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Super Bit Dash is a new auto-run platformer from Fakepup. It combines excellent retro visuals and music with innovative tap- and swipe-based controls to create a unique addition to the genre. It does have some control issues and it isn't really all that compelling, but it's solid fun with nostalgic aesthetics that anyone can enjoy.
As you run through a randomly selected set of pre-made rooms, you'll have to avoid various hazards while jumping and dashing your way to victory. Touching the screen results in a jump, while swiping up, right, or down results in a quick dash in that direction. Dashing is used to break through the green barriers that block your way, and it's also an alternative means of navigating the environment. Sometimes, three or four consecutive dashes are the only way through a certain room with no floor. You can also swipe left to slow your hero down, which is useful in avoiding timed hazards such as lasers.
Your dashes aren't unlimited though. Each dash will cost one coin out of the four in your purse, and you'll need to pick up more to keep using the ability. You can only store up to four, no matter how many you pick up. This adds a layer of strategy to the game. The controls are unique and fun to use, but there seems to be some slight input lag, which will probably lead to several deaths. The game is split into two modes at the moment. Classic mode is more of a level based system, with checkpoints, multiple lives, and power-ups. Endless mode removes all that and asks you to survive as long as you can.
The 8-bit aesthetics and chip tunes soundtrack are well done. While the platforming can be very frustrating at times, it's somehow completely illogically endearing, as if that's how it should be because of the aesthetics. All those coins you pick up are saved up to buy upgrades and extra costumes at the store, and you can buy more coins through in-app purchases. Several things are absurdly expensive, and will take ages to unlock otherwise. OpenFeint achievements and leaderboards are supported. The game is simple and fun, though also repetitive and not very compelling. That's just fine considering the game is totally free.