Slash Dash is a top-down, ninja-themed party game for the Xbox One. The game consists of four local multiplayer game modes in which each player controls a different colored ninja armed with a sword (to kill your opponents), a projectile weapon (to slow down your opponents), and the ability to teleport. Two of the game modes are 2v2 team games while the other two are free-for-all games.
Each game mode is generally the same (kill or be killed) with few minor tweaks to differentiate them. The game’s main mode, Capture the Flag, is a 2v2 game and is played pretty much exactly how it sounds. In teams of two, you try to capture your opponent’s flag while simultaneously defending your own. I say this is the game’s main mode only because Capture the Flag is the lone game in which you can use the Slash Dash ability. To Slash Dash, you simply hit your teammate from behind like a jockey whipping a prize thoroughbred. In Capture the Flag, the first team to win three rounds wins the game.
The next 2v2 mode is Assassination in which you protect your Shogun while (you guessed it) assassinating the opposing team’s. The Shoguns will closely follow one member of the team and mirror their every move. Assassination is my personal favorite mode in the game because it does have a little bit of strategy in it. The strategy comes from the fact that you can pass the Shogun between yourself and your teammate by simply hitting him with your sword. So, there is a decent amount of planning what moves to make while the shogun is following you, when to try to attack, and when to send the Shogun to your teammate. Like Capture the Flag, the first team to win three rounds wins Assassination.
The first free-for-all game, called Mirror Match, consists of each player controlling an army of five clones simultaneously. The objective of Mirror Match is to simply kill your opponents clone army before they kill yours. Mirror Match is a very quick game with most matches only taking about a minute to complete. The final game is a free-for-all game called Deathrace. In Deathrace, each player has a meter that fills up as long as the player is alive. When a player’s ninja is killed, their meter freezes until the player respawns. The first player whose meter is completely full is declared the winner. Personally, my favorite part of Deathrace was killing my opponent once and then running around like a chicken with its head cut off while my opponent frantically tried to kill me to even our meters.
Slash Dash has nine unique levels, each with their own hazards that can affect the outcome of each game. One match you could be cutting down forests of bamboo to get to your opponent and the next you could be sliding right by them on an ice covered lake. Slash Dash also features eight additional side weapons that can be unlocked through playing matches. Each side weapon in some way slows your opponent. It could be as simple as hitting them with a Kunai to stun them and as intricate as the Warp Shot which creates a black hole that sucks your opponents towards its center.
Just trying to get enough people together to play is by far the most challenging part of Slash Dash. The free-for-all games only need two players to play but the 2v2 games require four players to play together in the same room; which can be a daunting task in this day and age. It is almost unfathomable in today’s gaming world to imagine a game without some kind of online matchmaking but Slash Dash is that rare breed. Not surprisingly, Slash Dash also lacks CPU for a single player to play against.
Final Thought: While Slash Dash is decently entertaining the first few times playing it, it does lose its luster fairly quickly. The repetitive game modes, lack of CPU, and online matchmaking makes me question if it is worth its hefty $9.99 price tag on Xbox One.