2

When a game makes you lose your appetite for the food it's promoting, you know you're playing crap.

Someone once said you can't really complain about something when it's free, right? Download this free XBLA game which promotes Doritos snack chips, play it and then realize whoever said that was full of more crap than this game.

Dash of Destruction is nothing but a marketing tool. It's a game that was quickly whipped up in an attempt to get gamers hungry for Doritos. You can play as one of two options. You can play as a romping dinosaur who must chase down and chomp up Doritos delivery trucks, or you can play as a Doritos truck trying to escape the chomping and romping dinosaur.

Your playing field is a fully destructable town that features collapsable buildings and bodies of water that for some reason are impossible to fall into. If you're playing as a dinosaur, your object is to eat more delievery trucks than the deliveries they make. If you're playing as a truck, you need to make more deliveries than trucks you have left. (cue Jeff Goldblum saying "Must go faster!") There are arrow indictors that tell you which direction your goals are when they go offscreen.

That's pretty much all there is to the gameplay. Stomp or run around the town, doing figure eights when you're bored of going around in circles. Mike Borland, who is the mastermind behind the idea of this game, appears on loading screens inbetween levels and evidently tells you that he's upgrading your dinosaur or delivery truck. When the level loads, you'll notice that whatever upgrades he was talking about pretty much have no impact on the gameplay itself. More figure eights and more driving around in circles!

Let's talk about the faults of this game, as if the game wasn't a big enough fault on its own. The controls aren't very tight at all. It's almost akin to pushing a Micro Machine around with your finger. Imagine what happens when you use a speed boost. The other major fault - well, this might be a blessing in disguse actually - is that there's no online play whatsoever. That's right, you are not able to share this nacho nightmare with anybody else online.

The graphics are about as good as you would expect from a giveaway promotional game, meaning that they aren't good. They're built just so that they don't manage to disassemble in a cascade of pixels and polygons when you start the game. It is fun seeing things blowing up and falling apart, but then again, so is building a pile of sticks and stones and kicking it over.

Audibly, it doesn't fare much better. The sounds effects are there just to let you know that your TV is not set on mute when you're playing the game. The music gets so old, it might as well be its own Doritos munching dinosaur. What's sad is that they couldn't even give poor old Mike Borland a voice. Infact, they couldn't even give him a fully animated jawline when he speaks.

What's the best thing to come out of this game? A very easy 200 points for your gamer score. All of the achievements can be unlocked in less than a half hour, infinately easier and quicker than XBLA's other free promotional game Yaris. That is the only inticing feature that this game boasts. It's a free game, so you really have nothing to lose. Then at the same time, that pile of sticks and stones is also free, and you'll probably have more fun kicking that over instead.



Discussion