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Inspector Gadget's MAD Dash
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Inspector Gadget's MAD Dash is a simple action game that brings the cartoon character to the iPhone, and in a similar HD version, the iPad. There is some cartoon violence in the game, but more in the TV episodes players can unlock. The biggest concern is that the price to unlock the extras becomes so high that it is easier to pay money to unlock them rather than earning the coins in-game. There are some privacy concerns as well; the app can use Game Center, email, Facebook, and Twitter to share scores.
Is it any good?
INSPECTOR GADGET'S MAD DASH is a run-as-far-as-you-can game like Canabalt, except it features Inspector Gadget with roller skates, rocket shoes, stretching arms, and his umbrella hat. As he races along the rooftops, he collects coins and avoids falling or being hit by trains and the bombs Dr. Claw throws at him. For fans of the original TV series, it can be a fun experience because the game uses the familiar voices and sound effects. There are also extras that can be unlocked using the collected coins: sound effects, a comic book, ringtone, and even full episodes of the TV show. However, the worst part is the exorbitant pricing: the TV episodes double in price for each one unlocked, so the fourth episode costs 2,000 coins. With a decent score yielding only 200-300 coins, it would take a long time to earn enough to unlock everything. The app allows you to spend actual money to buy packages of coins or to unlock extras directly, and there are some extras that can only be unlocked by spending money in-app. While the game provides some fun, the price gouging leaves a sour taste.