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Inspector Gadget's MAD Dash Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on December 30, 2010


Inspector Gadget's MAD Dash
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Fun endless gameplay with minor boss battles.
  • Graphics and audio faithful to the original series.
  • Lots of unlockable content including an achievement based puzzle.

CONS

  • Title credits played repetitively in the background.
  • Poor learning curve; hazards use unintuitive methods to catch you off-guard.

VERDICT

Inspector Gadget's MAD Dash is more than your average endless runner, throwing in a few boss battles and some unique scenarios, but ultimately it's a victim of its repetitive nature.


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As a child of the 80s I have long come to terms with the fact that I was raised by my TV to be an unabashed and rabid fan of some bizarre cartoon shows. Inspector Gadget is not the least of these and after years of not hearing the siren that signifies the start of an episode I was transported back in time thanks to 'M.A.D. Dash' by XMG Studio.

If the title hasn't given it away, yes this is an 'endless' runner title, though to its credit the game has attempted to extend the value of the game by using the game as a way to unlock additional in game content including an exclusive early release of a comic, a sound board and even concept art. You'll get to control Inspector Gadget as he races across the rooftops to reclaim Penny (his niece) from the clutches of the evil Dr. Claw. Collecting gears will provide multipliers and speed bonuses to improve your score and multiple lives are given to give you a better chance to learn the game's trickier sections.

Unfortunately these 'tricky' sections feel somewhat cheap when you die because they lack an intuitive way to learn them other than by trial and error through dying. Swinging on hooks never feels right thanks to a bizarre timing that can result in your arm being too long and smacking in to the side of a building; trains that can only be avoided by jumping as soon as you hear the horn; and floating sections that assume you know how high you go when you tap because there's a death-trap above and below you the entire time.

Ultimately it's nit-picking on the game for its lack of a smooth learning curve, especially when repetitious play is a key factor in unlocking the additional content. In a neat twist, earning achievements will unlock pieces of a sliding puzzle that reveals Dr. Claw's face - though those familiar with the toy figures won't be too surprised at the result.

A lot of little touches in the game's visuals, audio and gameplay go a long way to keep MAD Dash fun for quite some time, though earning enough points to unlock everything might be a challenge reserved for hardcore fans alone. Also, I mentioned the title theme in the beginning for a reason - if you liked the opening credits, you'll learn to hate them thanks to it being repeated ad nauseum throughout the game. This is one for the hardcore genre and show fans.

Screenshots

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