I don’t know why Dashmo, the protagonist of the same-named game, wants to go to The Great Beyond. I really don’t. Can’t say I care much though, because all that dashing and jumping required to collect the Ascension Crystals makes for a rather timely affair.
Timely and relatively simple, in the sense that this is yet another “easy to learn, hard to master” game: one button jumps while another makes Dashmo, well, dash. That’s it, and if not for the time limit, Dashmo would be so much easier.
Fast reflexes and agile movement play a huge role in whether you fail or succeed at clearing each of the five layers as walking rather than leaping over a pit and coming into contact with a bullet will not only reduce available time but also prevent Dashmo from moving for a split-second. In other words, any and all mistakes are doubly punishing here, so… be quick or be dead.
After the first couple of layers, the challenge ramps up significantly as new bullet patterns are introduced alongside moving pits – or lasers, I suppose – as well as impassable obstacles and additional enemies. This was also where I saw myself forced to call it and write the review you are currently reading, for while still fun, I felt enough had been experienced to provide a detailed writeup. My opinion on certain aspects even changed after a handful of retries, and often for the better, too.
Things like how about halfway through each layer, a bullet-spewing ghost follows Dashmo around as the layer essentially starts anew with a noticeable increase in difficulty. Reaching the end a second time and moving on to the next of Dashmo‘s five layers does despawn the ghost, but goodness, did I ever dislike that addition throughout my first handful of runs. Until I realized it didn’t really change anything so much as add to it, which is definitely preferable in such a chaotic fast-paced title.
One thing in particular which increases the difficulty exponentially that I am not a fan of, however, is how each mistake is penalized. See, I get that the time limit is there in place of a health bar, but is an increase in the deduction each time fair and/or fun? I’m not entirely convinced, although I am not blind to the fact that this is likely a very subjective aspect, as it’s certainly not objectively bad. It is also the only remotely negative thing I have to say about Dashmo as my overall experience was quite positive, making for a very easy recommendation!
Dashmo is available on itch.io.