Dollar Dash – Review

It’s quirky style will suck you right in.

Dollar Dash is the brand new Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and PC arcade  title that is developed by Kalypso Media. The game is both a single-player and multiplayer game, but at it’s heart it’s geared and focused towards a competitive mulitiplayer as it’s main game design.

The Style

The game’s art is stylized as a cartoon, bright vivid colors, a little bit of cel-shading and a retro mafia/robbers era, it’s fun too look at and fits with the gameplay and music very well. Overall, I personally enjoy these kind of artistic looks, when the art complements the gameplay, then it was done correctly. Also, it’s nice to see something color-friendly like this, as opposed to majority of the game’s that have been released in the past. It’s a rare occassion to see and play a game that looks like a Saturday night cartoon show.

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The Gameplay

Dollar Dash is an arcade game that was designed for the multi-player from the ground up, however it does have the option to play with bots if you want to try out the game and learn the ropes. The game has 3 different playable modes with a total of up to 4 players at a time: Dollar Dash, Hit’n’Run and Save the Safe. Dollar Dash is probably the best out of all these modes, it’s the main core mode that the game was designed for.

In Dollar Dash your objective is too gather up as much as money your robber is able to hold with his moneybag, once the moneybag is full your next objective is to run towards a getaway vehicle to deposit the cash to score for points. When you set up the game, you can choose what the final goal is for points, once a robber has reached the specified goal number then he wins the game.

There are other robbers that try to stop you by picking up defensive, crowd control and offensive power ups. There are different kind of weapons you can acquire, such as snowballs, rockets, bombs and even a cacti that you can throw at your opponents. One of my favorite power-ups is the jelly shield, once picked up and used, your character will be surrounded by a shield made out of jelly, this shield reflects any incoming attack towards you.

In Dollar Dash if you land a hit with one of your power-ups the robber drops 1 stack of cash, the more hits the more money he drops. Overall, your in a constant brawl for money who’s trying to be best thief in the game. This creates a lot of comical scenarios with you and your buddies, it’s a very relaxing and fun experience.

The game has a good variety of different maps, each map provides a different scenario. For example in the Vault map your not only dealing with other 3 players, but you’re also dealing with NPC patrols in the bank, if they notice you, they will start running towards you to knock you out. Once knocked out, you will lose the money you were carrying and be sent back at the starting point of where you originally started on the map.

This adds an interesting dimension to the competitive level of the game, but it can also cause a little of frustration due to the fact that too many things can be happening on screen at a time which causes confusion. Maps like “Arena” have many different types of hazards that appear throughout the match, anything from spikes, walls that come up and other things that you can imagine in an arena will start interfering between you and your opponents.

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Hit’n’Run is more of your typical Deathmatch mode, you run around the map, pick up power ups and try to knock out other robbers to score points. Whoever gets the to the score goal first wins, this is a basic gameplay mode that in my opinion is not as fun as Dollar Dash. However, it’s always nice to have the option of just being able to beat the crap out of your friends, talk trash and have fun.

Save the Safe is the third playable mode in Dollars Dash, there is a safe in a middle of the map, whoever grabs the safe and manages to keep defending it from others will start scoring points overtime. The longer you’re able to hold the safe, the more points you score, once you have reached the score limit the game is over.

The multiplayer surprisingly has different ranks you can achieve, and money that you can earn to spend in the shop for vanity items. You can customize your robber, with different hats, buy upgrades for power-up, you can also equip your robber with perks and taunts. You can tell that the developers have went all out for multiplayer, even though it’s an arcade game it still manages to have a robust multiplayer component that most retail games have.

None of the stuff feels tacked on, plus there will be more downloadable content for the game in the future, so if you enjoy the game then there is something to look forward too. Hopefully a sequel will be happening too, if the game gains enough sales and popularity. I believe this game has good potential to become a pretty popular online arcade multiplayer experience.

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 My only real gripe with this game are how the controls handle the power-up system. When you pick up power-ups they’re mapped to 3 different buttons. X, B and RT, and because of the hectic chaos that goes on the game it can get rather confusing to try to use power-up because it’s hard to remember which power-up belongs to which button.

There have been many times where I have pressed the incorrect button and ended up wasting my other power-up that I wanted to use later. Majority of the offensive power-up are usually reserved for RT, defensive power-ups take up the X, and B uses crowd control. However, once you have played the game for a few hours you’ll be able to get used to it, but it takes some time.

Overall – I am pretty pleased with Dollar Dash game and I hope that gamers will enjoy it. It’s a fun fast-paced multiplayer game that let’s you have fun on your couch with your friends or online. If you’re just trying to learn the game, you can play it single-player with bots, with a map of your choice and even set difficulty settings to either learn the game or challenge yourself.

The game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.

The Good

Cartoon art-style is fantastic, soundtrack fits the game well, comical at times, multiplayer is fun, good map variety, customization options

The bad

Controlling/managing power-ups can take time to get used too, gameplay can get hectic so it's hard to see what's going on

FINAL VERDICT

Dollars Dash is a good addition for gamers that love casual but yet competitive level of gaming. It's quirky style, humor, and fun multiplayer gameplay is attractive. If you're looking for a charming, quick fun game with buddies then give this game a shot.


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