The video game scene is not short of Godzilla titles and the casual endless runner. From games like Monster Dash to Dino Rush, this area seemed pretty well covered in the App Store, but I'm sure app freaks loving the genre won't mind a new addition to the list.
Demolition Dash [iTunes Link] by Dreamfab is an endless platform game where you take a cute but deadly creature for a walk in the Champs Élysées in Paris and other world destinations to create an absolute mess.
The main character, a red creature called Zilla, has a flair for destruction and will use loud roads and other special abilities to confront the armed forces defending the city. As an endless running game, you'll need to avoid obstacles jumping on rooftops and smashing parked cars, avoid or attack your enemies and collect items to complete the secondary goals in every level.
The game controls are deals simple, with a left button for jumping and a right one for roaring. While there is room for double jumps, Zilla will continue running no matter what, often bumping into enemy tanks and traps that will make you lose parts of your tail. Once you have lost four of them, the level is over.
There are also three types of power-ups that will help you to reach your goals more easily and add something new to the repetitive gameplay, but I believe that they are always located in the same spots without any random element to it.
From the moment you boot the game, you can clearly notice the amount of work that has gone to the game graphics and sound. Every city is themed with their stereotypical buildings and landmarks while the background music also adapts to every country. The melody is the same, but the instruments are changed to match the atmosphere for each country, which is a really nice touch.
However, the game suffers from clutter in level design, making it very difficult for the gamer to spot every enemy and obstacle in time. If you think of games like Canabalt the minimalist pixel style allows the guy to run fast keeping you in control at all times. In Mirror's Edge, the key items are highlighted in red to spot them with enough time to react. In Demolition Dash, there are so many things going on at once that the pace of the game feels ridiculously fast. With all the cute character design, you could think this was ideal for kids, but it's nowhere near at its current fast pace.
The typical d-pad controls and some tweaks on level design, would have made this game a very polished platformer. The fact that Zilla runs endlessly gives the player no option other than bashing both control buttons hoping for the best. The sound effects give you a clue of the upcoming threats, but they can become too repetitive and messy when your primary weapon is, well, roaring.
The developer has done a great job with the majority of the elements in Demolition Dash that it's painful to see that the gameplay is not as convincing. Perhaps a difficulty setting making Zilla slow down a bit or a slower overall pace would make the game more enjoyable. As it stands, it can become frustrating because you die in levels that should be perfectly easy to pass.
There's the hope that a mysterious "coming soon" game mode will amend this big issue. I guess that a proper endless mode without any limitation could also do a great job training gamers before jumping to complete specific levels.
A recent update has addressed some performance issue with older devices and I will keep an eye on Demolition Dash to see how it evolves in the future. Having said this, it's up to you to decide wether its worth your time. As it stands, it can be a quick fix for iPhone owners, but I believe Demolition Dash has the right stuff to be something much better. It's just a matter of game modes and replay value.