Vertical Dash is the distillate of Doodle Jump, VVVVVV and Pong. Yet, it's a unique game, that stands for itself.
VVVVVV by Terry Cavanagh is one of my favorite games of all times. It’s actually so good, that I’ve bought it both for Steam and my 3DS, so that I can play it whenever and wherever I want. The reasons why I love this same are easily explained: The game has a phenomenal retro soundtrack, amazing pixel graphics, and is perfectly balanced between being too easy and too challenging. Hold on a second. Am I still talking about VVVVVV? Or have I already started to review Vertical Dash?
Actually, Vertical Dash has everything that it takes to be a great retro arcade game like VVVVVV. The visuals and sounds do perfectly blend together and the gameplay is based on a unique idea, that is simple, yet so untapped, that I am wondering why no one came up with this idea before.
Like In Doodle Jump, the main question is: How high can you get? Anyway, instead of perpetually jumping from one platform to the next, you jump from paddle to paddle. Wait, paddles and pixels? Yes, the reference to Pong, the mother of video games, can’t be unseen. However, Vertical Dash is only referring to the minimalistic style of the seventies, for it’s still a handy and convenient game of our times.
The right timing is master of life and death. In combination with the simple controls (tap, wait, tap), the breath-holding suspense leads to a very tense gaming experience. In fact, I was completely unaware of what’s going on around me as I was extremely focused on what’s going on right in front of me. After each death, I took a deep breath, because I actually forgot to breathe while being in the zone. I’m not kidding!
After dying a few times, however, you begin to miss a few things. What about enemies? Or more kinds of power-ups? Do they come at later stages? If that’s the case, the game is definitely too hard at the beginning. If not, the scope could be a bit bigger.
I’m very pleased with Vertical Dash. It does successfully draw on retro feelings, yet it comes along with an original game idea. Download it here on Google Play and tell me what you think by commenting below!
All pictures are in-game screenshots, the featured image uses a picture from the games’ Google Play page.