Dinocide (PC) Preview

By Athanasios 12.12.2015 3

Review for Dinocide on PC

One of the great things the indie community has brought forth into the gaming industry, is the abundance in retro-inspired titles; retro both in terms of gameplay, as well as audio-visuals. The trade-off was a market filled to the gills with products that claimed to be old-school, although they were far from it. Does this colourful, 2D side-scroller, known as Dinocide, fall into that category? While the demo experienced here clearly shows that this is not just a hollow imitation of the 8-bit era classics, it somehow misses the spot in its current, incomplete state.

From the moment the prehistoric hero of this Jurassic tale starts frolicking on the first level, many players will actually check their hands to see if they are holding an NES or Master System controller. This pixelated world and the sprites that inhabit them, along with the stupendously nostalgic 8-bit music that comes with it, evoke memories of the Mega Man series, and that's certainly a good thing - or is it? Unfortunately, while this is certainly reminiscent of the past, that's never enough.

While not bad or anything, the generic jungle, cave, and water stages look the same as the ones in the - equally generic - ones in Chuck Rock, Prehistorik, or Joe & Mac, and while the soundtrack fits like a glove to the old-school aesthetics, it would be better if AtomicTorch Studio had actually created some tunes similar to the one that can be heard in Dinocide's trailer, which gives a modern vibe to an awesome, 8-bit tribal theme. Long story short: this title lacks character - then again, isn't gameplay the most important aspect?

Screenshot for Dinocide on PC

Remember Adventure Island and its predecessor Wonder Boy? Similar to them, a caveman hero must keep on moving right in search for food, keeping his vitality meter from emptying, and, thus, remain standing on his two hairy feet. Does this platformer takes this mechanic and enhance it in any way? Yes and no. On the one hand, vitality also acts as a health bar but, on the other hand, things feel less urgent than in the aforementioned games, since the meter depletes at a much slower pace.

Apart from rocks, it's possible to collect and throw hand axes, or shoot arrows, although they are pretty similar, and, to be honest, quite lame, since they fly in an small arc, making aiming at some baddies more annoying than challenging. Two Dinosaurs are also available for riding, yet don't expect something spectacular, since these beasts are just more durable, and have a simple additional attack like a fireball, or in the case of the Plesiosaurus, a… bubble. On the bright side, weapons and dinosaurs can be collected and used in later levels, which adds a tactical factor to the whole thing.

There are various little flaws that should be mentioned, like the fact that all enemies are pretty much the same, or how jumping feels a bit too sensitive (and lacks a jumping animation), or the gems that can be collected, although they don't seem to have any specific function. Then again, everything that has been mentioned up until now was just a glimpse of the full product. However, even this small sample of Dinocide makes one thing pretty clear: this is an average platformer. Why? Well, because the whole gameplay can be summed up in "go right, jump over hazards, kill mobs, and reach the end," and that's it. It's not difficult, not original, and not exciting at all.

Screenshot for Dinocide on PC

Final Thoughts

Dinocide is a platformer… and that's all that can be said about it. Take Super Mario Bros., create a simple level consisting of just a bunch of endless pits and Goombas between the start and finish lines, and it will feel the same as the few levels of this demo. Undoubtedly, there's a chance that this doesn't show the game's many strengths, but maybe they weren't any to begin with. In other words (and let that be a lesson to every developer out there, independent or not), #1: retro looks are great, only when coupled with great retro gameplay, and, #2: a small bite is just a small bite, but it's also a sample of the full meal, and, therefore, more effort should be put into it.

Developer

AtomicTorch Studio

Publisher

AtomicTorch Studio

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

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   

Comments

Alex (guest) 13.12.2015#1

Dude, have you ever read what the developers say about this game? They said that they are not reinventing the wheel with this one. They are giving you the same EXACT experience you had on NES or Genesis. No more, no less. That's what they did.

Alex (guest) said:
Dude, have you ever read what the developers say about this game? They said that they are not reinventing the wheel with this one. They are giving you the same EXACT experience you had on NES or Genesis. No more, no less. That's what they did.

First of all, just because they said that they won't reinvent the wheel it doesn't make the game good, because SOME sort of innovation is always needed, whether that's small or not and, second, the biggest problem with this game isn't just its simplicity, but its extremely bland level design. The original Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, Castlevania, and Adventure Island games had various levels with all sorts of challenges. This... just doesn't.

( Edited 13.12.2015 10:56 by Ofisil )

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

This is the best retro game I have in my collection

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