The Average Gamer

Petri-Dash Review (iOS)

Drifting around a Petri dish, minding his own business and idly scoffing protozoa… that’s the life of a blob in Petri-Dash. We’ll call him Wilf and hopefully that will encourage some emotional attachment to the amorphous shape.

You control Wilf’s direction of movement by pressing either side of the screen. Guiding him takes a bit of getting used to and it can help to keep your fingers a little further away from the screen than you might be comfortable with to avoid accidentally give him the command to dash (pressing both sides of the screen at once). Dashing can be used to attack enemies or to run away. Running away works better since it’s a bit of a gamble as to whether the dash attack will work.

What’s your motivation to drift around the dish? Wilf will die otherwise, in a horrific and painful way. (Not really, he just goes cross eyed and makes a noise.) An energy meter in the top of your screen will keep ticking down only to be replenished by steering over pink food blobs or from attacking and killing enemies. This is diverting for a bit – you admire the changing colours of the scenery and the different types of enemy (also mindlessly drifting) but after ten minutes I was bored of Endless mode and wondering whether I’d actually be required to achieve anything more glamorous than not dying.

Time Challenge mode isn’t any better. Now I have to not die to a time limit and a clock that endlessly flashes across the entirety of my screen isn’t helping matters. Potentially the only positive here is that the timer instils an emotion in me, albeit only a mild panic.

The one brief flicker of interest in this game was when I picked up a baby Wilf and led him around for a bit – sadly, it ended all too soon as any damage taken to Wilf also kills the babies.

Petri-Dash reminds me of a poorly done version of Solar 2 without the positive reinforcement of getting bigger or better. Unless you really get off on beating your own high scores, don’t bother with this game.

Petri-Dash is out now for iOS 4.3 or later

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