Dolphy Dash

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Dolphy Dash App Poster Image
Frequent ads keep this underwater game from being seaworthy.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Players see basic instructions about how to make the dolphin move, but the app doesn't offer an FAQ or information about all aspects of the game.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Ads pop up frequently between rounds; sometimes two are shown. Players can also purchase packages of fishgems for $0.99-$89.99.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dolphy Dash is an arcade game for iOS and Android devices. it's pretty easy to figure out how to play Dolphy Dash, yet the instructions don't mention some elements of the game, and there's no resource players can check if they have questions. Gamers will unfortunately see a lot of ads when playing -- they're shown essentially between every round. They're also given an array of options to buy in-app currency. You don't necessarily need to, but it allows you to keep playing if they crash into something -- which isn't hard to do -- so they may ask to buy some. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content in the game.

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What's it about?

Players tap to the left and press on the right side of the screen to make the dolphin jump and swim faster in DOLPHY DASH. They need to avoid fish, pelicans, and other objects or the round will end and can collect coins to unlock dolphin skins and abilities, such as somersaults. Completing a certain number of moves -- such as 20 somersaults -- earns coins and a reward like a fish magnet. Players can also spend gems on a head start in a round and other boosters, and they get a chance to spin a wheel periodically to win coins, gems, and other prizes.

Is it any good?

This game is visually interesting, but the controls and constant ads leaves this game floundering in the water. Dolphy Dash features rich graphics -- the dolphin wiggles his tale and soars above the water, and coins shimmer in the light. Tapping to make the dolphin jump and pressing down to make it zoom through the water is fun, but the touch functionality seems to be overly sensitive. It’s hard to get the dolphin to swim just a bit higher -- even moving your finger an incremental amount slowly results in Dolphy jumping out of the water -- which makes it hard to successfully avoid the fish and other obstacles you encounter. When you hit one, the game's over, so players may end up playing a lot of brief rounds, unless they use gems to keep playing. Without spending real-world cash on a gems package, it’s hard to earn enough to do that often.

Because ads are shown between virtually every round, and some are pretty long, it starts to feel like you're constantly waiting to be able to briefly play again.  That's frustrating -- and the app doesn't clearly explain a number of game aspects, which also takes away from the experience. Some fish, for example, you can run into and get points. If that happens with other fish, though, it'll end the round. Players also see information about challenges they've been given, such as swimming 300 meters, before rounds, but the game moves fast, and there isn't a dedicated section of the app they can click on to view how they're doing, so it's hard to tell what kind of progress they're making toward those goals. Dolphy Dash definitely has potential -- it includes great imagery, and the premise isn't bad -- but with directional aspects that can be challenging and way too many ads, gamers may lose interest in playing fairly quickly.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about working toward achieving goals. Dolphy Dash encourages players to complete a certain number of actions to earn coins, but can you think of some steps that would help a real world goal be reached?

  • How can you figure out how you can improve by learning from your mistakes? What makes it easier or harder to figure out how to improve when you fail?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love arcade games

Themes & Topics

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