From Rampage to Angry Birds, breaking stuff in videogames is almost a sure-fire road to fun. Demolition Dash combines senseless destruction with non-stop running, plus a whole lot of polish. But is it enough to make it stand out on the App Store?
In Demolition Dash you play as Zilla, a happy beast who likes to sprint and doesn’t care what gets in his way. He’s so into running that he dashes forward automatically, so all you have to worry about is jumping and roaring. Roaring, when timed properly, destroys whatever potentially harmful enemy is in his way, be it a police barricade, a tank, or heaven forbid, a helicopter.
Symphony of destruction.
But this isn’t an endless running game: it’s divided into levels. In fact, you’ll visit the major cities of the world, leaving a path of destruction in each one. As a bonus, each level has an optional goal, like popping 65 balloons or blowing up 15 helicopters. This adds to the game’s replay value, as do the Game Center achievements.
The controls are solid, and the graphics look great. There are also a number of creative little touches, like your health is signified by your amphibian tail: when you take damage, a section of your tail breaks off. Fittingly, health power-ups look like pieces of a tail. It’s kind of gross, but it’s unique. Also, each city you visit sports appropriate (if stereotypical) music. It’s nice to see that level of detail in a casual iPhone game.
Unfortunately, the graphics are a little too detailed. You destroy portions of the environment as you run, so trees uproot, cars explode, and debris flies the entire time you play. Oftentimes the game gels into a blur if you’re not amped up on high levels of caffeine.
Crash bang boom.
Helpfully, enemies flash and make noise when they come onscreen. But still, it can be extremely tough to see what’s happening, meaning you’ll probably end up taking more damage and falling into more pits than you feel like you can possibly avoid.
Or other complaint is that the game doesn’t really evolve as you play. Enemies and pits come more frequently, but you don’t get any new abilities or face interesting new enemies. Adding to the problem, the level design never changes: each city has a unique background, but all you ever have to do to navigate the environment is jump over pits and roar at bad guys.
Still, Demolition Dash manages to keep the challenge and fun quotas more or less in sync, so playing is more of a pleasure than a pain. The graphics are appealing, and there’s plenty of replay value included if you want to meet the optional objectives in each level. It’s not going to blow your mind, but it’ll blow away a couple hours of boredom.