When players think of family-oriented competitive multiplayer titles, a few games come to mind: Bomberman, Chu Chu Rocket and Micro Machines. Those titles may have a more cartoony style that's suitable for younger audiences, but the gameplay remains fierce enough for gamers of all ages. With that market always ripe for new experiences, publisher Kalypso Media has thrown its hat in the ring with Dollar Dash.
The basic premise of Dollar Dash is that up to four thieves enter an arena with a never-ending supply of cash on one side and a getaway vehicle on another. Your job, collectively, is to grab as much of the cash as possible before time runs out or the target goal is reached. This is a competition, so the winner is the one who grabbed the most cash.
Players can pick up weapons or punch the cash out of another player's possession while preventing others from doing the same. To that end, players have access to an assortment of primary and secondary weapons as well as defensive items to help retain your cash. Aside from this primary mode of play, the game includes one where you must hold on to the safe for as long as possible while avoiding enemy contact. There's also a straight deathmatch mode for those who don't care too much about looting.
There's a varied weapons system in place. The total count for the weapons goes above 20 and covers the expected bases. You have boulders, personal shields, rockets, stun boomboxes and time bombs, to name a few. Interestingly, only the main weapon is governed by a random chance icon. Both the secondary weapons and defensive items are visible on the field and can be chosen, so the mad dash for the cash becomes even more frantic since players will often fight over coveted weaponry once it enters the field. The game balances this by giving trailing players a better chance at more powerful random weaponry.
Dollar Dash will feature around 30 arenas, but only a few of them should be static. Every other level features some gimmick that can either damage all players or make it easier for observant players to reach the getaway vehicle. In the demo level, for example, all of the thieves were on rooftops that had pits and moving planks. While it was easier to knock people out of the arena and to their doom, more observant players could use the planks to move away from the action or get closer to the getaway chopper without much interference. It's a simple enough strategy, but if we see a good number of levels doing this, it'll go a long way toward making each level exciting.
There's a decent set of customization options. The full set of items and their prices weren't available in the E3 build, but you'll be able to purchase things like personal perks, purely cosmetic items and weapon enhancements. While there isn't a final count yet, the number of slots indicates that there'll be plenty for the player to purchase.
Dollar Dash looks like it'll be simple, fun and good for all age groups to enjoy. While casual gamers will appreciate the approach, the more dedicated ones will like the depth provided by the sheer number of levels and weapons. With a proposed $10 asking price, Dollar Dash looks like it'll provide some fun gaming sessions when it hits in late 2012.
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