Submitted by: Darren Jones
Apple Dash HD
Developer: Strange Flavour
Release: Out Now
Apple Dash was originally planned for Sega’s Mega Drive but became lost in the mists of time. Coder Jim Bagley has now revived the project for iOS and it’s only really let down by its choice of format.
First the good news though: Apple Dash HD is fantastic fun. It effortlessly captures the spirit of old-school platformers like Chuckie Egg, Rainbow Islands and Bubble Bobble, but has plenty of its own cool ideas to make it stand out in Apple’s competitive market.
There are four worlds, each consisting of 25 levels – good value for your £1.99 entry fee. Each level has three stars to collect, with stars being awarded for collecting a set amount of fruit, completing the stage in a specific time and grabbing the bonus letters that fall down at the end of each completed level. Main hero Dash is a charming character with an unhealthy fixation for cute hats (which grant various bonuses), while the delightful soundtrack appears to have been lifted from some forgotten classic arcade game.
Dash only has a set amount of time to race through each stage, and while it seems initially generous you soon find yourself up against it as the game progresses. You’ll also need to master the ‘drop jump’, which extends the reach of Dash’s jump. Coming into contact with the various blob-like monsters transforms you and slows you down, while spikes cause you to drop back a platform. Get an invulnerability flower however and you can plough through both, turning the monsters back into cute point-scoring bees.
It’s a delightful little game that is only let down by some brutal difficulty spikes (touch controls and precise platforming just don’t go together) on certain stages. Luckily, you can skip these by watching trailers for other games, ensuring even the most incompetent gamer will get to experience everything this delightful game has to offer.