This classic GameCola article was originally published in January, 2005.
You’re Dash Galaxy, and you’re stuck in some Alien Asylum. Or at least, that’s what I’m led to believe based on the title of this game. This supposed asylum is housed completely within a giant rocket.
For some reason, Dash has decided that it’s a good idea to make his way through the entire alien asylum. The introduction makes it crystal clear that Dash has entered the asylum out of his own free will, though it never really explains why he feels it necessary to make his way to the very top of this rocket/asylum deal.
There are two modes of play. The first is a top-down puzzle mode where you have to push blocks around to create a path to the four doorways that are on every level of this game. You also have the option of using bombs to destroy the blocks, and keys that deactivate the various force fields that you have to contend with. Of course, both of those items become utterly useless when you discover that moving on to the next level is as simple is walking back into the entrance that spat you out onto that level in the first place.
These bombs and keys that I’ve mentioned can be found in the four or five different rooms that are contained on each level. Within these rooms, you get to (I should say, “have to”) experience the second mode of gameplay. This is the two-dimensional side-scrolling segment of the game. In this mode, you have to maneuver Dash Galaxy to every one of the wall switches in order to re-open the door that you used to enter the room. Along the way, you have to avoid roaming robots, flying birds, and the many pits that constitute this asylum—which I assume has one of the worst records of psychiatric recovery rates. But maybe I’m reading too much into it, though I will say that this particular asylum has way more trampolines than any asylum should ever need.
Since Dash Galaxy is a Nintendo game, it goes without saying that there’s not a whole lot of different functions for the controller. You move around, lay bombs, and jump. That’s about it…well, not entirely. This game happens to also boast the added feature of a suicide button. By pressing the Select button, Dash Galaxy will end it all, and you get to start whatever level you’re on, all over again. I wish I knew what the Select button did before I discovered its function and lost my last life, causing me to have to start all over again.
Anyway, Dash Galaxy’s mobility in this game is much more akin to trying to run through oatmeal, so keeping the enemies from touching you isn’t always easy. But that isn’t a big problem since Dash doesn’t even have any health. Instead, he has an oxygen meter. That’s right—your goal is to make it all the way through this asylum while holding your breath.
And, that’s about it. Dash Galaxy is pointlessly exploring this rocket ship, and Nintendo has decided to drag you along for the ride. To top that, the music can’t possibly have been made by anyone other than some kid who’s just got their first keyboard, and the talentless bastard has yet to grow tired of pointlessly mashing out his arrhythmic tunes. The end result is dull throbbing “music” that I wished had made blood gush out of my ears. At least then I would have had to go to the hospital and would no longer have to play Dash Galaxy in the Alien Asylum.