Archives for : Rascal Haven

Star Dash Review

Star Dash is an avatar platformer by Rascal Haven. The goal of the game is to complete the stage picking up enough stars to rack up points. In Star Dash you are competing with 3 things; the clock, the vertical scrolling screen and your last previous score.

Star Dash has two modes, solo and multiplayer. In solo mode you start at level 1 and try to make it to level 100. You can also go to the high score menu and select any stage from 1 to 100, even if you haven’t beaten the stages before that level. This is a pretty cool feature for gamers like me. I don’t have the time or the skill to play from level 1 to 100. The ability to jump to whatever stage I want is great and you will also see the current global scores before you select the stage to play. So if you are big on beating other peoples scores this makes it easy to find the stages where someone has a higher score than you and just play those. Granted it would take a bit of time if you’re looking at the high scores of all 100 stages. This option is only available to single player though.

Now in multiplayer mode you and up to 3 other local players will go head to head against the clock to reach the finish line of the stage. In multiplayer mode you start on level 1 and work your way up. Sorry no picking the level in this mode. Hopefully they will put out an update that allows this. I know I got bored playing the first couple stages over and over again. In multiplayer mode all players share the same screen so what one player does effects all players. In multiplayer mode it is still all about the final score. So if your opponent is grabbing up all the stars even if you reach the finish line first they will probably still win the stage.

The way a level works is fairly simple. The screen begins scrolling up and if you fall below the screen you lose and have to start over, unless your playing multiplayer mode. In multiplayer mode you will just respawn a  little higher on the stage. Your objective is to pick up stars, which are worth different points depending on the color of the star. Time increases which are worth points and increase the clock time. The clock time is another way you can lose, you run out of time and everyone loses. There are triangles you can pick up that will slowdown the screen advancement or even reverse it for a very short time. There are also green multipliers that fill a bar above your head. Once it is full you can activate it and it will double the point value of the stars collected while the bar is drained. Once someone reaches the end of the stage the stage ends for everyone and scores are tallied. Your score will not be counted for the global score board if you are playing multiplayer.

Like most platformers you have a few different things you’ll come across on the stages. There are platforms that are like solid brick and you can only jump on to them from the side. There are also the platforms that you can jump onto from directly below them. Some of platforms appear and disappear so timing is really important when crossing those platforms. There are springs to launch you to higher platforms as well as switches that open blocked paths to continue climbing and you can never forget the treadmill platforms. So all in all Star Dash is a platformer that has all the common themes of standard platformers.

Knowing all that there are some downsides to this game. The first of which in my opinion was that something just seemed so off with the controls. I felt like I was sliding on ice platforms at times because I would just press over a little and it seemed like I would move a lot, not to mention the jumps quickly get distant. This distance requires precise jumping from the edge and I just couldn’t seem to get timing correctly with this. Almost every really distant jump I would miss the first time, and it wasn’t just my sad gameplay. I had another person try the game and they also felt that these jumps required you to jump from the very edge of one platform to reach the other. With the movement being so fast you just end up falling off the platform jumping to late or jumping to early and falling to your doom.

Between all the good and the negative I give the game a 3 out of 5. Download the trial if you’re a platformer lover.