely popular Subway Surfers.) The Fruit Ninja-esque training is a blast and I'm still gushing over the excellent graphics performance. At the low, low price of nothing, Smash Champs is worth a quick search and download from the App Store. It turned a reviewer into a fan.