Review Information
Game Reviewed Mario Dash 2 Demo 1, by bowser2k
Review Author EvilYoshiToes
Created May 25 2020, 8:32 PM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Mario Dash 2 is a very basic runner game: Mario runs to the right automatically, and it is up to the player to help him avoids goombas and pits.
Pros + It's functional
+ Level design provides alternate routes
+ It has some spirit put into it!
Cons - Turnip controls
- Little enemy variety
- Unfair deaths
3 / 10
The gameplay is very basic and seems to work as intended, however there are some strange design choices.
In order to speed up the player can hold Ctrl, just like in many other games. However, in this game Mario speeds up immediately with no acceleration, and he does so whether he is on the ground or in the air. The lack of acceleration makes Mario hard to control and the ability to sprint mid-jump is unusual and makes Mario feel as though he has less weight than he should.

Sprinting with Ctrl is an essential part in playing the game since Mario cannot jump over most pits at his normal speed. Ctrl is also used to pluck radishes though. While I think it's great to have one button serve multiple purposes, in this case it causes some issues. There are countless times in which I was trying to perform a sprint-and-jump over a pit, but I ended up picking up a radish instead, which got me killed. What's confusing is that another button, Spacebar, is used to throw radishes anyway, and you can't pluck a radish while holding one. So why not map Spacebar to radish plucking? It would make much more sense and spare the player many unfair deaths.

On the issue of unfair deaths... there are a few areas in which I died due to an enemy coming near the edge of a pit as I jumped over it. There was nothing I could do in these cases because if I didn't jump I'd fall, but if I jumped I'd be killed by the enemy anyway. And due to the runner style gameplay, I cannot stop and I cannot detect that there will be an enemy up ahead. There are also other areas in which enemies are impossible to avoid unless you happen to get there at the right time without really meaning to. One such area is the piranha plant right after the nippers inn the world 1 underground level (you can easily pass this part by stopping at the pipe, but if you do that you will miss the big coin). These are just flaws in level design that can be fixed by moving things around a bit. I greatly encourage fixing this issue by the full game's release because their presence makes the game hard to enjoy.

And now on the subject of enemies... there are many familiar faces in this game: goombas, koopas and their flying counterparts, beetles, and piranha plants. But the goombas, koopas, and beetles all behave exactly the same: they march around and die when stomped. Because of this there is hardly any behavioral variety in enemies, which makes me wonder why those enemies were included in the first place. Why not have koopas become moving shells when stomped? It would set them apart from goombas and create more variety in enemy behavior and level design. The same can be said about beetles. Why not have them act as they should, crawling along ceilings and falling down? Having most enemies be goomba re-skins may be easier, but it severely limits your creativity.

Overall the gameplay is at a good start, but it is in need of being pushed in order to create something enjoyable. Don't limit yourself!
3 / 10
They are SMB3 graphics that come with Hello's engines. They aren't bad by themselves, but they aren't necessarily doing anything to compliment the gameplay.

There are some areas in which presentation can be polished, such as clicking Load Game causing Mario to get stuck in a pose as though he's about to Load the game, but nothing happens. Mario can also "jump" while the timer is counting down - meaning the jump sound plays and he twitches - which definitely isn't supposed to happen. It would be fine if he could just properly jump in place.
5 / 10
The sounds are also very generic to Hello's engines. Again there is nothing wrong with them, they're just not doing anything to complement the gameplay. This is a runner game, so by its nature it is supposed to be more pumped up and fast-paced than a typical Mario game. I wanted to hear something more intense and energetic! Right now the music does not catch on. I recommend finding some cool fast-paced Mario remixes to suit your game.
Final Words
3 / 10
Mario Dash 2 has the potential to be a cute little time-killer, but some frustrating design decisions, a lack of variety, and a dry presentation hold it back.

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