Agent Dash 2.0: Should you really upgrade just yet?

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What’s New (and improved) in Agent Dash 2.0

The new home screen. Look: there's a safe and the red bat phone!
The new home screen. Look: there’s a safe and the red bat phone!

You may read the above and think “jeez, I’ll never upgrade in a million years” – but not all is bad with Agent Dash 2.0, let’s look at some of the nice new additions that make for a better gaming experience.

We have faster load times for example, and that’s not a lie. They’re loading the game quicker by leaving out the agent selection dialogue. When you open the app you end up in a little “Agent’s Lair” from which your last selected agent starts running into the new snow level – with a lovely camera pan. Trust me, it looks fantastic!

From this screen you can buy items, upgrade your items, select air drop, check out your objectives and visit the settings screen. This is now the new home screen which makes finding where options are hidden a lot better.

And of course, you can select a different character from here.

New Snow Level

The new snow level looks amazing
The new snow level looks amazing

We also have the new snow level which looks gorgeous and blue, it has frozen mammoths and penguins, and something that looks like Santa’s house on the North Pole.

It essentially replaces the overused jungle level which beginning players have seen almost exclusively for the first 50 attempts in the previous version. New players will get to see this snow level just as often.

If you were wondering about the level order, this is how it goes in the upgrade:

  • snow
  • enemy base
  • jungle (more difficult than before)
  • enemy base
  • town
  • enemy base

Rinse and repeat for ever, adding speed and obstacles, until you ultimately crash into something or fall of a bridge.
Speaking of which: when you happen to drop into the toxic water in the enemy base, a shark will come and eat you. Extremely funny to watch!

New Cloak Option

The new cloak option - comes with free x-ray on the go
The new cloak option – comes with free x-ray

A new addition to the gadget inventory, you can now buy a cloak for 750 per run. If you have it, you can activate it at will – which will render you invincible against obstacles for a few seconds, such as fences. You character turns into a translucent skeleton which is very funny to watch.

Note that while cloaked you can still fall off that rickety bridge or land in the sea. You will also pancake yourself when running against hard rock. Super powers have their limitations you know…

Overall Difficulty Increase

There have been a few other minor changes which have made Agent Dash 2.0 a bit harder to play than the previous incarnation:
Diamonds are now more scattered. What often was a straight line has now been broken up into several smaller groups of diamonds, which means you have to move more to get them (enticing you to make more mistakes of course, and to end up with less diamonds in the end).

The way in which obstacles are presented has become that extra bit more difficult: they make you jump, duck and swipe more, and with less notice. The town level is a good example where we now see way more trucks than before, in varying configurations (longer, shorter or even starting off-screen).

In later levels (5+) you don’t get to see much of the level in advance anymore, making it very hard to predict your path through the next section. When previously you could just about make out that at the end of a section in the base the left hand side was safer, you don’t really get to see that anymore: more shutters are falling down, leaving you blind at crucial moments.

On the bridge that leads to the enemy base you now have diamonds scattered across – most of which you can’t really see because they’re obstructed by the window that tells you which Facebook buddy you need to beat. This bridge used to be a nice little breather (and most likely an active loading screen to setup the next level behind the scenes) – but now players are enticed to use it for play. Easy to ignore for casuals, but hard core fans won’t be able to resist, tiring quicker.

And last but not least: jumping has changed. I find I need to jump slightly later than before to catch all diamonds in the air, and to avoid a fence. It’s minor, and can perhaps be tweaked with the new and improved control sensitivity option in settings, but it’s a notable change that means you need to re-learn your jumping habits.

Minor Colour Changes

In the enemy base some of the colours received a minor tweak. For example, the water is no longer as green as it used to be; or these “things” you have to shoot before making your way over that rickety bridge are now orange instead of green.
Overall, the interior of the enemy base looks a bit warmer in the upgrade than before. Nothing major, but I thought I’d mention it.

To Upgrade, or Not To Upgrade

Dr. Quantumfinger and his trusy cat
Dr. Quantumfinger and his trusty cat

The new snow level is worth the peek if you’re a fan, and the shorter load times are a welcome addition. Seeing The Queen fight through the world with her handbag or Viscount Voodoo will be so funny – and you can see those things only in the upgrade.

If you have more than one device, upgrade one and leave the other – therefore you can always go back and see for yourself which one you prefer.  As long as you connect to your Facebook account your diamond count and characters will be available on both devices (even cross platform, ie iPhone and Android).

It also has the advantage that you can get the best of both worlds: collect more diamonds in the old version and buy characters, then use them with the new version on your other device. Note that this may of course stop at any time, should Full Fat deem this inappropriate.

If you’re happy to upgrade, consider buying the characters you don’t yet own beforehand – it’ll be cheaper than to invest into microfilms and buying them in the new version. This is especially true for every character that can be bought for cash rather than for diamonds (ie Golden Agents and Dr Quantumfinger).

I think the new version feels like a “New Chapter of The Dash”, and as such I’m inclined to recommend playing the old version until you’ve maxed it out; then upgrade and set yourself a new challenge.
Remember: with all the propaganda windows popping up left right and centre, nobody is forcing you to hit The Upgrade Button.

You’re in charge, Agent!

Final Thoughts

I can’t really decide if one version is better than the other. I like them both. But the new version presents a welcome challenge to previous and seasoned Dash Players.

The new upgrade is probably better for the developers than it is for us players. It entices us to spend real cash, which is needed not only to pay rent and staff, but also to dedicate resources to the future development of Agent Dash.

The gameplay dynamic has certainly changed – it’s not better or worse, it’s just different. But as the New Coke scandal has shown, if trusty users don’t get a choice in such matters they can get upset. You can see this in some of the bad reviews the update has received already.

Be that as it may: Enjoy playing Agent Dash – and if you’ve never tried it, go and get it from the App Store or Google Play for free.

PS: And if you’re into spy stuff big time, check out our own Bond Tracker App – it’ll help you remember what Bond movies you’ve watched, which games you’ve played and which books you’re read. Available for iOS from the App Store.

3 thoughts on “Agent Dash 2.0: Should you really upgrade just yet?”

  1. UPDATE 27/04/2013

    Looks like Full Fat have made some changes which affect the old version as well as the new version of Agent Dash: Some characters can now be bought for diamonds in the new version. At the same time, characters have received a hefty price increase in the old version and now cost you 20x as much as before!

    Bobajob for example used to cost 40.000 diamonds, but since yesterday he’s a whopping 800.000 in the old version. That’s ludicrous! However he can now be bought for 50.000 diamonds in the new version – which wasn’t possible before (he used to cost microfilms).

    Groovy Outfit Dash can now be bought for 10.000 diamonds in the new; in the old version his price tag has changed to 400.000 (used to be 10.000).

    Boosts have also gone up a tad: Gem Rush is now 20.000, Slow Mo is 5000 and Air Drop sets you back 8000 in the old version. Streak Discount Savings still appear, but no discount is applied anymore.

    In a nutshell: Full Fat are desperate for us all to upgrade. They really don’t want you to play the old version anymore. Perhaps there’s something more at stake here than a harmless little video game which (used to) bring so much joy to the many masses.

  2. UPDATE 30/04/2013

    Full Fat have pulled another stunt to render Agent Dash 1.x less useful: they’ve disallowed the Facebook login on the old version, which means that you cannot collect diamonds and use them in the new version anymore. Facebook acts as a “cloud” which keeps your diamond count on all devices in sync. With that gone, there really is no going back and forth anymore.

    In other news, Agent Dash 2.1 has just been released – let’s see how that compares to the other two versions. I’ll keep you posted 😉


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