Developer: Star Computers Trading
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

There’s nothing particularly exceptional about simple side-scrolling shoot ‘em up, Moscow Dash, but it is quite fun.

Vaguely reminiscent of side-scrolling beat ‘em ups like the Streets of Rage series, Moscow Dash has one simple aim: run through the linear levels, shooting and hitting any enemy that gets in the way. It never really gets more complicated than that.

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To mix things up a little, new enemy types and weaponry emerge, but the formula remains the same. While some enemies might require multiple hits, or speedier dodging skills, so too do the weapons improve in ability, balancing things out. Controls are of the virtual joystick type, with buttons determining which direction the player shoots in. It’s possible to inflict head shots on the enemies, as well as body blows, but it seems to be quite random with no deliberate aiming mechanism. Annoyingly, at times, the virtual joystick is slow to respond to taps too, which can be frustrating when up against a large wave of enemies.

It’s possible to level up as the game progresses, helping the player either speed up or gain extra health. That gradual trickle of achievement works well, to keep things more appealing. There’s the prospect of runes too, aids that fall from the enemies, providing bonuses such as an AI controlled ally for a brief time or making them temporarily invulnerable. Again, it’s simple stuff but enough to keep Moscow Dash interesting.

That’s the crucial thing to take from Moscow Dash. It’s happy to remain in “respectable yet predictable” territory, rather than pushing for anything particularly new. Expect to quite enjoy what’s here, but don’t expect to find anything very memorable.

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