Bop It! made a name for itself as being that one toy that parents never wanted their kids to have, purely because of the noise it makes while it’s being played (or perhaps that’s just personal experience). Nevertheless, the original version of the game – which we reviewed – still sells in droves and the guys at Hasbro have managed to come up with a new version, just as loud as its big brother, which takes a whole new set of skills and sees if you have what it takes to be a champion. This new game is Bop It! Smash! and it’s just as crazy, just as loud and, ultimately, just as fun.
There are three modes with Bop It! Smash!, the first being ‘Solo’, the second ‘Pass It’ and the final one ‘Multiplayer’. All of these game modes do exactly what they say on the tin but most people will find themselves playing the ‘Solo’ mode most of all. In ‘Solo’ mode, the whole point is to beat your previous best score and to progress further into the game than you have done before. At the centre of the Bop It! Smash! device is a circle and within this circle are two small green lights and a big blue one. The aim of the game is to listen to the beat of the music that’s playing and “smash” the ends of the device in when the light is within the circle. The player is awarded a single point for landing on the green lights and two points for landing on the big blue one. Wherever the player stops, as long as it’s within the central circle, they will be able to progress to the next level.
The two multiplayer modes, ‘Pass It’ and ‘Multiplayer’, are quite similar to each other but have definite differences which set them apart. Both game modes will have the player passing the device to another player once they’ve successfully completed one of the waves, however, whereas in ‘Pass It’ you’re trying to help each other progress further and further in the game, with no two people playing the same wave, in ‘Multiplayer’ the point of the game is to play the same wave as each of the other players and see which of them a player can’t do, when the previous player could. This competitive style of multiplayer can get a little bit too competitive at times – or at least it did in our house – but gloating about being able to do something that someone else couldn’t is all part of the fun isn’t it?
The build quality of the actual Bop It! Smash! device is quite good, the plastic itself feels a little cheap but it’s all put together in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall apart in your hands. For those of you who are parents, and are worrying about the volume of the device, there is an option to turn it down via a volume slider which has three settings (low, medium and high), but unfortunately, the device doesn’t have the headphone socket that the previously reviewed Bop It! XT did, so silent bouts of gaming aren’t going to be on the cards. One other bonus is the fact that Bop It! Smash comes with batteries pre-installed so that the game is ready to play straight out of the box – something you tend to see less and less these days.
VERDICT: Bop It! Smash! is a fun game to get out every so often, but it’s not going to be something that people play for hours on end. It’s a lot more accessible than its big brother, Bop It! XT, with the simplicity of the game and the various game modes helping towards this goal, but that simplicity is also its biggest downfall in the sense that once you’re competent with the game there’s nothing to keep you interested other than trying to beat other people or your own score. It’s a nice little time-waster, worth grabbing from time to time to make sure your reflexes are still up to scratch, but it’ll probably find more of a home on someone’s shelf than in their hands.