Thanks to the surge in independent game developers we have seen revivals of long-dormant game genres. Point and click adventures, 2D platformers, twin-stick shooters, these are all types of games that were pretty much dead until indie games became popular. Another genre that has benefitted has been the top-down racer. There used to be loads of these racing games with the Micro Machines series and its predecessors like Super Off Road and Grand Prix. What had started as a way to create racing games under hardware limitations became popular and then died out. This generation has seen their return with games like the brilliant Mantis Burn Racing as well as titles like Grand Prix Rock’N’Racing and Absolute Drift: Zen Edition. The latest addition to the genre is Must Dash Amigos from miniBeast game studios.
Must Dash Amigos shuns vehicles for runners. You control one of four Amigos and are tasked with navigating 12 courses across 4 locations. The controls are very simple. The left thumbstick controls where you run and then the ‘X’ button uses whatever you pick up while ‘B’ drops it. In singleplayer, this simplicity forces you to focus on your lines so you take the shortest route around corners. However, in multiplayer it means that however crazy things get on-screen, you can’t blame the controls for your performance. And things can get pretty crazy. From piñata stampedes to being turned into an avocado and squashed with a mallet, this is a game that can be pretty intense.
Singleplayer consists of a time trial and challenge for each track. Time trial is self-explanatory. There are times to beat for either gold, silver, or bronze medals. These times can be pretty challenging but it is possible to gold on each course. Challenges come in three varieties. ‘Double Trouble’ tasks you with controlling two amigos around the track within a time limit. The left thumbstick controls one amigo while the other is controlled with the right thumbstick. ‘Danger Dodging’ sees you running away from a deadly stampede and trying to reach the finish line before they get you. In ‘Master Catcher’, you have to catch up to piñata who’s running ahead of you.
Must Dash Amigos is primarily a multiplayer focussed game, though. Running around the track on your own is OK but playing with friends, trying to take each other out with weapons is a blast. There are two flavours of multiplayer, race and battle. Each of these is self-explanatory. There is a Tourney mode but this just groups together races and battles. Matches are really close until you pick up weapons, then all bets are off. You don’t know what your pick-up will be until you collect it. These can be pretty crazy and take a while to get used to. Most either provide you a weapon or a speed boost. One of the craziest one is Tequila which makes the screen go ‘whoozy’ for everyone. These pickups are pretty inspired and add a lot of character to proceedings.
The game carries its theme off well. Visuals are cartoony and bright. Characters are stylised and very different from each other. The different skins for each character offer a nice, if slender, choice. These skins can be purchased with moustaches that you are awarded for winning events. Tracks have nice variations and fit their different locations well. It’s nice to see that the developer hasn’t just reversed a track to create a new one but truly crafted different ones. Content is a little light but as the vast majority of your time will be spent in multiplayer (where each race is different due to your opponents) this is forgivable. It’s a shame that multiplayer is only local, no online option here. However, this is the kind of game where it’s a real shared experience so playing in the same room as people is great.
Must Dash Amigos is not a game that will change the world. What it is, though, is something that will make the hours fly by when you’re playing with buddies. The action is frenetic and you’ll be cursing your friends for taking you out but you’ll immediately want to start another race and take your revenge. While there is a singleplayer mode it doesn’t have the same charm as playing with others. It is useful for learning tracks and improving your skills but it won’t keep you coming back for more. If you have some friends to play with on your sofa and fancy a frenetic racer, this is a game you want to check out. However, if you don’t, you may want to knock a couple of points off of this score.
Release Date: 7 August 2019
No. of Players: 1-4 players
Category: Family & Kids
Publisher: miniBeast Game Studios
Developer: miniBeast Game Studios
A review code was provided by the publisher.