The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 17.05.2017

Review for The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile on PC

Shortly before Earth was annihilated, the remaining humans took refuge on the moon. Perhaps society will regain its footing, and mankind will flourish once again. Unfortunately, it seems that The Cyborg Assimilation Movement, the catalyst in Earth's destruction, has taken control of the moon's most powerful and influential men. The Prisoner and The Dishwasher, undead warriors with a score to settle, will attempt to wipe out this menace once and for all.

The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile has one of those concepts that's practically impossible to screw up. Seriously, it's a game about samurai vampires fighting cyborg zombies. The over-the-top absurdity is matched by a ridiculously high body count. Before this tale has concluded, hundreds of enemies will be decimated, their blood slathered all over the walls and floors, like modern art gone horribly wrong. Somewhere in all of this crimson-soaked chaos are the heroes, slicing and dodging through the nightmares with flawless precision.

Screenshot for The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile on PC

In essence, this title is a 2D beat 'em up, though it could also be considered a twin-stick slasher. Both Dishwasher and Prisoner have access to multiple weapons, all of them designed for maximum slaughter. There are traditional weapons, such as katanas and hammers, and then there are the oddities like "painkiller" and "the guillotine." Is goring someone with a giant syringe or an oversized pair of scissors too much? For this game, it probably isn't enough. Machineguns and shotguns help to round out the sizable arsenal. Weapons can be swapped in out at any time, even in the midst of battle. Four spells are available as well, though most anyone will stick to the one that drains health from nearby enemies.

While there is joy to be found in devastating adversaries with stunning air combos, survival always comes first. Dodging, which by default is mapped to the right stick, is sole defensive technique available to the heroes. However, there aren't any limitations. The player is free to dodge as many times as it takes. Thanks to the generous invincibility frames, weaving in and out the worst possible situations is as easy as turning one's wrist. Also, it's possible to dodge in any direction. Gravity's proverbial face will be spat in many times over. The coolest aspect of dodging is if an attack is avoided at the last possible moment, the action slows down for a split-second. It doesn't give the player an advantage or anything, but it helps to make them feel awesome.

Screenshot for The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile on PC

Each stage is divided into a series of rooms. It helps to keep a look out for optional paths and hidden doorways, because they can lead to benefit-granting beads. Otherwise, expect to do a little key hunting, some very light platforming, and plenty of fighting. A boss battle awaits the duo at the end of each stage. They run the gamut from hulking monsters to skilled assassins. Their patterns and abilities can be challenging to overcome. To add to this, they usually have a few helpers to harass anyone attempting to slay them. Still, this game is perfectly manageable on normal difficulty, especially if the heroes take the time to spend their hard-earned cash on health upgrades and healing items. Although, if somebody is really having trouble, or if they're a game reviewer, then there's the "pretty princess" difficulty setting.

Screenshot for The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile on PC

Where The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile really comes into its own is on the harder difficulties and side-modes. The Samurai setting - unlocked after completing the game - is quite vicious. Stronger foes make early appearances, and they do brutal amounts of damage. The arcade mode offers up tons of stages, all with their own unique conditions. It's a nice jolt of instant entertainment. The dish challenge, otherwise known as the survival mode, is a test of endurance. The player must slice through as many enemies as possible. The goal isn't just to survive, but to look good while doing so. Learning the combo-centric scoring system is important for anyone interested in climbing the online leaderboards.

If the player doesn't have an interest in replaying stages again and again just to score a few extra points, then that's quite alright. The fast-paced and merciless action is still very entertaining. Killing cyborg zombies is consistently thrilling. The massive amounts of blood and constant explosions are almost disorienting, yet everything still manages to connect with the person holding the controller. They have little trouble becoming one with the chaos. The responsive controls and tight mechanics guarantee that there will never be a cheap hit or an unfair death. It's also very helpful that an on-screen arrow points out where the samurai is at all times, even amongst the numerous blood geysers occurring all at once.

Screenshot for The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

A lot of games have great concepts, which are then thoroughly wasted due to bad gameplay or other issues. The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile isn't one of them. This title delivers on the cyborgs, zombies, and decapitations - that much is true. More importantly, it is superbly designed and programmed. It flicks all of those "hell yeah" switches in the gamer's brain. Before long, they're completely enthralled by the bloody spectacle. Altogether, this is a worthy pickup for slash 'em up fans.


Ska Studios


Ska Studios





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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