Monster Dash iPhone Review
Game : Monster Dash
Developer : HalfBrick
Publisher : HalfBrick
Available On : Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (Reviewed on iPhone 3GS)
As the market for pick up and play iPhone games gets more and more swamped with an obscene number of titles every day, it’s getting harder to find a title that is worth writing about, even more so, to find one that isn’t just a rehash of another game already out there, copied because it was popular with a “me too” attitude, created solely to make a profit on the wave of positivity of another title. Monster Dash might seem familiar to you, but don’t be put off by that…read on!
That said, if you’ve played any of the “Canabalt” style of games then you will be familiar with this title pretty quickly as it does borrow very heavily from that mould, but it also improves on the genre. Bravo to HalfBrick for actually putting the effort in to improve on a popular genre that is bogged down with copies and blatent rip-offs of the aforementioned Canabalt.
Put simply, the game has your character running from left to right in a continuous motion with you tapping the screen to jump. Where this game differs from others though is that you are going up against all manner of monsters en-route to your never ending destination, so you have the jump “button” on the bottom left of the screen and the “shoot button” on the bottom right.
More than that though, you get power-ups to dish out the pain on the assorted monsters you’ll have to remove from your path and some of them are charmingly fun to play with. In particular, I’d like to mention the machine-gun-jet-pack which, well…it’s as it sounds really, when you hit the first button you jet-pack up into the air a small distance and simultaneously fire downwards, literally raining bullets onto monsters! You won’t always die instantly either, aside from hitting a wall, you can “run into” a monster a few times as you have three hearts that represent your “energy” which you can replenish along the way by collecting more hearts.
“Charming” is a word that is definitely useful in describing Monster Dash, it has a nice sense of humour and is colourful and, yes, charming in the way it presents itself. I found myself smiling when upon dying the game presented me with my statistics and had a picture of the protagonist from the game with a speech bubble, simply “Aargh Walls, My only weakness!”. You won’t get bored of the neverending landscape either as every now and then it warps in and out of different zones. Again, it feels as though they’ve really thought about the design of this game.
Monster Dash succeeds where so many other games in the “runny jumpy” genre fail. HalfBrick get everything absolutely right, priced correctly at 59p ($0.99 US), OpenFeint achievements, leaderboards and pretty much everything else you could want from a game of this nature. It is an absolute success and yet another string to the iPhone game library bow, this will drain your battery and still leave you wanting one more go.