Digit & Dash
If you had asked me a year or so ago if I thought Insomniac Games of Ratchet & Clank fame would have gone on to produce mobile games, I would have laughed in your face. And yet, here I am having taken Digit & Dash for a spin, and I'm thrilled to see a developer that's not afraid to exit its comfort zone and take on new challenges. Digit & Dash is an engaging arcade game with simplistic controls that'll have you gripping your mobile device in frustration but longing for your next chunk of play time.
Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun
Digit & Dash themselves are two adorable characters who've set out to fell the hot dog monster of their own creation. You follow both of the diminutive characters up either side of the screen, tapping as you go. Both will dash up a branch or tree trunk and when you're faced with an enemy, you need to tap the left or right side of the screen that corresponds with the oncoming menaces that could fell one of the two little guys. If you've played an endless runner before, this should feel instantly familiar, but the fact that you're having to play essentially two different characters at once makes the game quite difficult to get into at the start.
Thankfully, the game does a fantastic job of orientating the player and ensuring there's a flow to gameplay so that whether you play a few moments or a few hours you're able to understand and articulate what you need to do without much thinking. You'll follow coin trails to complete challenges while learning the ropes, and that's much of where the fun lies. Jumping feels effortless and weightless, and the controls do a great job of translating your movements to what you see on-screen, an earmark of an excellent mobile title.
Frustrating But Fun
As you double-jump and ground pound your way to happiness, you'll learn that Digit & Dash can be very unforgiving, but not such in a way you'll want to immediately quit and play something different. You don't have to restart levels when you fail double-jumps or other challenges, thankfully, but instead complete checkpoints that allow you a second try after you completely wipe out. And you will -- don't worry about that. Luckily Insomniac didn't take cues from most of the free-to-play endless runners out there and instead saw fit to smile down on the users spending their hard-earned cash on a brand new IP. Thus, you'll be able to grow in this game rather than stagnate in your frustration.
Insomniac's New Mobile Classic
Insomniac Games outdid themselves with the creation of Digit & Dash, and while it's a surprising departure from the rest of the games of their ilk, it's still very much picking up for its low entry price and challenging yet satisfying gameplay. It's nowhere near as frustrating as Flappy Bird or any of the freemium rides out there, and it's worth supporting a studio that's done such great work in the past. It looks like Insomniac has a bright mobile future ahead of them, and you should tackle this game first if you're interested in seeing where they're heading next.
This review is based on a PC code provided by the publisher. Digit & Dash is available digitally for $1.99.