STAFF REVIEW of Dad Beat Dads (Xbox One)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
by Brent Roberts

Dad Beat Dads Box art One of the most popular concepts within gaming today is the concept of fighting. Be it a one versus one match or a free-for-all group brawl, fighting games have become a staple in the gaming world. Now enter Stellar Jay Studios and their latest game, Dad Beat Dads. Clearly from the title of the game you already know that this is probably some Freudian subliminal messaging, but I'm not here to play Maury to some developers and their tainted past, I'm here to review their game, so let's go and give it the old' one-two shall we?

And that's about as much humor and lighthearted attitude as I can muster. You see, Dad Beat Dads is priced at $5.99 and appears to be a comical low budget clone of Super Smash Bros. Now, with such a popular and successful game you would think that the developers would draw from the basics of the team fighting arena concept right? Wrong. First off, this game requires only local multiplayer, so no Xbox Live multiplayer for you; however, you can have AI bots, so I guess that's something good? In my opinion, in this day and age it's almost blasphemy to gamers if you don't allow online connectivity. Gone are the days where we would venture to our friend’s house and spend hours on the couch, floor, or chair, just to partake in gaming excitement.

I don't have to really worry about giving the story away because there isn't one. None. But what you do get are three different game modes to select from which are Corporate Ladder, Smash N' Grab, and Diaper Sniper.

Corporate Ladder is where you basically punch and smash your way upward through various levels as the screen scrolls upward, and you have to gather as many coins as you can while continuously jumping to higher platforms and beating the crap out of other dads. The winner is the one with the most coins when the timer runs out. It really doesn't get much simpler than that. Then comes Smash N' Grab.

Smash N' Grab is, in Disney terms, disturbing. It involves you punching and fighting other dads, causing them to drop their babies as you steal them and take their baby back through your Dad Door. You get 1 point for every baby you bring through your door, after of course you steal them by beating the crap out of other dads. Going through this I felt relieved to know that I'm not the most screwed up person out there. So I took it as a sign of personal growth and decided to move onto game mode number three which then made me almost want to stage an intervention with the developers.

Finally, nothing says fighting dads and fun like wrapping a big red brick in a diaper and hurling it towards other virtual dads in a knockout elimination style brawl, hence the mode name Diaper Sniper. 4 dads and 1 diaper fight it out, and as time progresses, more diapers are added which means that towards the end there's nothing but brick laden diapers flying everywhere. Provided you have some friends to come over and actually WANT to play this type of game. If you do, then I suggest you all gather at your nearest psychiatrist's office and schedule an immediate session.

You get to pick what dad you want, and you have the option to play a cute little acknowledgement mini-game where after you pick your character, you get to either beat or destroy something and then jump through a door and bam, you're ready to play the main game. If you don't want to play this mini-game you can head on into the settings and "flip a switch" so all you need to do is press A to progress. The choice is yours. When you get in the fight, the controls are simplistic; pretty much on the primate level. Your left and right sticks do very little outside of controlling the direction of your character and your other buttons do other things, but honestly there's not much else here to explain at all.

That is the entire game right there folks, and all for $5.99 plus tax. Not all is doom and gloom though, as there are some upsides to this game, if you can call them that. You get your basic stereotypical dad fighter categories, from construction workers to accountants, but then you get ones that are way out there such as a shark dad or a crocodile dad? Yes, you can pick your character to be a crocodile or shark who runs around the levels beating the crap out of other dads. Apparently there's a reason for a shark or crocodile dads punching and thieving and slinging diapers? I haven't got the foggiest clue.

The visual style is humorous and cartoonish which provides some levity and delay to the fact that you just blew $6 on this when you could have bought something else instead. If you are thinking that the soundtrack will inject some form of resurgence of entertainment back into this $5.99 title, you're going to get used to disappointment. If you're thinking of spending your money on this game, I urge you to take 10 deep breaths and think. Food to keep you alive costs less and tastes delicious. Dad Beat Dads is nothing but a psychological session of depression, but without any hope of recovery. I've never done this in a review before, but there literally isn't anything else worthwhile to say about this game, so you sane gamers out there should stay clear if you can.

At the very least include Xbox Live Multiplayer.

Overall: 3.5 / 10
Gameplay: 4.0 / 10
Visuals: 3.0 / 10
Sound: 3.0 / 10


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