Dinocide (PC) Review

By Renan Fontes 13.02.2016

Review for Dinocide on PC

Long before the dawn of modern technology and the advent of man, a caveman and his cavewife were enjoying a humble picnic. Love was in the air, and so was a pterodactyl who promptly stole the caveman's lover in a move sure to be familiar to fans of Ghosts 'n Goblins. Not too unlike Shovel Knight, Dinocide is a platformer that takes heavy inspiration from the NES era in an attempt to offer a challenging, but overall rewarding experience.

The rescue quest starts off fairly promising. The first few levels are traditional starter levels for a platformer, and they introduce the game's mechanics without being intrusive. The caveman has an arsenal of weapons that he can use (all of which function differently), a stamina meter to limit his attacks, and a health/hunger bar that depletes as the level goes on. They're incredibly fascinating choices that put a new spin on the platformer genre, challenging the player in unique ways, and, while the first few levels are short enough to demonstrate the upsides of these mechanics, it doesn't take long for Dinocide to completely collapse under all its flaws.

When it comes down to it, the caveman's weapons are wholly uninteresting and add little to no value to the experience. As enemies are rather unaggressive and there are pitfalls everywhere, most of the enemies will just kill themselves, or can be outrun. There is no challenge in the combat, if it can even be called that.

In certain levels, our hero can mount various dinosaurs, each of which has a unique gimmick, but the addition serves no purpose, as bosses are incredibly infrequent and enemies don't pose a threat. The only real benefit is the extra bar of health that riding a dinosaur provides, which is an absolute necessity in late game. Because the health meter is constantly going down to signify hunger, later stages do not give any enjoyment at all, instead being a race to the finish, with literally every food item needing to be picked up on the way to avoid death.

Screenshot for Dinocide on PC

Stamina should add strategy to enemy encounters and boss fights, but bosses are as underwhelming as the enemies are; they all have very simple and telegraphed patterns that incite no challenge. Perhaps more disappointingly, using a mount in a boss fight effectively ensures a straight victory, as the dinosaurs do an incredible amount of damage and provide absurd amounts of health to survive the encounter.

These faulty mechanics could be salvaged, however, if the actual level designs were halfway decent. Instead of coherent levels that flow naturally to an end point and that attempt new things, the entire game is simple left to right precision jumping. When the last levels have the same feeling of the first level, there's a huge problem. There are so many novel ideas at play, but nothing is used in a clever way, and nothing is ever truly integrated into the actual design of Dinocide.

Its greatest flaw, though, is that it just doesn't feel good to play. Movement is stiff, and jumps never quite feel like they have enough flow to them. Most deaths won't come from mistakes, but instead from the controls not being refined enough. Every aspect of moving and attacking feels clunky and underdeveloped, to the point where it becomes impossible to imagine stomaching long play sessions.

Screenshot for Dinocide on PC

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

Dinocide shows an incredible amount of promise at the beginning, but it simply does nothing with the ideas it presents. It meanders around aimlessly, never accomplishing a thing, and seems to exist solely to torment those who want an accurate NES platforming experience. This prehistoric nightmare just can't deliver on that.

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   

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