fitness dash 1 PC Game Review: <em>Fitness Dash</em>Before digging in Fitness Dash, beware that playing the game does not substitute for exercise! Maybe it’ll motivate you to exercise when you take a break as you’re Jo, who is friends with Flo of Diner Dash and Quinn of Wedding Dash. So Dash fans will recognize a few characters including Uncle Ernie, brides and Aunt Ethel.

Fitness Dash is exactly what you expect if you’ve played any Dash game. Except replace the theme with the gym. Jo frantically runs around passing out towels, handing out water bottles, putting the lazy folks on machines instead of them walking over themselves and dragging them into the shower (I suppose they’re too pooped to do it alone).

The machines change up from treadmills and bench presses to rowing machines and ellipticals. Machines provide cardio (treadmill), strength training (ab cruncher) or both (skiing machine). Clients let you know what kind of exercise they want and how much. For instance, the body builder wants three rounds of strength training and the career woman usually wants both types.

fitness dash 2 PC Game Review: <em>Fitness Dash</em>Jo works with her clients for 10 rounds to help them prepare for a game of tug-o-war, the only original part of the game and a creative one at that. It’s a match three-style game except you must match at least FOUR connecting tiles and you can click the tiles to change the color. The bigger the match, the more your team pulls the rope. Too slow and your opponents will have the stronger pull. The whole war takes place below the matching grid, but who has time to watch it when you’re working to get those matches made?

Story and endless modes are available — no surprise. However, endless mode provides two options: gym and tug-o-war. In gym mode, you simply just keep the customers happy for as long as you can without losing five of them. Tug-o-war is one endless stream of matching where you level up every time you clear the screen. Endless mode comes with easy, medium and hard levels.

Disasters also appear in Fitness Dash where Jo needs to fix the TV, shoo away the ice cream truck guy or fix broken machines. Healthy muffins and water bottles earn you happiness points — these are the kind of things you give to customers without them asking for it. It’s possible to play a few different locations without using the water machine and still reach expert status. But the game does get harder and frantic by the fourth locale.

Shopping for upgrades is still there even for endless mode. You can stop to shop whenever you want (and have enough cash) in endless. The game doesn’t stop for you.

The game went a little berserk when things were happening fast. Picking up a client to carry to the shower didn’t go as smoothly. Selecting water and towels on their machines didn’t always take.

fitness dash 3 PC Game Review: <em>Fitness Dash</em>Though the Fitness Dash sticks to the reliable Dash formula, it has enough going on with its theme that it can addict fans (me, included — even my surgery-healed thumb hurt from playing the fast levels). Playfirst has an unbeatable formula in its Dash games and produces a decent spin-off. Playing the free trial will give you an idea of the game play to see if you like the theme enough to make the buy.

Download the game fromĀ Big Fish Games.

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