Aug 22, 2012
Honestly, I’m surprised that it took so long for games that take obvious inspiration from Temple Run to pop up. But 3D endless runners are starting to creep out, and Full Fat Games have one of their own with Agent Dash. This James Bond pastiche has a tuxedo-clad agent running through the jungle, a secret base, and a city in pursuit of gems. The gems can be spent on the now-standard character upgrades, consumable items, and new characters, including Bond Girl parody “Joanna Goodtug” which is a little on the nose, isn’t it?
Similar to Temple Run, players swipe vertically to jump or slide, but swipe horizontally to move between three different lanes. This means that the tilt sensor doesn’tdfdsfdafsadsfsadfasdfdsfdasfdsaf get involved at all, which is both a blessing and a curse. The game has great graphics, with a stylish almost-cel-shaded effect that gives the game a cartoonish veneer, and there’s plenty of color as well.
I have two big qualms with Agent Dash, though. First off, why is he running? There’s nothing explicitly chasing Agent Dash or his compatriots. I mean, at least Temple Run had evil monkeys and Brave had a giant freaking bear running after their protagonists. What’s stopping Agent Dash from just taking a leisurely stroll to his destination? At least in Jetpack Joyride, Barry Steakfries is somewhere he shouldn’t be, and in Canabalt, the world is collapsing. Give us a reason to run, developers!
Second, there’s a reason why Temple Run went with tilting to switch lanes, instead of swiping: it’s much quicker and forgiving to the player to let them tilt instead of swiping. When hazards require the player to go from one side to the other, they need to be able to react more quickly than the swiping controls allow.
So, that just makes playing Agent Dash extremely frustrating. Compare this to Temple Run, and really any successful endless runner: the frustration needs to come from the challenge level of the game, not from the player’s use of the controls. The reason why Temple Run has 8-digit download numbers is because they figured out the controls. Trying to remove the tilting mechanic is breaking what wasn’t broken. It’s free, yes, but so is the original Temple Run, so this only for those who really need a new 3D endless runner fix.
Agent Dash Review Rundown
App available on the Google Play Store »