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Dub Dash Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . While bright and full of energy, Dub Dash is hiding a dark secret. What should have been a fun take on the racing and rhythm genres is turned into a frustrating mess thanks to one of the most bone-headed design decisions in recent history. A major disappointment. Rating: 40%
Dub Dash
Dub Dash Dub Dash Dub Dash Dub Dash
  • Review Score:

  • C-
There's nothing worse than seeing a perfectly fun game derailed by one fatal flaw. That sums up my frustration with Dub Dash, a brand new Steam game that somehow finds a way to mix the joy of fast-paced racing with the rhythm genre. It's an exciting conceit filled with bright colors and a high-energy soundtrack. And yet, despite all of this going for it, the entire experience is ruined by one terrible decision.

Using a heavy dose of electronica, Dub Dash sees players race down a narrow corridor dodging obstacles and picking up hidden music notes. Instead of pushing buttons like in Rock Band or Guitar Hero, this game has us steering our black tire away from disaster. All it takes is one smack into the wall to send us back to the start.

Although limited to simply pressing left and right, the action is immediately engaging. The world bounces along with the techno beat, making it hard not to resist its charm. While there are only a handful of songs to choose from, they run the gamut of difficulty and complexity. The game is constantly trying to mess with your eyes, and I had a lot of fun bouncing from one side of the passage to the next staying away from spikes.

And just when you think you've seen it all, Dub Dash mixes things up with unique mini-games that help break up the action. The game has a funny habit of switching from the usual race perspective to a 2D sidescroller that resembles Resogun. Another variation sees the camera switch from its usual overhead position to a more exhilarating third-person angle. These mini-stages not only look different, but come with their own mechanics to learn and master.

Typically, a game would give you a few tries to make it to the end of the song alive. Each section would normally have a checkpoint, allowing players several attempts before sending them all the way back to the very beginning. But that's not how Dub Dash works. Oh sure, the game has traditional checkpoints, but the game teaches you early on that it's best to save those continues until you absolutely need them.

Dub Dash (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Instead of giving you five continues to make it through a single song, Dub Dash gives you five continues to make it through the entire game. To its credit, you are able to earn five more continues by completing the Challenge mode. Unfortunately, the only way to earn those extra chances is to complete an entire song without dying. Not a small part of the song, but the whole thing; from start to finish. If I could do that, I wouldn't need more continues.

Because it took me dozens of tries to earn the extra continues, I found it had a major impact on how I played each song. Unless I died in the final section of a level, I chose to restart the entire song from the beginning. This meant that I saw the starts of each song countless times, which began to feel like torture after a few tries.

Without this inane continue system, I would have had an easy time recommending Dub Dash. Sure, it's on the simple side and doesn't offer nearly enough content, but I like the style and high-energy soundtrack. That said, I can't ignore the glaring problem. As it is, the game makes basic progression a frustrating task due to one of the most bone-headed design decisions I've run into in a long time. Dub Dash is a major disappointment.
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