Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.


Halfbrick Releases Massive ‘Monster Dash’ Update

monster dash hog

Halfbrick’s casual-for-hardcore-audience (at least, that’s the impression I got) Monster Dash has received its second update, available for free on the App Store. The update is larger than the previous one, which added the lead character Barry’s motorbike, a new achievement, and a few fixes. This new update adds a ton of awesomeness, including Game Center support — which, if you’re like me, you’ve been looking forward to for quite some time now.

Check out an all-new level, new monster, new weapon, and more with the update. As a side note, I have to commend Halfbrick for the work they put into dollar titles when other developers would more than likely move on to new projects. That being said, here’s a more comprehensive list and explanation of what you can expect:

NEW LEVEL AND MONSTER – Yeti Heights, featuring massive abominable snowmen to blast! With falling snow and music taking cues from Jingle Bells, this is one cool addition.

NEW WEAPON – Rocket Launcher! This bad boy will decimate monsters with a special lock-on feature, also dealing collateral damage to any nearby spikes or hazards. At speed you will be a major force to be reckoned with!

GAME CENTER – Leaderboards and Achievements are good to go, so get online with your Game Center account and show the world your scores! *** Game Center minimum requirements – iOS4.1 and iPhone 3GS/iTouch 2G ***

I highly suggest buying Monster Dash on the App Store if you haven’t already done so.



Halfbrick Updates ‘Monster Dash’ – Awesomeness Ensues [iOS]

monsterdash2If you’ve read our review (or any review, for that matter) of Halfbrick’s newest iOS hit, Monster Dash, then you’ve learned that the game is incredibly addictive but unfortunately lacking. Well, good news is on the horizon as Halfbrick brings version 1.10 of Monster Dash — a free content update complete with a new achievement, new stats, and even a new bike for you to ride as Barry Steakfries.

The first in a planned series of free additions to Monster Dash, Halfbrick promises new weapons, levels, and monsters in the coming weeks. You can be sure we’ll keep you up to date, but check out the full list of features for the new update and some comments from Halfbrick themselves:


First of all, a massive thanks to everyone out there who has purchased Monster Dash and supported Halfbrick! We are truly grateful to have Monster Dash as a top seller around the world, and to give back to the community we are kicking off the first free content update with a big bang!

BADASS HOG – Look out for this high-powered beast along the way to do some serious damage! You’re invincible while riding, so feel free to mow down any monster in your path. Better yet, the Badass Hog comes fully equipped with a high powered pump-action shotgun. If blasting while riding in your thing, we have you covered!

NEW ACHIEVEMENT – The Badass Hog has your hookup with this!

NEW STATS – Monsters run down and blasted by the Hog!

HEART FIXES – Improved heart placement for easier collection!

BUG FIXES – Minor stats, achievement and rare crash fixes.

This is just the first taste of free additions to Monster Dash, you can look forward to new weapons, levels and monsters as we continue to work on Monster Dash in the weeks to come!

Do the Dash!

The Halfbrick Team

[Halfbrick Studios]


Sticks Where You Want Them: Age of Zombies [PAX]

AgeZombiesWe swung by the Halfbrick Studios booth at PAX this morning for a quick glance at what they’re up to. With Monster Dash recently released, their next iPhone title headed towards the App Store is Age of Zombies. While it’s already on PSP Minis, the game has been meticulously ported for use on the  mobile platform.

The most intriguing and intuitive addition to this twin stick shooter is the fact that the stick controls literally move with your fingers. No matter where you place your fingers on the screen, the controls will pop up directly underneath them, making for seamless and easy controls. You move your hero through various time periods filled with zombies quite easily. Fans of the original Mini and Monster Dash will immediately recognize the character as the grizzled, gun-toting same.

Filled with fast-flying quips that are as cheesy as they are funny, the main character is pure personality. And the waves of zombies come flying to quickly its difficult to keep from being overwhelmed (a good aspect of a mobile game). I played through a prehistoric level that escalated into a fight with a Zombie T-Rex, of which the main character feels terrible for having to kill such a theoretically cool beast.

There’s no official release date on the App, but expect to see it in the next few months. For now, just go play Monster Dash.


The Next Huge iOS Hit…’Monster Dash’ [Review]

monsterdash2My, my…how Halfbrick manages to develop so well for the iOS platform is beyond me. Luckily, since I’m a gamer and not a developer, I can live with it. After the monstrous success of their hit Fruit Ninja, Halfbrick has returned to iOS with Monster Dash — an action game featuring main character Barry Steakfries and loads of monsters that need to be handled.

Essentially, Monster Dash combines aspects of Canabalt and side-scrolling shooters to form a superior product with only two game mechanisms. It’s a title that could have just as easily ended up on PC or Xbox Live Indie Games, but Monster Dash works far too well on the iPhone/iPod Touch. Here’s a full rundown of what works and what doesn’t.


