Dairy Dash is a resource management game along the lines of Cake Mania and Ice Cream Dee Lites. You are in charge of a family of farmers who must feed, water, and care for a number of animals (and patches of garden) in order to harvest milk, eggs and other products. Dairy Dash eschews a number of more complex game mechanics and focuses on efficient ordering of tasks, not how many convoluted upgrades you can buy. Because of its simplicity, Dairy Dash provides one of the most rewarding resource management experiences in the genre that's familiar but with a few strokes of originality.
Each work day is comprised of basic farm tasks such as feeding hungry animals, bringing them water, preparing their food, and gathering products such as eggs and milk. Stringing tasks together is easy with the point-and-click queueing system, and in later levels other members of the Smith family join in to give you three workers at your beck and call. Complete enough chores to meet the goal for the day, and if you're fast enough you can score bonus points by reaching the expert goal.
Dairy Dash is very much about being efficient, and intrepid players will be rewarded for chaining like actions together to form combos. With a number of farm animals and related tasks waiting to be done, you won't have much time to plan your moves, so learn to recognize aural cues to quickly identify urgent tasks and let your mouse and the Smiths take care of the rest.
You'll farm your way across 52 levels and four farms in Dairy Dash, enough to keep you busy for quite some time. Each farm is bigger than the last and has a new layout you'll need to learn. One of several surprisingly entertaining minigames appear every few levels to break the strain of farming.
Analysis: Dairy Dash won't stand out as one of the flashiest or innovative resource management games around, but you'll love it for its simple, sweet and rewarding gameplay. Everything about this game is basic, from the simple soundtrack to the gameplay and no-frills visuals, but it all works together surprisingly well.
Simplicity is the game's strong point, but after a few long stretches of gameplay (which you will be inclined to do, as this game pulls you in with a vengeance), monotany begins to set in. Dairy Dash is all about clicking things as quickly as possible, so in theory you could breeze through the game just by clicking farm animals as they announce their needs. More arcade action, less strategy, which is a departure from the genre's norm.
Farming is tough work, but Dairy Dash is simple and straightforward. Once you get a few levels under your belt and are managing a dozen needy animals and piloting the whole Smith family, you'll realize you're completely hooked on this bare-bones resource management game.