App Reviewed on: iPod Touch 4g
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Dash Race is a bit of an enigma in today’s landscape of richly interactive mobile apps. People who are used to stunning visual effects and high-speed action will likely be nonplussed by this game’s apparent mindlessness. I’m not sure how many people will tolerate playing a game this lo-fi on a mobile device capable of streaming a feature-length movie, unless they already have a penchant for playing calming, repetitive games like Solitare.
That being said, Dash Race is not without it’s own unique charm, and without doubt there is something comforting in the game’s lack of complexity. The rules are fairly simple, once you understand them (I was curious enough to go look them up) and Dash Race automates the tedious counting of squares to put more focus on the strategy of gameplay. The visual graphics used to represent the track are clear and simple, perfectly suited for the app’s complexity level, and the gesture combination used to position each vehicle’s next move is intuitive and clever.
Most players will start off way too confidently and end up crashing on the first bend (and on the second, and third), because what appears to be a mindlessly simple game actually requires a surprising level of forethought and planning. Also, like Solitare, you can easily pick the game up, play a few rounds, and put it down again, making it ideal for burning up standing-in-line time.
Dash Race does appear to have some stability problems. It crashed on me the first time I opened it, and then twice more in the middle of gameplay, even after a device reboot. A note on the developer’s website suggests that users who have trouble with this should try closing other applications that may be running at the same time, since the crashes are likely due to a lack of device memory. Hopefully with future releases these small inconsistencies will be resolved.