Half Brick studios return with a brand new episode of Barry’s adventures. After their classic hit Jet Pack Joyride; that had you hooked for hours and hours, Half Brick has released Monster Dash, another endless run game set on building rooftops, snowcapped peaks or scary zombie infected cities.
The concept is simple, you choose your weapon and head out into the wild zapping or gunning down monsters, collecting coins and avoiding the occasional pitfall. Monster Dash however picks up speed real fast and in no time you are itching to blink but the risk of falling off keep you at bay. What is interesting and different is the changing scenery which seamlessly maintains the endless run flavor. After you successfully run for a while on any scene a ray of light would teleport you in another world and you would continue with your action packed adventure. I feel this relieves the player of environment monotony which can become really cumbersome during long runs.
Developers have even gone the extra mile to also create different monsters for each scene so basically if you are in winter wonderland you would get Yeti’s rather than mummies that you would find in the creepy night scene. Each enemy offers a different set of interaction, so for example jumping on a putrid zombie or fire daemon would damage your health while jumping on a Yeti with antlers would allow you to jump higher.
Monster Dash comes with its own selection of cool weapons which can be unlocked using the coins collected during runs. The options include: Shotgun, The Pacifier, Mr Zappy, Rocket Launcher and SMG which have different impacts, speed and reloading times. If a user wants to speed up progress they can of course use real money to purchase gems that can be redeemed for coins.
In fact what I really like about this game is that you can fully enjoy the title without using any real money so in other words, there are no features that you cannot enjoy or unlock without real money. Monster Dash also follows the energy model to limit the number of runs but this is not an issue since you get 14 energy points and they reload pretty quickly making your play seamless and the wait less painful.
Like Jetpack Joyride you can pickup power ups that appear through the run. Monster Dash is limited to Jetpack and Hog which allow you to power through your run helping to reach longer run distances and horde more coins by running over enemies.
Alongside weapon unlocks you get to upgrade Barry using coins collected. Each level up provides more abilities to Barry such as carrying 4 lives instead of 3. Increasing jetpack ammo or fuel for the Hog. Maximum level upgradeable is level 20 which maxes out all of Barry’s abilities. Another mode to help you progress faster are time sensitive challenges that award medals and redeemable gems based on your performance, when challenge time runs out. There are 10 challenges which cycle over and over. The total list in random order is as follows:
- Lost Vampires
- Dare Devil
- Big Game Hunter
- Mind The Gap
- Death From Above
- Stink Tank
- Winter is Coming
- One Shot Wonder
- Zombie Barry
As a downside, the game is not that challenging and a player can accomplish all goals fairly quickly as compared to other alternatives. It is by no means a disappointing title but somehow does not exceed the benchmark set by its elder brother: Jet Pack Joyride. A couple of days into Monster Dash, it loses interest fairly quickly but still good fun for a quick distraction.
Sound, graphics and gameplay meet the usual Half Brick perfection standards and controls are intuitive and easy to pick up.
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