Jul 31, 2012
Super Bit Dash is an auto-runner that tries to do more than just have one or two commands for the player, using swipes and taps to allow the player to do various actions. Tapping on the screen jumps, and swiping forward or vertically will dash in that direction, with the advantage of not losing in height when dashing forward. Swiping backward causes the player to slow down for a brief moment to potentially avoid hazards. However, these dashes use up a coin from the player’s bar, which has to be refilled by collecting other coins. They’re spread liberally throughout the levels, but with dashes needed to break through blocks and get around spikes, irresponsible dashing can leave players high and dry in a deadly way.
Super Bit Dash boasts two modes: Classic, which has a set length; and Endless, which doesn’t end. Both modes are very similar: they’re randomly generated from a variety of level set pieces, and then randomly arranged together.
The controls all work very well; swiping is effective and simple enough to use. The chiptune soundtrack sounds like multiple variations on the same track, with new ones that play in each mode. Coins earned go toward unlcoking items and upgrades that can help out, such as additional coin slots, but there’s really one key upgrade to save for: the lumberjack costume. Everything is better with lumberjacks.
The difficulties of the game are somewhat imbalanced. Easy is in fact quite easy once the player gets the hang of the game. Hard proves to be rather difficult, with timing windows that are extremely difficult to manage when all put together. Endless being a “one life” mode makes both difficulties challenging, although on Hard, it can be instantly over if a particularly nasty section comes up early on.
This is the hazard of procedural level generation in a sense: it requires a particular intelligence in design in order to truly work properly, and Super Bit Dash feels like it doesn’t quite get the balance down right. Still, its core mechanic has enough interesting going with it to make it worthwihle for those looking for a unique auto-runner game.