Before I begin, I would like to disclose something. Dodge Club Pocket is a game made by James Montagna. James is someone that I personally consider a friend. He also provided multiple copies of his game to Source Gaming for review purposes. Despite our friendship, I will do my best to be as fair as possible in this review. With that out of the way, let’s start the music and begin our review!
Dodge Club Pocket is the third entry in the Dodge Club series. Originally, Dodge Club was meant for public venues and quick, pick up and play sessions. The game was designed to be accessible to anyone. The game was originally played on a 2D 16×16 panel. Since then, Dodge Club was brought over to the Wii U, mobile and now finally the 3DS. Personally, I only have experience with the mobile version before playing the 3DS version. So is the rave still going, or should you skip this event? This is PushDustIn from Source Gaming bringing you this review.
While the gameplay looks extremely simplistic, there is, in fact, a minor story behind the Dodge Club games. The game takes place in a fictional Dodge Club where the characters are dancing for glory. Players can choose their characters, which only changes the colors of the two by two square. There are also some comics which can be unlocked after completing some challenges. While it’s not a huge narrative, it’s a nice small addition to the game.
Dodge Club Pocket has 64 challenges and a classic mode. The challenges are all quite unique. Sometimes players will need to hit an object at the right time, avoid spotlights or in one case, play red light/green light. There is enough variety here, that players are never sure what will happen next. There are also three levels that play completely different — one is a shooter, one is like Pac-Man and another is a quote-unquote platformer. Completing one of these three levels will unlock a mode where players can aim for a high score in this levels.
The game can be played with either the D-Pad, Joystick, the face buttons or the touchscreen. Depending on the challenge, I found myself mixing up exactly how I was controlling my character. For the levels that needed to be completed under a certain number of steps, I found the D-Pad to be the best option. Having this many control options means players will find a method that will suit their playstyle.
My main gripe with Dodge Club Pocket’s challenges is just how long it takes to get back into one. If players fail a challenge they will have to wait several seconds until the failure animation plays through, then go back into the challenge menu and select the challenge again. For a game that’s centered around quick gameplay, it feels like this is the bottleneck. If players repeatedly fail a challenge, it feels very punishing and makes the game less enjoyable.
Dodge Club Pocket is fantastic at conveying exactly what you need to know with limited colors and space. The two screens are used well, with one screen reminding players of the objective and another showing the action.
There is a lot of music to unlock in the game. I really enjoyed most of the tracks in Dodge Club Pocket, and I was really happy to just listen to some tracks in the present menu. Haru no Uta is my personal favorite!
In the end, I think Dodge Club Pocket is going to be a divisive game. Players will either really enjoy it, or not. Because of that, I think it’s best if players try the game out on their phone first. Dodge Club Pocket, the app is free for Android users and offers a very similar experience to the 3DS version. Keep in mind: the game retails for 4.99 USD on the 3DS. Try the app: if you want the essentially the same game with better controls, and on your 3DS then pick it up. If you still have a Wii U then I’d recommend picking up Dodge Club Party. It’s cheaper and seems to have more features than the 3DS version.
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