Review: Dollar Dash (PSN)
Title: Dollar Dash
Format: PlayStation Network Download (439 MB)
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Candygun Games
Price: $9.99 (US) / £7.99 (UK) / €9.99 (EU)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Dollar Dash is also available on Xbox Live Arcade and PC.
The PlayStation Network version was used for this review.
Dollar Dash is a top down multiplayer versus game where you must attack, defend or just be quicker than your opponents. You’re all playing as robbers at the scene of the crime trying to get the loot and you’ll do anything to get it. Will this game be worth the dollars or will it leave you feeling robbed?
The premise is a very simple one, you are running round a level grabbing as much cash possible then delivering it to the getaway vehicle. Carrying lots of cash slows you down so it’s a trade off with the amount you want to try and get. This is where it gets chaotic, your opponents can grab the cash as well, or just steal it from you. But you are not defenseless, randomly scattered throughout the level are various weapons or traps. Some of these are fun, like the giant Indiana Jones style boulder which can flatten a player to it whilst it continues to roll around. Or the fireworks which when fired shoot across the map bouncing off walls. Now my first problem with the game, different items are assigned to different buttons which, in the heat of battle can get confusing, at least for a new or younger player. It should be one button does all in my opinion. Not to have three different items at once, each with their own button!
There are 18 different levels to run round in and the variety is excellent. Mansion gardens with guards on patrol to the L.A. River with three overflow pipes ready to erupt. Or the Arena with spike traps and random walls can get very hectic. Gold Mine is a good level, it features two conveyor belts with rock crushers at the ends. Now some levels are only suited for one or two of the game modes, which brings me to my second problem with the game. There are only three game modes to play which are Dollar Dash, Hit & Run and Save the Safe. You are either grabbing as much cash as you can and dropping it in the getaway vehicle, attacking your opponents for money or lastly all trying to capture the safe and keep hold of it for as long as possible.
After a few hours with this game I felt that I had run out of new things to do. But due to the amount of levels, some of which have very different game play mechanics, I was still having fun. One level sees you on top of a building site with two cranes, moving platforms round making some new pathways, or a prison with search lights moving round, if your caught in them, a sniper will shoot.
All of the things you do in the game earn you money which you can spend in the shop. You can buy upgrades and perks which effect your character but you can only equip one of each at a time and you have to unlock them before you can buy them. Some of them are good to get, perks makes you more resistant to fire or allow you to carry more cash. The rest of the shop items are just cosmetic changes to your character, from hats and masks to taunts and dances. It all adds up to adding some welcome variety to the game and slightly extending it’s replayability.
Now before I forget, I must mention Boot camp, which serves as the very quick tutorial when you first play the game and accessible in the menu. You blow a hole in a banks wall, run in and start grabbing the loot to throw in your getaway van that pulls up to the hole you made before. Half way into the robbery a computer controlled player also breaks in and starts trying to grab the cash as well. Now this was quite fun and could have been expanded upon to make a full single player game spanning different locations and even some puzzles.
Cartoony graphics which are nice to look and add to the charm of the game. Player animations are good, along with the levels themselves. I didn’t notice anything wrong or out of place even when four players are running round causing havoc.
I am reminded of classic Bond music or something in that style. I won’t be trying to find the audio CD on Amazon but I didn’t feel the need to turn it down. Whilst I would have liked more from the characters than just grunts, I did like the sounds from the weapons.
A large part of this game centers around the multiplayer aspect, which is where this game excels. I admittedly have the occasional connection issue but apart from that it works exceptionally well. You can fill your game with Bots until real players jump in and out whenever or just have a private game.
Its main selling point of fast fun multiplayer fun is slightly let down by the occasional lost connections before starting a match and the unnecessary button configuration during one. Now I may be sounding too harsh but I was expecting an easy pick up and play, fun for all the family kind of game but whilst the potential is there, sadly it never fully delivers.
The above paragraph is what most people will initially think, and I did for a while until the ‘Penny dropped’ as they say, read on!
Dollar Dash isn’t broken, the game can be a lot of fun. I’ve been wrestling with the score for ages now, part of me really likes this game but it seems like it is missing something and I finally figured out what it was, simplicity. Too many people will be put off this game, it looks like a very simple pick up and play style of game. But don’t let it fool you, once you have got used to the controls and figured out the weapons this game is a blast and worth your dollars.