Thursday, October 6, 2011

Super Bit Dash - 0.99 (FakePup)

Endless Runners seem to be perfect for mobile gaming. They’re good for quick little spurts of playing, as well as long gaming sessions, and there’s an endless supply of them to top it off. Seems there’s a huge selection depending on what type of endless runner you’ve come to like, casual, hardcore, level based, hectic, relaxing, and within all of those styles, there’s always certain titles that stick out above all the others because of their controls, gameplay, and style. Super Bit Dash by FakePup seems to cover all of those preferences, as well as raising above the average title, and being a game that’s more addictive, more polished, and more entertaining than most.

In Super Bit Dash, you’ll guide your character through either a short 5 minute checkpoint based run with multiple lives, earned by collecting coins, with two difficulties, as well as an endless run with one life that also has two different difficulty settings. To control the character, you’ll need to collect coins which fill up a bar that gives you the ability to swipe on the screen, and dash up, down or forward, as well as being able to tap on the screen to do a regular jump, or swipe backwards to slow down, both of which do not require coins to do. The catch is that you’ll only be able to have 4 coins at a time in your dash gauge, meaning that if you pick a path that doesn’t have many coins, or none at all, you could get stuck without a dash when you really need one.
To make things more interesting, the whole game is randomized, but in a very neatly put together way. At the beginning Classic Mode, the game will pick 20 different “rooms” at random and put them together with checkpoints at the beginning of each room. There are two different settings within Classic Mode, Easy, which will present a little bit of a challenge, and Hard, which will take most people more than a couple plays to finish. At the beginning of Endless Mode, the game will put together an endless string of these rooms based on what speed you pick, slow, or fast, which doesn’t really effect what rooms you see, but, you guessed it, the speed at which you’ll need to make it through them.
The graphics, and sounds all resemble old-school NES/SNES era games, while the animations for dashing and breaking through some walls are done in a more stylish way. There are various obstacles and hazards you’ll need to avoid, like spikes, lasers, green walls that you can dash to break through, and some spots where you will need to dash into coins in order to not fall to your death because there is no platform to walk on at the bottom of the screen. All of this is put together randomly, so you could run into any of these things right when you start out the game, or almost at the end of a long run, you’ll just never know. Once you get to know some of the more popular rooms, you’ll be getting better at the game, and if you take on the endless mode, you’ll end up finally seeing rooms that you probably wouldn’t have while playing in the Classic Mode. This big mix of rooms adds quite a bit to the difficulty, as you never know what’s coming up next, or what hazards you’ll need to have enough coins in your dash gauge to be prepared for.
Super Bit Dash is supported by OpenFeint, with leader boards for each mode, as well as each difficulty setting in those two modes, and then leader boards for the best overall Classic and best overall Endless scores. There’s also 10 achievements, most of which should take even hardcore gamers a while to complete. Tough it would be nice to see GameCenter support in the future, as there are plenty of gamers that don’t use OpenFeint anymore. It would also be nice to see some power-ups in the future, like invincibility, or a speed up and slow down pick-ups, as well as a pick up that lets you have unlimited dashes for a short period of time would be a very welcome addition. But for an endless runner, it’s a great deal at $0.99, providing plenty of content, as well as endless replay ability, and even more on the way. Platformer and Endless Runner fans alike will both enjoy the gameplay that provides both casual and hardcore gamers plenty of challenge.

Super Bit Dash gets a score of 8 out of 10.


Version Reviewed; Version 1.0.0
Reviewed On; 4th Generation iPod Touch - iOS 4.3.3


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