The digital world is an enigma of information going every which way. Take that world, make it a game, and you have Dub Dash.
Dub Dash is a brilliant little action rhythm game that takes the concept from games like The Impossible Game and Geometry Dash and spins it around on its head and creates something totally unique and different. You play as a sort of wheel that rolls across a digital landscape avoiding obstacles and shifting from right to left from a top-down view that changes with the terrain you roll through while jumping and dodging in sync with the beats that the game puts through your speakers. Even though it is a concept used before, it seems like Incodra and Headup Games knew what they were doing when they were making this interesting little game. Since it came out February of last year the game has gotten mostly positive reviews on Steam and a 4.2/5 on the Google Play store.
You are traveling across the Dub Dash landscape with your only goal being to reach the end of the level. Along the way, you travel through portals which switch up the gameplay from racing forward as a wheel, to flying in a side-scroll fashion, to turning every which way to keep rolling through a backward version of the track. Reaching the end of a level unlocks the next one in the series, and finishing all nine levels is the way to beat the game. After all that's done and done, enjoy either the split screen multiplayer mode or the challenge mode.
At its base, it is a simple concept. Go along a set track, avoid the many obstacles in your way, and reach the end of the level without dying and go back to the beginning if you do. At least that's what it was in The Impossible Game. In Dub Dash this concept is taken to a new level. Yes, you roll the wheel along a set path with obstacles, but it adds a third dimension. While other games only have a jump mechanic, Dub Dash has you dodging left and right, bouncing off of walls, flying up and down, and racing all with the left and right arrow keys to the smashing beats this game has to offer.
There are nine levels to beat in the game, and they get progressively harder as you unlock them. Every time you start a level it starts you off as the default wheel form. When you get far enough trough the level you get introduced to a new game mechanic such as flying and being able to control your up and down movement, controlling two wheels at once, or even rolling backward and turning every which way to avoid death. Each level introduces one new game mechanic and is unlocked by beating the level before it. While playing the levels you encounter portals that take you to another section of the track switch up the gameplay. If you die, you go back to the beginning, but initially, you have 5 lives that you can use to let you respawn back at the beginning of the section you were going through.
Challenge mode is the way to earn back lives after you've used them all. The mode randomly generates a level that you have to beat using only the standard wheel form. The generated levels aren't much harder than the regular levels, and after you make it all the way through the level you get five lives you can use in the main levels.
The split-screen multiplayer is a bit odd due to the fact that split-screen PC games went out of style when online multiplayer became a thing, but it works well enough. You and up to four players race separately on identical tracks to see who can stay alive for the most of the level. But unlike in the main levels when you die you return to the beginning, multiplayer has the track continue and players respawn at the beginning of the next section. The person with the most time alive wins.
There is an option, of course, when you think this game could be better with a controller in which case you can go into the options and map the controls to any button on your gamepad. And it works pretty well, no matter what you use the controls are tight and the game reacts smoothly to all input. However, there are times that the game shows it's limitations in the controls. For instance, when you're in a part where you're chain jumping to one side of the track and then you have to do some quick switching to dodge left and right and if you don't time the jumps accordingly you will find that the jumping animation doesn't end soon enough to switch sides.
Graphics and audio
The graphics in this game are, and can only be described as, sublime.
The game assets look smooth and fine-tuned, but what really grabs your attention is the entire atmosphere of this game being akin to a giant rave. Everything is brightly colored and saturated to the point of sensory overload. You might be focusing on rolling through the level but if you look past it even for a moment you will see a beautiful symphony of colors and changing terrain around you complimenting the music, which in turn compliments the gameplay.
Playing this game without the audio is a big no-no. You wouldn't even want to miss these awesome music tracks, the entire gameplay is based around it. The gameplay syncs up exactly with the beats and the level even changes with the sectioning of the music. One moment you might be rolling and dodging forever forward, but then the beat drops and you find yourself flying up and down trying to not hit spikes, then the song mellows out and you're rolling two wheels at once trying to keep up with the differentiating obstacles either side has.
Having said all that, though, I did enjoy the game quite a bit once I settled into the groove of the gameplay. Listening to the music, feeling the flow, and letting it carry me through the level. Like I said before, Dub Dash is not a game to play intensely, but it is something to play after a long day where all you want to do is sit back at your desk and play a little Dub Dash. The game allows you to turn off your brain and relax for a little bit while you go through a level or two before fixing up dinner. In other words, Dub Dash is a quintessential casual game for the casual gamer.
Wrapping it all up, the game is definitely good for what it is: a relatively simple rhythm game which its graphics and gameplay make it a cut above games like The Impossible Game and Geometry Dash. Which is why I'm giving Dub Dash an 8 out of 10. If you like Rhythm games, this one should revitalize the genre for you. You should pick this one up.
|+ Vibrant atmosphere and visual style||– Light on level content|
|+ Clear and engaging audio||– Offers limited replayability|
|+ Tight gameplay mechanics|
|+ Expands the rhythm game genre|