It’s about as good a time as any to go over the game modes in The Dishwasher.  Everything’s still being tweaked a little bit, but for the most part it’s all pretty much locked in.

Dish Challenge.  Fight off wave after wave to compete for the highest score.  This is sort of like the standard game arena, ranking overall score and a weekly rush score.

This one is all about combos.  The way scoring works is a bit like Tony Hawk–the more hits and kills you get, the higher your multiplier is.  It counts like this:

  • Kills = 2x
  • Hits = 0.25x
  • Messy Kills = 5x
  • Clean Kills = 5x

Your multiplier is accumulated while you keep a combo running.  How can you tell a combo is running?  There’s a little red progress bar under your combo count that let’s you know–once the bar runs out, your combo ends and the combo score x multiplier is added to your current score.

This leads to some super-addictive game play–the challenge for Dish Challenge is not to survive the level (well, it isn’t a cakewalk either) but to do it as one long combo.  My personal best is in the upper 500 million neighborhood, but for months the highest I could get was around 180 million or so.

Arcade. Arcade game levels are short, one room arena areas.  They usually go on a particular theme.  They also lock you in with a two weapon loadout and one Dish Magic technique.  They sometimes employ certain modes, such as:

  • Vampire. Your health is draining, but monsters give more health when killed.
  • Bullet Time. All monsters move at half speed.  I’ve fantasized about doing this in real life for years now.
  • Aerials. Monster are only damaged while airborne.  Learn those air combos!
  • Instakill. Everything deals 4x damage, so baddies turn into red mist pretty quickly.

You can play arcade co-op.  It does get a bit crazy, and also I think I’m going to double the monster pool size for co-op play (otherwise it’s over too quickly).

Story Mode. Oh yeah, this is where it started!  There are 14 levels of story mode over 3 normal difficulties and the elite Samurai and Ranked difficulties.  Play guitar solos and complete time attack areas to earn Psycho Picks, upgrade your health, magic and weapons, and so on.

At some point I’m going to talk about 3 player co-op a little bit more, but hopefully this is enough for now :).