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Dollar Dash review: no, not one of "those" Dash games

Dollar Dash in no way has any relation to the popular Dash time management series published by PlayFirst. So if you are expecting a time management game set inside a bank, you are in for quite the surprise—in Dollar Dash, you rob the bank, among other actions, competing against a mixture of human and AI characters, both online and offline.

The game is broken up into three different modes: "Dollar Dash," "Hit'n'Run," and "Save the Safe." In each mode, you compete against one to three different opponents, no more and no less, each character wearing a different colored outfit so there's no confusion as to who's who. Scattered across every map are weapons and power-ups that greatly affect the way a match will turn out--from nukes to shields to bear traps, everything comes into play at some point.

In "Dollar Dash" mode, you compete against fellow burglars, collecting money scattered across one of the various maps, sometimes dropped by a vehicle--the more money you carry, the slower you move--and then deliver the money to a van located somewhere on the level--a location that can potentially change during the course of a match, depending on the level. It's a fun mode and extremely competitive, and the different layout of levels greatly affects the strategy one must implore in order to win; some levels are very open and others are very closed off or full of hazards that must be avoided—like falling off of the edge of a tall building or a pier, or getting killed by spikes coming out of the ground.

"Hit'n'Run" is a standard deathmatch mode and the weakest of the bunch as the actual combat is not particularly fun when it becomes the focus of the game. The weapons and power-ups are nice and add a layer of depth when trying to collect/deliver money or holding onto a safe, but when the game is nothing but combat, it doesn't work out so well. Everything just becomes an utter mess of rockets, fires, oil spills, bombs, and everything in between.

The final mode, "Save the Safe," as I alluded to in the previous paragraph, is all about holding onto a safe found somewhere on the map as long as you can until you're knocked out or meet your maker. This mode is a lot like the "Dollar Dash" mode; though, instead of collecting money and delivering it to a van, you're trying to collect a safe that another player holds and keep it for yourself before someone else steals it away. It's not as fun as "Dollar Dash," but it's a close second and a good way to mix up the gameplay.

Dollar Dash is a fun game with a nice, colorful, cartoon-y art style. It is best played with friends or other real-life players, but the bots do a good job taking their place when you just want to play by yourself (or grind for money in order to buy upgrades, hats, taunts, dances, and more--which may keep you coming back for a good while if you have an addictive personality). But sometimes the game can be a bit too hectic for its own good, as the maps are all single-screen maps and leave little room for downtime. Even so, Dollar Dash is a solid, competitive multiplayer-focused game that is especially fun with the right people.

*Dollar Dash was reviewed on Xbox 360 and is available now for 800 MS points and will also be available on PC later today for $9.99. A PSN release date is still TBD.

Dollar Dash (XBLA)


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