First Game Beaten of ’09: Dash of Destruction

There is a saying, “Free is for me”. There is also a saying, “You get what you pay for”. So with that in mind “Dash of Destruction” was certainly going to be a game I downloaded, after all you don’t pass up free games even if you are swimming in money Scrooge McDuck style but it was also a game I didn’t expect a lot out of, after all I downloaded the Yaris title and well we all know how that pile of poo turned out.

For those that might have been living under a rock for the last two months, “Dash of Destruction” is the free game that came from the winning design of the 2007 “Doritos: Unlock Your XBOX” promotion. The game. Obviously, by the title of the contest, the game is Doritos branded. Uh-oh, another sign that this game is going to be utter garbage, right? After all when was the last good corporate branded game?

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that my expectations for “Dash of Destruction” were insanely low. I’m happy to report that the game not only exceeded those expectations but exceeded them by a large margin. That’s not to say that “Dash of Destruction” is a great game, let’s not be crazy, but it is a fun, if somewhat quick, journey back to when you played games in an arcade, you know the days when you could still pay a quarter to get a credit on a machine.

Anyone who was around during the 1980s and early 1990s, can appreciate “Dash of Destruction” for what it is, that being an arcade game with a simple premise that is fun to play. For everyone else there is 200 free Gamerscore points to be had, 190 of which will probably take you about 30 minutes to get.

By now you are probably asking what the hell the game is about, so let’s get to it. “Dash of Destruction” is a mix of a top down arcade racer and the classic title “Rampage”. There are two modes of play, both of which are relatively similar. In the T-Rex mode, players are tasked with traversing a city map (of which there are six total) and eating a set number of Doritos delivery trucks. Reversing the roles in Truck mode, players are tasked with traversing a city map (the same set from the T-Rex mode) and making a set number of deliveries while avoiding the Doritos starved T-Rex. Each mode gets progressively harder by adding more obstacles, like an additional T-Rex or driver to compete with.

The game isn’t particularly hard. Both modes can be completed quite easily in about 30 minutes total. For achievement junkies, this will net you 190 points, with the additional 10 points coming from the multiplayer mode, which unfortunately I was unable to try out, do to the lack of players. Completionists can probably get those final 10 points by bribing a friend with a small bag of Doritos.

“Dash of Destruction” is not going to win any best of awards, unless of course there are awards for best free game or easiest game to snag achievements in but the game has it where it counts. It’s fun and sometimes, in this day of deeper and more mature gaming, that is all that a game needs to be.

4 out of 5

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