Dashy Crashy is an ideal barometer for whether you’re a miserable git with the attention span of a distracted gnat.
For, while this lane-based survival game might seem overly familiar at first, it’s so lovely and has so many fun perks to unearth that only a massive curmudgeon would dismiss it outright.
Plonked on a suspiciously long and straight five-lane road, your aim is to not smash into other traffic – and, yes, hundreds of other games do exactly the same.
But how many look gorgeous, sound amazing, and pepper proceedings with pop culture references that include everything from Back to the Future and Star Wars to Out Run and KuruKuru Kururin? Not many.
Even the basics of Dashy Crashy are a cut above. Sure, you can just swipe left and right, but you can also two- or three-finger swipe to zoom across multiple lanes with a single gesture. You can flick upwards to dash, and downwards to brake, too (although doing the latter too often will lead to you being rear-ended).
As you play, you speed through varied, beautifully rendered landscapes, with a stunning day/night cycle that bathes the screen in gorgeous sunsets and eye-popping moonlight.
More importantly, the game keeps shaking things up: cones can be run over to increase your score; pile-ups must be avoided; and special events abruptly occur that include various nutcases (from stock cars to a spinning blue police box) belting along a highlighted lane, smashing everything out of their way in a manner that suggests their vehicles are rather more robust than your own.
All this would be great in itself, but Dashy Crashy also subverts the seemingly mandatory requirement that modern mobile games must have you collect in-game digital tat. Here, you acquire new vehicles on reaching goals. But these aren’t a mere cosmetic nicety: many of these vehicles transform how the game plays.
Some are stronger and take multiple hits; others are faster, more rapidly increasing your score. The majority have oddball bonuses to discover when you press the screen: a limo starts spinning, kicking off an absurd and ludicrously tricky tribute to the aforementioned KuruKuru Kururin, while a school bus has you complete sums as you travel, to get yourself big bonuses.
There’s even a nod to Crazy Taxi when driving a cab, the ability to laser traffic into oblivion when flying a spaceship that very much resembles a snowspeeder, and many more treats besides.
In effect, Dashy Crashy isn’t just one simple endless runner – it’s dozens of brilliant variations on a theme, and as such comes highly recommended.
A brash, silly endless runner with immediacy and enough variety to keep you playing for the long term
Responsive, smart controls
Each vehicle shakes up the game
Lacks multitouch on tvOS
Core gameplay might eventually pall