Dollar Dash (XBLA) Review

dollardashreview
What we liked:
+ Lots of powerups
+ Bots
What we didn't like:
- Too chaotic
- Lack of polish
- Spotty multiplayer
Rating
5.5
Mediocre
DEVELOPER: Candygun Games   |   PUBLISHER: Kalypso   |   RELEASE: 03/06/2013

Review
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I imagine that robbing a bank is pretty hard, with all the planning and so forth. But what if, while you were trying to rob the bank, there were other bank robbers armed with zany weapons, competing with you for the same loot? This is the question posed by Dollar Dash. While the game is ok, it doesn’t stand up to other multiplayer titles, and your loot is better spent elsewhere.

Dollar Dash is a multiplayer game in which up to four players compete in one of three game types to see who can grab the most cash. In order to score (or prevent your opponent from scoring), you can use a wide variety of offensive and defensive weapons, as well as general power ups like a speed boost and shield. There’s a bit of strategy as well, since a full loot sack will help you score faster, but the fuller it gets the slower you move.

The game has three play variants. The standard mode challenges you to collect as much money as you can and return it to your waiting escape van. Hit n’ Run is standard deathmatch, where cash is awarded for each opponent knocked out. Save the Safe has players competing to hold onto the titular lockbox for the longest time, similar to playing Oddball in Halo multiplayer. In each gametype, the first player to reach the target amount of money wins.

While there is a diversity of weapons and items in Dollar Dash, they are too readily available. The levels are littered with them, meaning that at almost every moment, all players are using some sort of weapon. This leads to complete chaos and, in the process, removes a lot of the strategy. There is no need to save your item for the perfect situation, because another is right around the corner. It’s like playing Mario Kart if there were item blocks every 50 feet. In this case, less would have been more.

Even though there are plenty of pickups, the descriptions for them are buried. I only ran across them by accident, which is odd since they are the main focus. Collecting cash amidst all of the bottle rockets, bear traps and oil slicks is challenging enough, but knowing how much you have is also obscured. The only clue about the contents of the bag is visual (it grows as as more money is collected), and that becomes hard to see with everything else going on. A counter on the screen would have been nice.

The money collected in matches can be used in the shop to purchase upgrades that are either cosmetic, like a new hairstyle, or perks, like an increased resistance to fire. If an online game isn’t available, all of the gametypes function with computer-controlled bots. My experiences online were smooth when I was able to find a game, but just as often, I was unceremoniously dumped back at the menu screen with a disconnect message.

Dollar Dash isn’t necessarily a bad game; it’s just not a particularly compelling one. The overabundance of items turns the potential for a fun experience into a chaotic mess. I can’t imagine a scenario where I would choose this to play online. There are both better ways to spend $10, and better multiplayer experiences to be had.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Screenshots

Dave Payerle

Dave Payerle

Dave enjoys playing video games almost as much as he enjoys buying video games. What his wife calls an "online shopping addiction" he calls "building a library". When he's not digging through the backlog he's hunting for loot in Diablo or wondering when the next Professor Layton game is coming.

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