As one of the few games optimised for the new iPad’s 2048 x 1536 Retina display, I figured I’d give Diamond Dash a go, and I’m very glad I did. Well, mostly glad.
What follows will be part Diamond Dash review, part rant about smartphone/tablet games that are supposedly free. Those cheeky mother f…
Ok, let’s focus on the game for starters. Diamond Dash is yet another ‘match three’ effort (don’t yawn just yet!), with coloured jewels that can be removed with a tap wherever they appear in groups of three or more.
Certainly not an original concept then, but Diamond Dash is – for the most part – a lot of fun. Each game lasts just 60 seconds, and the action is fast and furious.
If you manage to chain together several matches (er, I’m not sure exactly how many are required) in quick succession, you’ll unleash what Wooga describes as “magic powers”, where the playing area is enveloped in flame and everything goes a bit mental, yielding mega pointage. Great stuff.
There’s also a little meter at the top left. It fills as you successfully make matches, and when it gets to the top it fires a diamond - hence Diamond Dash - into the playing field. Tap the diamond and a column of jewels explodes. Again: brilliant.
So that’s Diamond Dash the game. It’s pretty damn good, and very moreish. Unfortunately, Wooga knows just how moreish Diamond Dash is, and it wants to empty your wallet.
See, you have just five lives in Diamond Dash, and when they’re gone, you either have to pay for more, or wait eight minutes for a free one.
A set of five lives costs seven gold bars, and you can buy 10 gold bars for £1.49. A quick calculation (10/7 bars * 5 lives) shows you’re effectively paying for seven lives, which equates to seven minutes of gameplay.
You heard me: that’s £1.49 for seven minutes of gaming. Good lord.
And it gets even more offensive. The more money you spend on gold bars, the better the value. You can pay up to – get this - £69.99 for 1,000 gold bars, which is obviously far more cost effective than messing around with piddly amounts.
I’ve already forked out £1.49, and I really resent the thought of paying any more. It’s easy to imagine how some folk might end up spending a bloody fortune on Diamond Dash.
Personally, I’m enjoying dipping in and out of it. You can bugger off for a bit and play something else while your lives replenish, and a handy notification pops up to let you know when you’ve got a full complement of five.
And that’s Diamond Dash. I’ve allocated the score based on the game, but be aware of the freemium element. It sucks bum.
- Very moreish
- Looks great – especially on the new iPad
- It’s free…ish
- The ultra-expensive freemium nonsense. Boo!
Summary: Diamond Dash is an excellent match three game, but you’ll need deep pockets if you want to spend any significant time with it. Audacious pricing.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Price: free @ App Store