Dash Race brings the classic pen and paper game to you iPhone, and successfully too. The premise remains intact but the digital format helps maintain a set of rules for movement and physics, making the experience more disciplined. In many ways it reinvigorates the original game, making it relevant once again.
Dash Race, has you and up to three opponents race their car – represented as a cross – round a track for a set number of laps, by taking turns drawing a line. As you touch the screen a grid appears, offering options for you to drag your line to determines your direction and location for the next turn and, depending on how far across the grid you draw, your speed. It’s then a matter of out maneuvering your opponents by strategically reading the layout of the track and adjusting your position and acceleration accordingly.
It sounds simple, but keeping on top of everything requires a fair amount of forethought and tactics, especially with your opponents vying for positions on the track, or worse still, cutting you off. It becomes surprisingly and pleasantly cerebral, not to mention hugely competitive, addictive and downright fun.
Up to four players can race each other, AI or human by passing your iPhone around. It’s a great multiplayer title that demands discipline by punishing crashes with turn delays and an obvious cease to momentum. It brings out the worst sportsmanship in people as you openly hope for your opponents to crash and taught them mercilessly when they do. And they will crash, a lot, as will you.
It’s a tricky game, one that well and truly embodies the ‘easy to learn, hard to master, quality. It does get a little frustrating but a great variety of tracks, including some where you race on water, as well as an addictive element to the want to overcome the challenge, keeps you coming back to try and master each and every bend of a course. Playing against the AI however, can be a slow process due to a frequent delay as they make their moves. It’s a shame, but it happen too often and for just too long each time to ignore.
Dash Race does a great job of digitalising the pen and paper game in an easy to play multiplayer package, and the nine included tracks provide great variety. The AI delay is unfortunate and animated vehicles would certainly be more visually pleasing but overall Dash Race is a thoroughly enjoyable title for playing on the go.
MLG Rating: 7/10
Platform: iOS Release Date: 16/03/11
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Dash Race for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of two weeks on an iPhone. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.