Review by FTG Contributor Charles Ferrendelli
Gone are the days of the Indiana Jones style Temple Run; Agent Dash brings a much desired twist to the endless runner genre. Lasers, lava, toxic barrels, and guns fill this visually beautiful iOS/Android game, but is it enough to keep you playing?
If you’ve ever played Temple Run or any other game in the endless runner genre then Agent Dash will be very familiar. The character moves forward on their own and it’s the player’s job to guide them along the way by avoiding various obstacles that will result in a game over. Through your journey you will be attempting to snag up gems which can then be spent on upgrades to make each run easier.
The controls in Agent Dash are simple. Swiping left and right moves your character, while sliding up will jump and down will make you slide. As you progress further into the game you will come across areas in which you tap on the screen for your character to shoot to destroy objects and earn extra points. While the objects that are destroyed are specific, the game doesn’t require you to target them yourself. By just tapping anywhere on the screen the game will automatically destroy the objects for you.
At the main menu of Agent Dash, you will be greeted by Facebook leaderboards so you can see how you rank amongst your friends. For those who don’t want to use Facebook or simply don’t have an account, you will see a great big blank screen that takes up 75% of what you see. For those looking to see the overall leaderboards, that menu is tucked away on a second screen and is integrated within Game Center. The menu layout is questionable and seems to give priority to getting your friends to play rather than direct the user’s attention towards other aspects such as your personal stats and objectives.
The gameplay follows Agent Dash through the jungle where the player has to avoid toxic barrels, cliffs, and turns. The game then progresses into the “villain base” where the player attempts to avoid lasers, closing doors, and plenty of pitfalls. Following this the player will come into environments such as a neighborhood under construction where you’ll avoid moving trucks and construction areas. As the user completes each level, the game will slowly pick up the pace requiring you to improve on their reflexes.
With the secret agent theme being at the forefront of the game, one would expect to see plenty of diversity in the ‘Gadget HQ’ where the player can spend their hard earned gems on items to make the game easier, and earn diamonds faster. For those expecting James Bond-esque gadgetry, don’t get your hopes up.
The upgrades are limited to only four items in which you can then upgrade six times. You have the ‘High-Value Gems’ and the ‘Super-Diamond’ which add on to the amount of jewels collected in a run. The player can also purchase a jetpack and a magnet, both of which are grabbed in game and last for a short period of time, but can be expanded upon with the more upgrades put into the items.
The player can also purchase single-use supplies before a run. Here you have items such as the ‘air drop’ which will skip the jungle portion of the game and bring you straight to the villain’s base via a quick helicopter ride through the first level. Other items include slow-motion, an extra life, and gem multipliers. You can’t help but think there’s much more gadgetry that could’ve been offered here. For fans of Jetpack Joyride’s deep imaginative inventory of items, prepare to be disappointed.
While these items are readily attainable after a few runs, there are more expensive items aimed towards the user making some in-app purchases. There are a total of nine extra characters models that can be bought with some adding an Austin Power’s style flavor with names such as “Joanna Goodtug”. On top of this, different pistols can be purchased as well, but all of these are more for aesthetics than anything else and don’t noticeably affect the gameplay.
What will immediately catch the player’s eye is how great the game looks. It puts Disney’s Temple Run: Brave to shame. Agent Dash brings the high quality Pixar level of detail we have come to expect. Every level is impressive with attention brought to the waterfalls in the jungle, the lighting in the base, and the color in the neighborhood. It’s one of the best looking games to date and is worth taking a look just to see how far mobile games have come graphically.
While Agent Dash doesn’t really bring anything new to the table gameplay wise, it’s a fun addition to the genre. With its introductory price being absolutely free I recommend giving it a go. For players looking to finally escape the temple now is the time to finally meet Agent Dash. Pick it up in the App Store or Google Play today.