Review: Dollar Dash

Fast-Paced Thievery, Money Bags Flying, and More in Dollar Dash!

Dollar Dash, released on March 6th, 2013 by Kalypso Media Digital and developed by Candygun Games, is a multi-player, cops and robbers (okay, mostly robbers) game for XBox or PC. There is a Playstation version in the works.  The game is fast-paced, highly customizable, and has enough action and comedy to keep players engaged.  There are a number of XBox achievements available There are also plenty of items to buy within Dollar Dash‘s shop.

Dollar Dash - Arena - All That Gaming StuffThe intro video is cute the first time through. Watching it every time the game loads is a bit annoying.  The music, however, is great no matter how long you have it on, and fits very well into the game’s theme.  There’s a deep jazz beat, with the bass following the pace of the game.  More than once this week, we’ve left the game on its home screen, had the music going, and unconsciously bobbed our heads along to the beat while doing other stuff.

If you’re not into multi-player, it takes awhile to figure out “where” you can play.  There is a “Boot Camp” section that allows you to learn the controls and how the various items work.  I actually stayed here for a few rounds, trying to master the aim joystick.  I shot the walls….a lot.  Between that and the antics of both my character and the others on screen, I giggled quite a bit.  After playing in the Boot Camp, I figured out how to create a local game and could invite others in my home to play.  You can have up to four players, both in the local and online games.

Eventually, I discovered that you can play in all three modes against bots. This is great if you want to increase your skills without dealing with live players. You can also play with a combination of bots and real players, adding more depth to the game.

I loved the amount of variety available in all of the mini-games in Dollar Dash.  There are three different modes to play in. The first he namesake Dollar Dash, where the player that collects a set amount of money and puts it into the getaway vehicle first wins. The second is Hit’n’Run, where the objective is to knock out the other players. Sadly, this took me forever to figure out. Last is Save the Safe, where you carry the safe for as long as possible.  Within each game you can adjust just about every option. You can change the amount of money/knock outs/time before the round is over, the number of bots, the skill level of the bots, the map itself (some of which are much harder than others), and the weapons available.

Weapons and Power Ups

Dollar Dash - Train Station - All That Gaming StuffDollar Dash has about twenty weapons in all.  There are two types of weapons: offensive and defensive.  Offensive weapons that I commonly encountered included a cactus to toss at enemies, rockets and snowballs, and a giant boulder that grows and rolls across the screen, flattening anyone in its path.  There’s a strategy required for the offensive weapons – many of them bounce off of the walls and obstacles and, if you’re not careful, will end up causing damage to you instead of your opponents.

I thought the defensive weapons were much funnier.  My favorite so far is the beer keg. When used on an opponent, it causes their controls to reverse for a short period of time.  There are earthquakes and portable holes that throw your opponent(s) across the screen. There are bear traps that snap shut on their legs. The boom boxes play music so loud (and terrible, compared to the game’s own music) that it pushes your opponents away. I still have a few to try out.

The power-ups help your robber gain money faster and protects you from your opponents.  The first time I saw the jello power up, I laughed aloud. Your character immediately looks like a 50’s molded dessert.  I noticed that some weapons and power-ups were much more common than others.  All of the weapons have about the same impact, so this wasn’t a problem.  Also, the bots seemed to find both weapons and power-ups that I never stumbled upon while dashing through the map.

Both winning a level and the money gained during the game convert into dollars to be used in the game’s shop.  There are a number of costume items and upgrades that unlock in the store.  These include hats and masks. You can have one upgrade and one perk equipped during the game. These give you a slight advantage over your opponents.  There are also additional taunts to purchase. When you win a level, your character has a new dance to use when gloating over the other players.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the game was a bit too fast-paced, but fun to play.  There is a LOT going on in the screen.  It’s easy to get distracted by the other players, the brief effects of their weapons and power-ups, and the action taking place on the screen. I found it hard at time to focus on the goal of the game.  The effects of each weapon are amusing.  The slapstick “violence” isn’t concerning.  While the game is rated T for teen, I saw no issues in playing it with my kindergartner. She never fully mastered the controls but still found Dollar Dash highly amusing.

The game is being sold for $9.99 or 800 MS points.  We’ve seen a few deals on both Steam and Xbox versions over the past week – keep an eye out and enjoy!

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