Developer: Mike Hince
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.3.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5, iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The Blitz-style puzzler is in vogue as of late, and Directional Dash largely exists in this genre, bringing fast-paced puzzle action for thrill-seekers and high-score chasers. The game? Remove adjacent clusters of blocks with arrows on them off the board by swiping them in the direction indicated. Simple as that.

DirectionalDash-1DirectionalDash-2

Mastery of Directional Dash is all about racking up the multipliers. Any swiped away grouping of eight or more increases the multiplier by one, and this is the key to high scores in all the modes. The scoring is relatively straightforward otherwise, as it basically just grants 100 points fo each block swiped off, multiplied by the number of blocks in the grouping and by the multiplier.

Thus, expert players need to be able to quickly recognize groupings that are large enough to increase the multiplier, but also be sure to be constantly making matches to drive the score up. Just focusing on the multiplier increase alone will lead to much lower high scores because the opportunity to take good advantage of the high multiplier will just never arrive!

DirectionalDash-7Why do I like Directional Dash? The game feels like it’s really meant for a fast-paced style of play. There’s a limited move mode here as well, but it just feels dull in comparison. The fun comes in trying to get the high score while that clock is ticking down, and getting into that trance state. The simple concept and control scheme is very conducive to this, so I found myself coming back again and again. The addition of three different timings was a smart choice: there’s really a different approach necessary to the 30, 60, and 120 seconds modes.

The controls are the only thing of particular annoyance. By default, a block has to be swiped in its particular direction in order to send it off the board. Now, on the iPhone, this is a bit tricky to do on single blocks, as the finger needs to be placed right on the block if not extremely close to it. In the middle of a frantic session, this is particularly aggravating because time is of the essence. A more liberal swiping area would help out a lot. There’s a more accurate control scheme where tapping on a cluster will

Directional Dash is one of my favorite Blitz-style puzzle games on the App Store: by eschewing match-3 and line elimination, and going with a concept that’s built for speed, it’s a package that comes together to be extremely fun and addictive.

Posted in: Games, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , ,