STAFF REVIEW of Dollar Dash (Xbox 360 Arcade)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013.
by Brent Roberts

Dollar Dash Box art Sometimes sticking to the basics in video games is more than enough to produce a very successful title. Elements such as engaging a community of gamers, very simplistic controls, and straight forward goals that allow for constant and evolving gameplay are but some of the basics that companies must get right in order to secure a victory on any platform. This brings us to the game Dollar Dash by Kalypso Media. Priced at 800 MS points and available on the Xbox Live Arcade, Dollar Dash is fairly straight forward. The rule of the game is simple, steal every dollar you can from the levels and any other fellow thieves, first one to steal the required amount is the winner. Now let's see if this game can sneak away with our 800 MS points, or if it gets caught red handed.

When you begin your crime spree the first thing you will notice is that Dollar Dash makes you feel like you've stepped back in time to the 1930's-40's era with characters that go over the top when it comes to stealing that hard earned cash. The menu system is fairly straight forward allowing you to do one single player training session called Boot Camp before you go toe to toe with other thieves from around the world. After that one single player mission you will have to fight on in multiplayer through three different types of capers. The first one is called Dollar Dash where the object of the game is simple, when you find money sprouting up throughout the levels, collect as much as you can in your bag, run to the drop off point to "bank" your stash, then rinse and repeat until the cash goal is reached, then start a new game. While the gametype itself is simplistic, when you throw in the mix a bunch of other gamers and all of you blasting away with weapons and defensive options, you will quickly realize that holding onto all that cash is a lot harder than originally thought.

The second gametype is called Hit'n'Run and this mode is even more basic than the previous one. Using the weapons provided in the level, blast apart every other opponent to earn cash. There isn’t any drop off points to dilute the action, so what you are left with is just massive carnage that is never ending. Every time you knock out a player your character earns cash; knockout enough players to hit the target cash goal and you'll steal yourself the victory. The third and final gametype is called Save the Safe and involves a massive safe that your character must pick up and hold onto so your character can start making money. While this is going on though, you'll have your opponents firing away at you trying to make you drop your safe. When you add the fact that your character runs slightly slower while carrying the safe, it goes without question that this gametype also provides fast paced, explosive fun.

The reason we say explosive is because the amount of over the top weaponry in Dollar Dash is extensive. Ranging from Nuclear weapons and stun guns, to snowballs and vacuum cleaners, Dollar Dash gives you a lot of tools to use to steal every dollar you can from your opponents. You can't have a good offense without a good defense and that is where you can obtain some tide turning items that will shift victory into your favor. Items such as the Jelly mold will deflect any incoming armaments for a short time and items such as the bear trap will snag enemies and cause them to drop some of their own cash allowing you to swoop in and pick it up. There are other special items that can be picked up throughout the levels and these special items give you temporary perks such as increased speed, cloning, invisibility, and more. When you combine all of this into one contained arena level, you end up with nonstop action in every game.

While you may be thinking you're the top thief around, Dollar Dash allows you to customize your thief with a hefty amount of personalization options. Options such as changing your hat and face are all pretty standard, but you can also change out different perks for your character such as immunity to fire or increasing the size of your sack. There are literally hundreds of items to unlock for purchase, however, to obtain these things requires you to do something rather unfortunate, which leads us to the main problem with Dollar Dash, and it's quite a big one at that.

The issue in question is repetition. Earlier we mentioned that games like Bomberman allowed for an incredibly fun experience and it allowed customization as well, however, Dollar Dash is far from having the same quality experience. Repeating loops of music, top down view of the arena, and multiple characters on the screen at the same time all sound like qualities of Bomberman, but Dollar Dash though just doesn't provide the same type of entertainment or excitement that grasped us back in the days. Even though the graphics are not the worst, they aren't the best either and it really doesn't matter since like we stated earlier, you're looking from the top down on your character, so customizing it is almost relatively pointless, and if that becomes the case, then why play to earn cash and unlock new items?

So has Kalypso released a game about comedic thieves that provides many hours of enjoyment and excitement? Sadly no they haven't. Priced in at $10 (800MS points) when you think of what other amazing games are available for the same price, Dollar Dash won't stand out in a lineup. This game could do incredibly well if it were a $2-$5 mobile app, but instead it's a $10 Xbox Live Arcade game that should sneak away in the night and be happy to count the actual money that does come in from the sale of Dollar Dash.

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 6.7 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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