As mentioned before, there’s two game mechanisms in Monster Dash: jumping and shooting. Why not running? Well, that’s because in plain Canabalt fashion the game does the running for you. You can tap the left area of the screen to jump and the right area of the screen to shoot. Initially, Barry will start out with a shotgun — a loud and satisfying weapon. The game will randomly pit you into a starting area — “Demon Dynasty,” “Vampire Kingdom” and so on. At every 1000 meters, it will transport you to a different area. Each area has its own set of enemies — obviously enough reflected by the name. On a side note, the pace of your running increases the further you get into your play-through.

So, most importantly, is the game fun? Absolutely. From the get-go, you’ll notice that blasting the monsters’ brains in a fast-paced manner as utilized in Monster Dash is highly enjoyable. Various different methods can be used to lower your enemy count — from jumping on enemies’ heads to weapon pickups like “The Pacifier,” “Machinegun Jetpack,” “Mr. Zappy” and others. Each of the weapons have their own special characteristics — “Mr. Zappy” shocks enemies at a medium range, “The Pacifier” is a handgun which shoots at a long range, and the “Machinegun Jetpack” is exactly what it sounds like: it’ll have you jumping over enemies whilst shooting them in the meantime. Monster Dash is beaming with personality and it’s so refreshing to see its mechanics brought to life the way they are.

That being said, however, it’s surprising to see the game offer only one mode. The unfortunate truth is that some gamers might just get bored with Monster Dash. The entire purpose of the game is to blast through monsters and run as far as possible — it’s like an arcade game, focusing on high scores. There is some solace, as OpenFeint integration will provide gamers with leaderboards and achievements. But will this type of gratification be enough to keep players interested? Not entirely. Knowing Halfbrick, though, updates are in store and new weapons/areas/game modes are probably in the works. For what it’s worth, Monster Dash is easily one of the funnest games on the App Store.


Halfbrick’s expertise stretches beyond gameplay. Nearly every game I’ve seen from them looks beautiful; Monster Dash is no different. Barry and the monsters are distinct and each area has its own set pieces and dynamic backgrounds — even the music is catered to each different area, with a much more Eastern sound devoted to the Asian-themed “Demon Dynasty.” For a 2D side-scroller, Halfbrick has also managed to use a lively amount of color and helps the game stand out among the rest of what the App Store offers.


While I’m fond of the personality of the game, I’m a little disappointed that the story is not more elaborate. Barry Steakfries is an excellent character — reminiscent of Ash Williams-like badassery. Apparently, the world is now swarming with monsters of all different types and Barry just has a lust for killing. Why isn’t the game more story-based? It would make much more sense to me to see this character obtain some sort of closure at the end of the road. It’s especially disheartening because of how good of a game Monster Dash is. I suppose one could argue that this is meant to be a more casual game — as Fruit Ninja was — but there’s no denying that Monster Dash would have benefited greatly had Halfbrick strung together a few plot pieces.


OpenFeint rocks. Moreover, everybody loves achievements. Even if you think they’re tacky or gimmicky, there’s a sense of accomplishment for obtaining an achievement — you’re not just doing shit for no reason. The leaderboards clue you in as to where you rank among other Monster Dash players. According to the leaderboards, I’m not doing so well…but I’m having a ton of fun and that’s all that matters, right?

At an introductory price of $0.99 — Monster Dash will most likely blow up on the App Store just as Fruit Ninja had done so before. It’s a different genre and caters to a different audience, but Halfbrick’s newest has all the makings of a hit. You heard it here first. (Err…except for the other reviews, I suppose.)

[DIYgamer obtained a free copy of the game for review purposes. This in no way affected the outcome of the review.]




‘Fruit Ninja’ Dev Halfbrick’s Newest, ‘Monster Dash’

monsterdashHalfbrick knows a thing or two about success. If their newest game — an action/platformer/shooter named Monster Dash — manages to break through the App Store and wow iDevice gamers everywhere, then no one should be surprised. Boasting an impressive release resume with ultra-popular games such as Fruit Ninja and Echoes, Halfbrick knows what it takes to create a compelling experience.

As Barry Steakfries — a badass in the likes of Evil Dead‘s Ash Williams — players will travel to various exotic world locations while battling demons, mummies, vampires, and other monsters. Along the way, gamers will find several pickups, including weapons such as the Pacifier, Mr. Zappy, and even a Machine Gun Jetpack. In fellow iOS hit HellKid fashion, run as far as possible while shooting the shit out of monsters and obtaining as high a score as you can. With OpenFeint integration offering leaderboards and achievements, you’re in for a very rewarding ride. I’m currently playing through the game for a review, and I have to say that it’s got my attention.

Halfbrick invites you to do the Monster Dash starting August 19th, and here’s a trailer to prove why you should:

[More info.]

[Source: GamesPress]