Dodgeball -- the PE teacher’s favorite activity to inflict on their unwilling students. Those memories, whether horrible or victorious, should not influence your decision to try out Chillingo’s Dodge This! It may sound like it’s dodge ball related, but players won’t be dodging anything at all. This time, it’s your foes that’ll be doing all the dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodging. Is Dodge This! worth your time, or should you be dodging it?

Dodge This! is a free to play game which will immediately throw up a red flag for any experienced iOS gamer. During gameplay, the player controls a cannon with unlimited ammo. The mission is to keep enemies from crossing the bridge lest they infiltrate your side and you die. You’re allowed three intruders before losing, so you’ve got to be quick with your attacks if you hope to stay alive. There are over 30 kinds of enemies with different characteristics, but one characteristic that seems to be sorely lacking is having enemies that are female. Gender equality aside, you get a nice variety to your foes. Some are normal Joes who saunter aimlessly across the bridge, some run, some are so big they require multiple shots to take down, some throw dynamite, some are pirates, and some are wizards. This plethora of foes helps keep things fresh.

Also available to mix things up are the upgrades and power-ups. You can upgrade your cannon’s accuracy and power with the in-game earned coins (or real money), to ensure victory. You’ll also dole out currency for power-ups such as a homing chicken or an exploding porcupine. These are all nice options to have, but they come at a cost. The rate at which you earn currency is decent, but definitely not generous, and the later items are priced high enough that few players will likely see them without shelling some real cash.

Players get three levels to choose from -- Boot Camp Bridge, Raiding Pirates, and Wizard’s Castle. You must either pay or level up enough to unlock each new area. The leveling up method will keep you in each level for a long time, and you’ll likely grow bored of the same scenery. The gameplay, too, suffers from similar levels of repetition. Shoot, shoot, shoot tap, tap, tap. It’s fun to play, no doubt, but not for long periods of time.

The controls and graphics are quite good. The player has the option to play with a regular d-pad or switch to the gyroscopic controls. The gyroscopic controls are hard to control, requiring you to reset them often just so you aren’t standing on your head trying to aim, but they’re fun and kind of immersive. The d-pad, on the other hand, works well. The fire button is in the bottom most corner of the screen which is sometimes hard to keep your thumb on, so sometimes you’ll probably be tapping away, but not firing anything because you’re slightly off. It’s a minor nuisance, and one that’s common to iOS games.

Dodge This! is a fun, solid game. Exactly how long it stays fun will depend on the player, but thanks to the high degree of repetition and stingy upgrades and unlocks, the fun will run out eventually. It doesn’t cost anything to try out, and the in-app purchases are not as annoying as some other games, but we still can’t help but wish this cost a few bucks up front and focused more on fun than milking money out of the player.


App Store Link: Dodge This! for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo Ltd | Price: Free | Version: 1.0 | 136 MB | Rating 9+

6.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating