June 30, 2022

Must Dash Amigos Preview

Disclaimer: The build that I had access to was pre-release Steam version of the game, so some elements of the game may change between writing and release next week (July 23rd).

Overview

Must Dash Amigos is an award-winning, vibrant, top-down battler racer soon to be released on PC and Xbox. The game is very family-friendly, and, with local multiplayer, it feels like a party game. The game is targeted as a multiplayer, supporting 2-4 players competing to win enclosed battles, survival races and tournaments, as well as offering some single player challenges.

Modes

Single-player Challenge modes

The challenges are actually very challenging. It may be due to a lack of familiarity with the game, but I struggled with them and couldn’t finish Double Trouble.

Double Trouble has you control two amigos, using the left analogue stick for one and the right for another. It. Was. Difficult. Like, rubbing your stomach and patting your head difficult… Still, the others were challenging and fun, and I eventually succeeded in outrunning the stampede (Danger Dodger) and catching the Mystery Pinata.

There are also time trials, which, as the name suggests, has you racing against the clock in the race arenas. There are medals to be obtained, as well as the satisfaction of beating your previous best.

Multiplayer Modes

Race Mode: A single battle race in which you utilise weapons and boosts to outlast your opponents.

Battle Mode: An arena battle mode in which you use weapons to trigger momentary eliminations in your opponents. The objective is to score the most hits.

Tourney Mode: Can be a series of races, battles or a mixture. There are 18 different tournaments to choose from.

Controls

The movement of the characters is momentum-based, so characters take a couple seconds to reach full speed, but also a moment to turn. It means that the controls don’t feel as reactive as I am used to. This can result in frustrating falls from the map, because you can’t immediately course correct. In that regard, it feels a little bit clunky. That said, the levels are designed to accommodate this movement style.  

Level Design

The levels are designed well. There’s a nice mixture of unchallenged space and hazardous areas, such as bridges you can fall off or cars that run you over, with the constant imminent threat of stampeding bulls of pinatas. You collect weapons from golden pinatas, and these range from bombs to boosts. These elements all contribute towards levels that will have you considering to trigger a boost or use a weapon.

The one thing criticism I have of the level design, is that the peripheral hazards, such as the jungle snakes, are unresponsive to the point of redundancy. While they can be used to great effect in multiplayer (below), I was often metres past them before they attempted to strike. Likewise, the crabs in the beach level as easily avoided without compromising your speed.

Aesthetic

The art style is cartoonish and striking. It’s vibrant, bright and colourful and, because of the style, it will still look nice in 10 years. The aesthetic is complimented by a fun sound track, and wacky sound effects that all contribute to a nice cartoony style.

Character Design

The character design is similarly pleasant. There are currently four characters to choose from, each with various unlockable skins, and each markedly different to the others. In a bit of a departure from the norm, characters don’t have any stats meaning that you really just have to choose your favourite. In opting for this, the races are just down to proficiency – and a bit of luck from the RNG Gods.

Performance

With the requirements of 1GB HDD space, a Dual Core (2.4Ghz), 2GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4400 or above, this isn’t a demanding game at all. That said, it run smoothly and I never noticed a single dropped frame. The fluid animations look particularly nice at around 60FPS, and I would expect almost all dedicated graphics cards to achieve that.

Overall Thoughts

The game does some things very well. The animations and level design are very nice. While I found the controls to be a bit frustrating, and one of the challenges beyond my scope of my motor skills, I think that the game can be a fun party game. It feels like a throwback to games that I would expect to find on the Nintendo wii. Beyond party games, I think that this is a game that children and families would get a lot of fun out of.

Where and When Can I Find it?

Must Dash Amigos is out on Steam July 23rd. Check out the page here. Also check out minibeaststudios.com


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