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For anyone who grew up with a big, chunky original Game Boy or played old NES and SNES games, Stardash was made for you. Designed in 8-bit of the highest quality, Stardash aims to tug at your nostalgic heartstrings while giving everyone the same challenges and satisfaction found in the oldest of oldies.

Gameplay is about as straightforward as it gets. You've got left and right arrows and a jump button, nothing more. This game checks the frills at the door and gives you one task: dash. So dash you do, traversing increasingly difficult terrain and jumping over chasms while also making sure to jump on any enemies you see. (Historical records dictate this is the most efficient way to kill them.)

Throughout your adventures you'll also come across coins to pick up, although this is par the course for sidescrolling adventures of this sort. If you're lucky (or smart), you'll also find the optimal "high road" to get across the level, thus enabling you to reach the coveted 100-point balloon at the end of the level.

Aesthetically, you're getting just what you'd expect from a game carrying on the legacy Mario and friends. It's monochromatic, pixelated, and has upbeat, friendly sounding 8-bit music to accompany the visual. The buttons are large and cartoonish, but look like the buttons from the controllers of years past. If you weren't playing this on a high-powered phone, you could almost imagine you're back in the 80s.

There are tons of levels and secrets to enjoy (40 levels and four unlockable temples) as well as achievements out the wazoo thanks to OpenFeint support. It's as social as old-school gaming gets, and gives a nice nod to things like the whistles, what with the keys for temples and all.

Other than that, there isn't much to say. Stardash is awesome. You want it. You need it. Take a walk down memory lane and enjoy the trip or see what you young whippersnappers have been missing these days, with those super photorealistic things you've been playing on those HD moving picture boxes.

Stardash is $1.99 in the Android Market. We've got download links after the break.

 
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Android Game Review: Stardash

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