Super Bit Dash will dash into your heart
Horizontal platformers have held some of my favorite games in the mobile space to date. Monster Dash from Halfbrick stands out as perhaps one of best. Now Super Bit Dash from FakePup has stepped up to the contestant table. With its mix of fantastic controls and almost endless appeal, this is one game you owe yourself to check out.
Super Bit Dash is a very straightforward experience, with easy to grasp controls. Your character will run across the screen on his own, but it is your job to make sure he gets through numerous obstacles safely by using a neat combination of swipe and touch controls. There are four things you can do: swipe forward to dash straight, swipe back to slow down, swipe up to dash in the air, and tap the screen to jump. With each dash you spend coins that you collect as you go through the course. You only get four coins to store at a time, so you must make judicious use of your dashes, less you find yourself coinless and unable to dash through an obstacle or jump high enough to move forward (the camera follows from behind and will move in to squish you dead).
The controls work extremely well after you get over some of the small detection issues. Early on when playing, it seems at times that it would shoot me upwards when I thought it was a pretty clear horizontal swipe. This often led to some frustrating deaths. Over time, it seemed that either I got better at making clear motions or the update that was released during the review process fixed all the detection issues. What stands now is such a smooth, sublime experience. It is oddly exhilarating to hop up and through barriers, collecting coins along the way. To call this game well-paced is to speak in understatements.
The courses are randomly generated, though you will notice similar patterns as you progress through. The levels are pretty beefy in size, taking anywhere from 5-7 minutes to complete. These are fairly lengthy levels, but included in the game is a pause button for those moments that pesky “people” or bothersome “responsibilities” interfere with your gaming.
Because the randomization doesn’t necessarily change things up dramatically, the real treat of this game is trying to make it through courses with a higher score and get the game’s achievements. There are two modes to choose from, Classic and Endless. Classic will give you three lives (and when you collect 100 coins, you’ll gain an extra life) and you simply try to reach the end.
There are also two difficulty modes—”easy way” and “hard way,” and the descriptors are pretty accurate. You’ll likely reach the end of easy (unless you’re prone to bouts of extreme idiocy like this humble reviewer) fairly regularly, so the challenge will come more from getting as many coins as possible for a high score. When you play hard way, though, hang on for dear life, because it is no joke. Endless mode mashes easy way and hard way “rooms” (how the game is broken up) and can theoretically go on forever if you have the appropriate skill. There is also another mode that is classified as “coming soon,” so that might be just one more reason to pick up Super Bit Dash.
Even if FakePup reneges on their promise for an extra mode, it wouldn’t be that big of a travesty because what is currently on offer is so great. The smooth controls, fantastic pacing and the thrill of beating you and your friend’s high score make this a game that you simply should not pass up.