Dodge Hard Review
Right. First of all there is no dodging in this game, but there is HARD. There is “pretty damn hard” and a lot of it. This is Dodge Hard by IKINA GAMES, a mixture of RPG and BulletHell shooter featuring robot zombies and a tiny blockhead.
Dodge Hard by Jumping?
Sure why not. Let’s start with that. The goal is simple, you shoot the bad guys, dodge the bullets and collect the drops. Except there is no dodge button. There is however a “jump” button and does exactly what it says. It makes your character – protagonist if you will, jump over the bullets and that is how you dodge.
On first glance Dodge Hard seems like a standard twin-stick shooter, but upon closer inspection you notice that there is no right stick. You move with your left thumb and do 5 different things with your right. The shooting button, which you will most likely hold down 90% of the time is in the center. The
dodge jump button is in the right corner, the super frenzy button in the middle, accompanied by 3 weapon switch buttons. This makes the dodging part incredibly difficult to time properly, and that’s where the HARD part from the name comes in play. More elegant solution – like auto shooting – would make the game at least 50% easier. Let’s not forget the auto-aim “function” that locks on the nearest enemy, regardless of the side you are facing.
The game is actually good
OK, lets rewind. It seems like I am trashing the game from the beginning, but believe me I am not. The reason I pointed out the control scheme first is because I actually enjoyed the game and that awkwardly placed jump button gave me so much trouble, it’s not even funny. Otherwise, Dodge Hard has all the potential to grab your attention if you like bullethell games with some RPG elements and a lot – and I mean A LOT of crafting.
The story is about some crazy scientist that built an underground city and placed zombie-robots as guards. You, like the blockhead you are, will attempt to destroy them all and save the world (or something like that). The adventure starts with a short tutorial, after which you immediately jump to pounding robot behinds. Only dead robots are good robots here – and there are no exceptions. Once down, they drop all kinds of usable crafting materials, blueprints and coins. Collect enough materials and you can start crafting tiered gear including weapons, armor and utilities. Furthermore, you can upgrade each item couple of times to improve the base stats.
The big OH YEAH moment is when you start receiving rare weapons of higher tiers. The arsenal is huge, but it can be narrowed down pretty easily. Shorter range weapons deal massive damage, while long range weapons can slowly shoot enemies from a safe distance, even off-screen. In my opinion you will need both and something in-between, just in case. For example when facing a boss, you start off by unleashing the fever mode immediately with your big hitter, then once it ends, move away and finish him off from a distance.
Dying in Dodge Hard is perfectly natural. Yes, you will die a lot and what’s worse, you will lose your inventory. To recover it, you will have to do a corpse run – Diablo style. However, if you die again your first corpse won’t disappear into the void and you can recover them both, even if you rage quit at some point (and you probably will). When you die, you can also watch an add to recover instantly, but you can’t do it more than twice.
Speaking of ads, there is no way to remove them entirely. Except for the instant resurrection, ads can be watched in order to receive the main in-game currency “Kina”, which can be exchanged for gold or crafting materials. There are computer terminals scattered around the levels that act as – well – ad dispensers.
One last thing worth mentioning is that levels are procedurally generated, which increases the replay value of Dodge Hard. Google Play Games are fully supported (yes, including cloud saves), but Bluetooth HID controllers are not. Download Dodge Hard for free from the link below and give it a spin. It only takes around 120mb of storage space and runs great on slightly older hardware.