By Peter Magers on Fri, 07/15/2011
Game maker Dragon Stone’s new release, Rabbit Dash, sets itself up against some fierce competition. iPhone users aren’t exactly lacking in options if they like the continuously scrolling, beat-the-clock style offered by the endless-running genre. So what makes Rabbit Dash so special that it has a chance against the heavy hitters in this genre saturating iTunes?
Our hero, the rabbit will be running against a progression of backdrops—ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, and Switzerland. Supposedly this game is a response to Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare,” with the hare trying to do some damage control to his reputation. But the backstory, such as it is, has little impact on the game play.
Controls are typical for games of this type. In addition to running, the dashing rabbit can jump, double jump, and kick. The kicking is useful not only for gaining a lead on the arch-enemy turtle, but in a double-jump+kick=extra jump combo move. Gameplay controls are executable through simple taps of the screen.
Rabbit Dash doesn’t do much that other games in this genre can’t do already. The game’s most outstanding quality could be a pro or a con for players, depending on their tastes. It has an aura of… weirdness. There’s an almost retro feel to the hearts, stars, “speed items” and such that will take players back to the late 80s/early 90s console games (well, players who are old enough). Extra lives, getting a ‘grow bigger’ special item, the monotonous parade of turtle enemies, and the tinny repetitive background tones serving as music will make some players nostalgic.
The background audio is punctuated by the rabbit’s “yip” sounds and the ‘hi-ya!’ exclamation when he kicks. What sounds a great deal like a Japanese game show host announcer shouts “Wake-up Rabbit!” when you fail… All said, you might wanna go ahead and mute the thing. The graphics are better. Though it’s a 2D scrolling environment, the characters have some 3D modeling, and both characters and backgrounds have a nice charm.
It’s an odd little game that doesn’t bring much new to the table except it’s eccentric personality. It retails at 99 cents, and if this odd little endless-running game sounds like your thing, check it out.