Review: Wedding Dash (DS)

Wedding Dash
Genre: Time Management
Developer: PlayFirst
Publisher: Zoo Games
Release Date: 11/13/09

There are a lot of PC games out there that are barely more than a palette swap of other versions of the same game. There are a ton of match three games out there that are pretty much the same game. There are other casual games such that hit upon a mild success with a certain type of game style and then create a bunch of sequels that just overkill the whole idea in the first place. The Mania games are one such series. You can pretty much insert any noun before Mania and can rest assured they there is likely a game behind it. Same with the Dash series, or Farm series, or numerous other games. These are the Time Management series of games and they have spiralled out of control.

Wedding Dash numbers among these titles. These kind of games are among the laziest titles of all time. All of them are essentially the same game. They have all of the static text screens where a woman explains how she is starting some kind of business either through work or inheritance. As the game progresses there are more static cut scenes that explain how the person has advanced and is creating a booming business. The sad thing is many of these games don’t even try hard to make the protagonist look different. The character of Wedding Dash, Diner Dash and Cake Mania look nearly identical.

Speaking of those games, Wedding Dash has the exact same menu style on the DS as Diner Dash. A simple interface greets you with a few options. Career mode, endless reception, and some options. As far as I can tell the only difference between the career mode screens and menus of the two games is color of the backgrounds and text displayed. The Career is a tour through levels of increasing difficulty. There are a lot of levels within the Career mode to go through so it can take quite awhile to play through them all. Endless reception is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a reception that just keeps on going until a certain number of guests get angry. There’s a multiplayer mode that requires two carts, which I can never understand why a more complex title like Mario Kart can have single cartridge multiplayer but something like this needs two carts. Especially when all you do is compete on separate screens for score.

As far as gameplay is concerned Wedding Dash barely qualifies as a game. The game certainly asks you to manage time well and then scores you on how well you do so, but it hardly seems like a game instead of an odd form of punishment. Maybe it is because I’m married that the game inside of this small package is so horrible to me. Planning a wedding reception in real life is a stressful process that is better remembered as something that happened in the past. Playing Wedding Dash is like reliving that stress, even if it is reduced to the microcosm of repetitive actions. Having to worry about the food and seating for any wedding again nearly sent me into Vietnam style flashbacks of my own wedding.

The game is a multi-tasking test. As people arrive you have to manage seating, presents, the different meal courses and who wants to sit next to who during the course of a reception. There are also different problems that break out that need to be attended to. This is all handled with different taps of the stylus. You drag guests to the tables next to who they want to sit with. You tap the screen on what you want to pick up and who you want to deliver it too. These actions can be queued up for smoother gameplay if you can think a few steps ahead.

That’s it. The seating bonuses for seating people according to where they want to sit actually makes up most of the points for the levels so as long as you do that right the game shouldn’t be difficult at all. As the game progresses the more guests that need to be dealt with and problems that you have to manage on top of the different food requests of the guests. The game can get difficult at times when there there are a lot of guests, though a lot of the difficulty is in how you manage the multipliers. If you can get multipliers with ease then no level is really a problem.

The real difficulty stems from an area that shouldn’t be an issue. Screen size. The game on the DS is just way too small. It is far too easy to tap the wrong person and cause a delay in service, it is even easier to accidentally grab the wrong food. Considering the penalty for tossing food is pretty severe this can become a nearly game breaking issue.

If I sound annoyed it is because the basic nature of the game is repetitive, what’s worse is that it feels only like a slight change from several other repetitive titles as well. So if you are already sick of playing this type of game or have played any version of Cake Mania, Diner Dash, or similar games, then there is no real reason to play this game. It is fundamentally the same game with the wedding theme. It’s like selling Halo: Bridezilla Edition by taking Halo 3 but putting Master Cheif in a wedding dress then acting like it’s a different game.

The screen is too small for the controls, the sound is bland, the gameplay is the same repetitive time management game that there are 50 different versions of already, plus the MSRP is $20 when you could get the same games on the PC for less than half of that price and not have to worry about screen size. However if you liked Diner Dash, Dairy Dash, Doggie Dash, Cooking Dash, Fashion Dash, Parking Dash, Fitness Dash, Diaper Dash, or Hotel Dash then you are in luck because this is the same God damned game.

The Scores
Modes: Poor
Graphics: Bad
Sound: Awful
Control/Gameplay: Mediocre
Replayability: Awful
Balance: Above Average
Originality: Worthless
Addictiveness: Mediocre
Appeal: Mediocre
Miscellaneous: Worthless

FINAL SCORE: BAD GAME

Short Attention Span Summary:

If you like Time Management games then you will probably enjoy Wedding Dash. Let it be known that if you purchase this game and help continue the proliferation of these titles that I dislike you. Yes, you. If you want to play a time management game look at your life and try to figure out a way to manage your time so that you will not have to spend it playing the 90th rehash of a game, only now with a wedding theme.

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