August 6th, 2012 | By Minh Tri Nguyen
With the Bourne franchise returning to cinemas and James Bond soon celebrating his 50th anniversary, this is a pretty great time to make a spy game. Taking on the popular Temple Run gameplay model, Agent Dash looks like another run-of-the-mill re-skin, but make no mistake, it’s a great run you won’t want to miss.
As a secret agent in tuxedo, you’ll be running without stop, jumping over gaps, and sliding below hazardous obstacles. Jumping and sliding is performed with a swipe to the corresponding direction, not unlike Temple Run. Needless to say, Agent Dash has some tricks up its sleeves. Running is now on three lanes, forcing you to switch in order to gain diamonds and avoid obstacles. Turning doesn’t need active right or left, swipe but requiring you to stay on the correct land, lest you want to end the run prematurely. You will also be armed with a pistol, shooting down targets by tapping along the way.
While it’s a reasonable evolution from Temple Run in terms of gameplay, Agent Dash knows how to dress decently. It’s a good-looking 3D run through a wide range of beautifully-rendered environments, be it the gleaming sunlight in the jungle or the machinaries of a secret underground base. Characters in Agent Dash are heavily stylized in a personality that resembles Pixar’s films with an adorable vogue and personality. Camera work also is something done well that greatly enhances your experience. Your view shakes in rhythm with every step of the agent and the camera zooms and pans down in every slide, giving an exciting sense of action and urgency. The game’s atmosphere is also well-complemented by a James Bond-inspired spy-themed soundtrack. Considering the rich cast of characters, there seems to be some kind of interesting plot development, but unfortunately we haven’t spent enough time to uncover it.
Following a freemium model, Agent Dash is totally free to install and play on your smartphone. Though gadgets upgrades of jetpacks, parachutes, backup agents are available using diamonds collected on the way, it will be hard to make progress far without either diligence of farming or real money being shelled out. Diamonds are few and far between, and every purchase is costly. Different characters can also be unlocked, but predictably, their cost is close to immensely impossible without in-app purchases. We understand the business model enough, but if you’re not in love with it, you won’t be loving Agent Dash as much either.
Taking on an (not-so) old genre, Agent Dash tweaks its gameplay and tumbles itself into an adorable setting, creating another solid endless runner on your smartphone. While the freemium basis would not earn the love of many, the price tag of free will make it very close to a must-have title for fans of the genre.
For more information, visit the developer’s website. Agent Dash can be downloaded from iOS App Store and Android Google Play for free, with available in-app purchases.