Developer: Halfbrick
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3G

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Monster Dash, as explained in the original preview post, is an endless platformer that has you play as recurring Halfbrick protagonist Barry Steakfries in a time traveling endless platformer, where you’re endlessly running forward and killing undead creatures for as long as you can stay alive.

Monster Dash will appeal to action gamers, with its focus on killing enemies as well as platforming. Few other games have shooting as a prominent mechanic, so this is a great way to feature action elements in a game while still keeping platforming an important element. It’s almost like playing 2 games simultaneously in the way that you have enemies to take out and health to manage, but you still have to worry about instantly dying from missed jumps. This gives the game a bit more variety than a game like Canabalt does – the only fatal mistake you can make is falling to your doom. Contact with enemies or hazards isn’t fatal unless you run out of health. As well, the game features plenty of humorous quotes from protagonist Barry Steakfries after each round, although there is no voice work in the game; the quotes are text only.

The big issue with Monster Dash is that there’s just not much subtlety to the gameplay. It’s pretty much just running, jumping and shooting everything in your path. Survival and anticipation of immediate threats is your main strategy – the only real preparation for future threats is to make sure you have health, but not taking damage is already a goal for you, so it doesn’t really count as depth. The randomly generated hazards lack variety, so it’s pretty much just monotonous level survival that gradually increases in difficulty. Even the weapons you get are only just quicker ways to kill enemies, only the machine gun jetpack provides anything significantly different. As well, despite the various levels provided, they merely only serve as different coats of paints for the same level designs. Significantly different hazards for each level would have helped the game break out of its occasional monotony.

Monster Dash is not the pinnacle of the endless platformer genre, but its action-based take does enough right to be an entertaining game, and a worthy purchase for those looking for more endless platformers for their iOS device.

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