Dawn of the Plow Review

Dawn of the Plow Review

Jan 30, 2014

Some games hand out points like they’re going out of style. Dawn of the Plow is not one of those games. This arcade game will test players with challenging conditions and a difficult-to-control vehicle, all in the hopes that they can maybe last long enough to do well before being fired.

Controlling a snow plow on a snowy day where car drivers need to get to nondescript places, players must try to keep their paths clear. Snow will accumulate that the cars can drive over, but eventually they become impassable piles which take time to plow. The longer a car is stopped, the unhappier it gets and the lower the approval meter gets. If that empties, it’s game over and the player is fired. Of course, that probably won’t happen much. What will happen is that players will hit cars, which is instant game over. Or the cars will get trapped and buried under snow, which is also game over. Not making things easier is that driving a large truck around, especially on snow, is not easy. Thankfully, players have a horn to help manage traffic, and can collect powerups like a salt blaster to clear up snow instantly.

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The thing is, the mechanics of Dawn of the Plow are ones that just require practice. Lots and lots of practice. Learning how the cornering works, especially when trying to turn on snow, is key. Figuring out how to take the right path to clear a snow pile before the cars get angry or worse, buried and thus end the game, is also quite important to learn. These things take time and practice to learn, and even just sitting down with the game and keeping at it until it all starts to set in. The controls work fine on a touchscreen, but I definitely recommend playing with a gamepad if possible because it does feel better. Touchscreen controls are perfectly acceptable as a fallback though.

Then, once the mechanics are learned, it becomes about not making mistakes: learning not to drive into the cars, avoiding risks, but using skillful maneuvers when necessary; these are all so important to master. Managing the entire situation, which gets more challenging on larger boards, is important too. Leave a road neglected and the piles can become unmanageable.

The game is kind of ugly, but in the sense that snow-covered landscapes kind of become ugly after the snow settles in and it gets grayed and all muddied up, so it’s not inaccurate. And the snow plow is hard to control: it has a set of behaviors that are quite different from any other driving game. That the cars are unpredictable doesn’t help either. Really, players need to come in to the mindset that they will fail often at this game until they learn what it’s about. It’s a challenging arcade game, but a fair one, and those willing to tackle the challenge will be rewarded.

Android Rundown Live Recap: TowerMadness 2, Dawn of the Plow High Score Chase, and Lots of Cats!

Android Rundown Live Recap: TowerMadness 2, Dawn of the Plow High Score Chase, and Lots of Cats!

Jan 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29th, was a busy day on the streams for us at Android Rundown. Check out all the interesting video below.

It wasn’t technically an Android Rundown stream, but over on 148Apps’ Twitch channel, I played cross-platform release TowerMadness 2 with Limbic Software’s Arash Keshmirian and got some juicy info on the game’s creation and strategies to master it. And I did it while playing the Android version, too. Don’t tell the iOS fans! Click here to watch the whole show or watch the highlights below:

The first level that proved to be a real hindrance was 1-7, Double Cross. After a few attempts, I got some helpful advice from Arash to try and topple the alien menace:

After beating a few challenging levels in a row, I was feeling confident, so Arash challenged me to tackle Invasion mode on level 1-9, Serpentine:

Over on the Android side of things, we did two streams on the Android Rundown Twitch channel on Wednesday.

After the developer of Dawn of the Plow taunted me on Twitter with his ridiculous high score, I decided to hop on Twitch to try and beat his high score. Watch my whole attempt here or watch the highlight of my attempts below:

Finally, I streamed a few releases of recent vintage, in alphabetical order. Watch the entire Bad Hotel, Cat Basket, and Double Dragon Trilogy stream here or watch the individual footage of each game below.

Bad Hotel: Protect a hotel from birds that carry bombs by building up new sections and armed defenses in a haphazard way that’s got to violate at least a few building codes, if not laws!

Cat Basket: The world’s foremost cat lady simulator. Catch cats while trying to knock away dogs, because forget dogs.

Double Dragon Trilogy: I decided to tackle Double Dragon 2 because I thought I knew it from back on the NES. I was dead wrong, as I died many times. On the easiest difficulty.

As always, follow us on Twitch to find out when we go live next!

Android Rundown Live Featuring Dawn of the Plow, Table Top Racing, and Atomic Fusion!

Android Rundown Live Featuring Dawn of the Plow, Table Top Racing, and Atomic Fusion!

Jan 28, 2014

Monday night, we got our stream on, featuring three different Android recent releases on Twitch.tv. Miss the live show? Follow us on Twitch to be notified of when we go live. Otherwise, here’s what you missed:

Dawn of the Plow: This arcade game that pretty much accurately describes the experience of a Chicago snow-plow truck went live on Monday, and I take it for a spin. It turns out driving on snow-covered roads is hard!

Table Top Racing: Micro Machines in 3D is the best way to describe this racing gmaae. Players race around tracks that are basically messy desks with their toy cars, though I’m pretty sure the Micro Machines I had as a kid were never equipped with EMP blasts.

Atomic Fusion: Can’t get enough game hybrids? Well, this is Ikaruga meets arena survival, with plenty of science in between. Players control an atom, switching polarity to pick up energy. It gets chaotic really quickly.

And of course, you can watch the full show here on Twitch, including some bonus Dawn of the Plow footage.

Dawn of the Plow: Watch This Trailer or You’re Fired

Dawn of the Plow: Watch This Trailer or You’re Fired

Jan 13, 2014

Here in Chicago, snowplows are the reason why this city doesn’t entirely shut down when it gets to negative eleven degrees, unlike in Texas where a little bit of ice means everything shuts down. Thus, in order to honor these brave powers of snow, Dan FitzGerald, half of the team behind Dog Sled Saga, is making Dawn of the Plow. Plow the roads efficiently without crashing or goofing off too much or get fired. The game is planned to release this January for Android and other platforms; watch the trailer below or you’re fired.