Thursday, January 22, 2009

Free Advertising!

If you've been on Xbox LIVE in the past week, you've probably seen an ad banner for a free title called Doritos Dash of Destruction. Well, the game is pretty straightforward LIVE arcade game with a remarkably simple concept: you play as either a T-Rex who is trying to catch and eat a Doritos delivery truck or you play as said truck trying to make deliveries while a T-Rex is trying to eat you.

Now, I know this game is supposed to be pure product placement for Doritos, but to imply that they wouldn't give their drivers the day off if a T-Rex was trying to eat their truck doesn't reflect well on the company.

Corporate ethic issues aside, the game itself is surprisingly not bad. It can be blown through in about 45 minutes and you can easily pick up the 200 gamer points it offers with fairly little effort. Each level is made up of various numbers of trucks, T-Rexs and fully destructable buildings. Also, the upgraded components that you recieve after each mission are well balanced and simply entertaining.

Even after the final level you're given a vestigial upgrade that you can't even use. The in-game avatar of the game's lead designer Mike Borland even points out how useless they are.

I haven't gotten a chance to play multiplayer yet since it doesn't support online play over LIVE for whatever reason but I'm sure they play very much like the single player modes since each level is a self-contained arcade-style experience.

Now here's the good news: It's free! I can safely say that I wouldn't be happy with this game at all if I had to spend money on it, not for lack of polish or enjoyment, but for how short it is and the lack of depth. For a freebie Xbox LIVE download though, it's not bad as long as you can stomach all the shameless Doritos advertising.

Also, the game was a result of a contest held by Doritos to give young game developers a chance to build a title for LIVE Arcade. Full video coverage of Mike Borland's rise through the ranks of humble contest participant to amateur game designer is available at

-That Guy

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