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Stylish Dash Review: Another Generic Run Game

The running-game genre has received a lot of new additions within the last couple of months after the success of Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack.

And like always, indie developers usually decide to cash in on the trend and develop games that contain a little more features than the “original” game (Canabalt being the “original” in this genre).  That’s exactly what Playus Soft did in the creation of Stylish Dash, which features a Robot Unicorn Attack-like dash and jump features added in with star, coins, and 0ther items.

You earn SP/money depending on how far and how many coins you collected in each run, and the money translates into items that can increase your stats such as speed and gravity.  There are multiple maps to unlock after completing the objectives on the previous map(s), and the gameplay as a whole isn’t too shabby.

Where the game breaks down is its difficulty level, which—by golly gosh—is pretty ridiculous.  The second map requires you to run 1,000 meters before unlocking the third map, which is utterly ridiculous and took nearly 20 tries to finally achieve that score.  The third map requires a 1,500 meter mark before proceeding, and again, utterly ridiculous.

I also thought that, according to the screenshots in the App Store, the graphics would be appealing.  Instead, the colors are dull, the player model is barely 2.5D, and the overall look of the game isn’t all that great.

And mixing all these factors into one game results in another, generic run game that feels rough around the edges.


Clothes: Who doesn’t like dressing up his/her character in clothes?  Hence the Stylish Dash title; you can style your character into a number of outfits that look quite amusing, although it does take a while to gather enough cash to buy an outfit.  But once you are able to buy something, there is a noticeable difference.

GameCenter: Not sure how much longer I’m going to put this in the ‘Likes’ section, but I’ll probably but GameCenter in until a majority of developers finally understand that gamers want achievements and leaderboards through GameCenter.  I’m seeing maybe a third of all games in the App Store with GameCenter, and nearly a half of that third does not contain achievements.  Stylish Dash contains both leaderboards and achievements, so for those collecting achievements, this is definitely one to look into.


Doesn’t record length after objective: What’s odd to me is that on one map, when I reached the 1,000 meter objective, it stopped going any higher.  My length just stopped at 1,000, which totally takes the competitive nature out of the game.  Not that the game was competitive to start with…

Non-competitive: Running games like these should be competitive — I should be saying to my brother, “Hey, I beat your score!”  I know for Robot Unicorn Attack my friends and I battle out nearly every week on Facebook.  But Stylish Dash doesn’t seem to invoke those feelings largely due to its storyline type of game mode, killing off much of the replay value.  You’re not going as far or as high as you can; you’re going just to beat the objectives and move on.  Where’s the fun in that?

Graphics: Like I mentioned before in the beginning, the graphics aren’t all that great.  The colors are bland, the character model is pitiful, and the overall look isn’t aesthetically appealing.  I thought—judging from the screenshots—that the game would look great.  Instead, I’m stuck with a half-Retina, half-normal screen that’s not too pretty.  So don’t be fooled by the screenshots in the App Store; the graphics aren’t all that great.

The only reason I can recommend Stylish Dash to you is if you have every other good running game, if you want to gain some more GameCenter achievements, and if you’re up to the steep challenge.  It’s also only $0.99, so you’re not really losing much if you don’t like the game.  But still, I wasn’t too thrilled with my game experience, and it’s failed to really hook me in.

Stylish Dash was developed by Playus Soft, and I played through version 1.2 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $0.99.

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