App Reviewed on: iPhone 4s
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Dash & Bash is a 2D racing game/runner from developers Touch.Play.Repeat. In this game, players control a duck named Dash who is challenging the reigning racing champion, a beaver named Bash, for the prestige of being the fastest creature in the land. Because Bash is unwilling to surrender his title without a fight, he has set up obstacles for Dash along the way, making the object of the game to navigate Dash through environments fraught with danger as quickly as possible.
As with most runners, Dash runs (or swims, rather) automatically while players can control Dash's position on the screen by tapping the top half of the screen to fly and the bottom half to dive underwater. Players will have to move Dash around on screen if they want to avoid Bash's obstacles and collect enough "speed up" fruit to score a good enough time to move on to the next stage.
The snappy controls of Dash & Bash are probably the best part about the game, allowing players to easily change directions immediately without giving priority to animation. Fortunately, the developers also take advantage of the fidelity of control by designing levels that will eventually require players to execute an airtight sequence of commands to perform a perfect run. This design philosophy is also paired with a smart progression of unlocks and additional environmental features, which help to keep the experience feeling varied.
Although Dash & Bash controls great and offers some unique mechanics and environments, it doesn't really start to feel fresh until accessing the content behind the game's pay wall. After the first five stages, players can pay $0.99 to access the rest of what Dash & Bash has to offer, including some cool new worlds, unlockable characters, obstacles and powerups. Even then though, Dash & Bash is still a runner in every sense of the word, so it can only feel so novel.
At the end of the day, Dash & Bash doesn't do anything radically different, but it still controls great and is worth trying out. It is just a shame that the free portion of the game isn't the best indicator of everything Dash & Bash has to offer.