Last week I wrote about how a new DASH game would be coming out on the 14th. Well, that day has passed and Soap Opera Dash is available for all to download and enjoy. I had the pleasure to review the game and while it stayed true to the DASH formula, it was different and a ton of fun.
In Soap Opera Dash, the story begins with Rosie. She works for one of the largest soap opera companies and she has recently written a great proposal. Her show idea gets picked up, but she needs to get a cast along with her big star. Simon the Celebrity has just been fired from his gig and Rosie runs into him at the office, learns of his job situation, and snags him up immediately for her show. With DinerTown being a close community, familiar faces, like Flo and Quinn, jump in and help Rosie fill in the cast gaps.
When you start to play through Soap Opera Dash, you are given the chance to assign which roles you want the characters to play. There is the Best Friend, the Lovers, the Jealous Ex (because you can’t have a successful soap opera without one of those!), the Socialite, and more. I really liked that the game allowed players to assign same-sex characters as the Lovers. In a society where we have tons of people with different lifestyles, I think it’s important to acknowledge them all, so it’s fantastic that PlayFirst has done that.
The first section of the game has you starting in Rosie’s Mom’s Garage. There are two chairs for the actors, a wardrobe station, a guy who cleans the stage after each scene, Bernie who types up the scripts, your camera man, your director, and a few other things. Like previous DASH games, you have characters that are colored, and you have to match their color to the other objects, and get through everything without having them leave in a huff. In Soap Opera Dash, it seems as if things will be easier due to the way the game flows and is laid out, but in later portions of the game, it becomes pretty difficult. With each scene, you have to make sure you have the right actors ready and available to go on stage. The only way you know which ones are about to go up is by looking at the top of the stage, to the left, and you’ll see the highlighted portraits. If I could give you all one solid piece of advice when playing this, it’s to pay attention to that at all times. If you don’t, you can get completely thrown off, and you’ll run the risk of having some irritated actors.
As you progress through Rosies’s Mom’s Garage, more things are added in. A make-up station appears, a hair station appears, an extra chair is thrown in so that you can have an actor sit if they are finished yet not due to go on stage, and there are extra chairs added so that more actors can sit and wait for you to deliver them their scripts. Extra stations are added to the hair and make-up sections, and at the beginning of the episodes (levels within a stage/season), you can use your money to upgrade everything. The obvious upgrades are to make the chairs and stations more comfortable so that the actors have more patience, but spending money to upgrade Bernie the script writer is so important and worth it.
To film a scene, the process is pretty simple. You have your actor, you give them the matching script, you then take them to the make-up station, to the wardrobe area, so they can get their hair done, and then they go on the stage. If an actor has a ring of stars around them, get to them quickly so that you can do a special mini game and get more points. The mini-games had Rosie pick out the right beard, the right hair cut, right outfit, and the proper lipstick shade. I did find it a bit funny how every actor/actress was so thrilled to have neon colored hair and borderline-Gothic lipstick. One think to look out for is where the camera man moves to. After filming each scene he moves to a different location, so it almost becomes a “Where’s Waldo” situation, so that was a neat new feature.
When progressing throughout the entire game, there is more difficulty thrown in as new colors are introduced, the actors need to be fed, your equipment breaks down and needs to be fixed, and then there are the rabid fans. One thing I did find a bit challenging was to make sure I got the right fan with the right actor because sometimes they appeared after I had already changed their hair, so definitely keep track of who is who.
Upon completing your episode, your results are shown and points are based on the following criteria:
- Number of completed scenes
- Number of color matches
- Chain bonuses
- and additional points
There are ways to lose points in each episode, and that is if you have unhappy actors or a scene isn’t filmed. I did have times where some actors were unhappy, but I never had it to where a scene wasn’t filmed. Judges also rate each episode, and have a list of criteria you must meet in order to get approval from them. Those criteria are listed at the beginning of each episode, so be sure to pay attention to that. Sometimes the list is easy, like where you have to get a certain amount of color matches, you don’t use the trash can, or you don’t lose a scene, but I made a mistake where I accidentally forgot to give iced tea to the actors and I didn’t get the approval of one Judge.
Soap Opera Dash had a lot of content, and it felt longer than other DASH games, which was great. Each “season” has 10 episodes, and if you visit the Treasure Trove you can purchase one bonus episode for each one. Overall there are 11 episodes to play through, and there are also 10 special features to buy. I liked the one where all of the actors wear sunglasses, but some are hilarious like how you turn the cat into an alien, or birds fly around the scene.
With 14 Awards to be won, pop culture references aplenty, and a really accessible style of game play, my overall experience with Soap Opera Dash was incredibly positive. Fans of the series are bound to love it, and, I know I might have said this before about other DASH games, but this is a great game for a person to try if they want to get into the time-management or casual genre. It wasn’t too terribly difficult, it was enjoyable, and at the end of the day that is what a game is all about: providing the player with an enjoyable experience. PlayFirst hit the nail on the head and I hope we get to see more of Rosie in the future.