"Walk for these Dollars"
Dollar Dash is the latest title in a long line of games popping up on XBLA that attempt to bring online multiplayer-centric gameplay within a smaller downloadable title. It's simple to pick up and get into, and it has the charm of similar titles from the Dreamcast era.
A top-down, 1-4 player dual stick action game, Dollar Dash pits players as robbers that must steal a certain amount of money to win a match. In addition to taking place in arenas with hazards such as cops with shotguns, a number of items are available to be picked up and used during matches. There are three game types available: Dollar Dash has players picking up money and taking it to a getaway car, Hit n’ Run has players hitting each other with weapons to score cash; and Save the Safe has players picking up a safe and walking around with it to gain money.
Matches are pretty light-hearted, and the tide can turn quickly due to all the random factors. One stage has a car that rushes through alleyways, dropping off bundles of cash while making players drop money already held if hit, a few stages contain pits that are hard to navigate around due to the game's top down nature. Playing over and over will help players become familiar with the weapons, but when playing on default setting, there is no guarantee that your favorite items will come around when you need them. The game in fact requires that an item be used fully, which forces players to use weapons quickly just in case the weapons they're looking for pops up.
While Dollar Dash is the main mode and has the most complicated rules (complicated being used loosely here), the other modes are worth trying out too. Out of the other modes, Hit n’ Run is the most basic mode of the 3 available, with players relying solely on the weapons to hit others to gain money, which is a good alternative since you can't lose money like you can in Dollar Dash. Safe Mode is Capture the Flag in disguise, and once someone has the safe, it's pretty much set in stone. Some of the arenas are obviously skewered towards these modes, specifically the maps with bottomless pits.
Money gained during matches is kept and added to the player's bank, which can be used to purchase items. These items change how the characters look, the player's picture, taunts, win poses, and most importantly, perks and the ability of one item. Everything isn't available immediately in Dollar Dash, and it requires a certain amount of money to be stolen in addition to a number of wins. This unlock system is where the game gets its replay value from and will make or break the game for players.
Dollar Dash pretty much feels like a party game, but skewered towards online play, which is where the game's only real fault comes from. The light-heartedness of the title lends itself better to same couch play, but the game overemphasizes the online modes more, dropping the player right into the online mode and having very little offline content. Losing a match due to not being able to see your tiny character is a lot easier to deal with when sitting on the couch with friends rather than being in a silent chat room with strangers.
If offline play was expanded a bit and the unlocks opened up based on number of matches played rather than matches won, this game would be a lot better. During my time playing, I already realized that playing against the CPU to get the amount of wins to gain an unlockable was the best thing to do before trying to go online and getting slaughtered. At any rate, if looking for a casual multiplayer console experience, you will end up with something similar to Dollar Dash.
GameDynamo's Score for Dollar Dash (X360)
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