Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 12.09.2017 2

Review for Dino Dini

It's become almost industry standard for old games to get a reboot. By adding modern gameplay mechanics and a fresh coat of paint, and tuning issues the original had, it's possible to bring the experience to a new audience. When it's done right, it can almost feel like a brand-new game. When it's done wrong, it can be a cold reminder that it's not always easy bringing the past into the future. Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival may be one of the coldest reminders to come out this year.

Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival is a top-down, arcade football game, and that's about it. No detriment to the overall package; it's kind of a nice sentiment. In a time where football games generally aim for the highest degree of realism, both visually and when it comes to physics, having a fun little arcade game to play where you can pick up and go is a pleasing idea. Where did it go off the rails, then?

To start with, the game is visually bland. It attempts to capture some of the charm of the original title and similar games of the era. Instead of what is supposed to be the crowd in the stands, though, it looks like pieces of paper with different coloured shapes on it, whilst the players on the field kind of look like the character pieces for the physical version of The Game of Life. It's underwhelming, and thanks to the characters all looking like the same person in different coloured outfits, it's extremely easy to lose track of who you are.

Screenshot for Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival on PC

The gameplay shows some promise - at least in theory. The joystick controls players, and the Cross button handles commands. Depending on how you move the stick and how long your press is, the player performs different movements. This sort of simplistic control scheme really drives home the idea that this is an arcade game.

Then it becomes painfully clear that the controls don't really work. They don't respond sometimes, and when they do respond, a lot of times they just do what they want. While trying to score a goal, the ball just goes in whatever direction it feels like. When throwing the ball back into play, the goalie will occasionally lob it forward, or just kind of drop it in front of himself. During a penalty shootout, there is little indication of when control has been switched from taking a penalty to then attempting to save one with the keeper.

Screenshot for Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival on PC

This wildly inconsistent gameplay isn't helped by the absolutely atrocious tutorial. The player is given the ability to scroll through a list of options, reading how to perform moves and then getting to practice them. A picture of the joystick and Cross button is included in these explanations, but do little to accurately explain how to perform the move.

The exercise is equally absurd, though it shows hints of promise by making the player perform the move in a predetermined space. This forces the player to get better at the move, but all too often just figuring out what the tutorial wants of you is more trouble than it's worth.

Screenshot for Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival on PC

What's more depressing is that even when the controls seem to make sense, even when every kick actually works, and the game gels together into what it was meant to be, Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival still isn't very much fun. These functioning moments are fleeting, and again, the ball flies off out of bounds when you meant to pass it to a nearby player, or trying to shoot a goal turns into a slide for no reason whatsoever. It's hard to tell, honestly, if the controls just don't work, or so much pressure is placed on the joystick and the Cross button that mastering the controls is just too difficult.

This isn't a question one should have to ask, though, and it contributes to the real problem here: Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival just doesn't feel finished. Perhaps more polish, perhaps more time in the oven was needed. Since this already came out on other systems, it's hard to imagine why it still feels so broken.

Screenshot for Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 1 out of 10


Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival can't be recommended. It doesn't even feel barebones; instead, it feels like basic gameplay elements stacked on top of one another. Everything is messy, incomplete and generally broken, and it's hard to tell if it is supposed to be this way, or if everything is just poorly designed. When all is said and done, though, this is just a bad game, and there's no other way to put it.


Koo Games


The Digital Lounge





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  1/10

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   


LordRETRO (guest) 16.02.2018#1

Unless you have played the original Kick Off, of which this is a remake (and a 100% accurate one at that) you clearly dont have the means to review this game. This game was made to bring back the Spirit of the old Amiga Game of the same name, and so it does. Does the little word 'revival' in the game title mean anything to you? Well, im glad you noticed it isnt Fifa.

Hey sorry for the delayed response, I just saw this comment.

So I suppose, because you're far from the only person to tell me I just didn't get this game or understand it's appeal, that perhaps that's true. My issue with that is that the assumption is that anyone who spends time with the game and doesn't like it just needs to get good at it, or doesn't get it.  I did not play the original, but while this is a "faithful recreation" (I'm only using quotes because again, I don't know, I didn't play the original), me having played the original should have no bearing on how I felt about this title.

Personally, it seems that a lot of the defense of the game is based on nostalgia, of which, again, I have none. You can view that as me being underqualified, or you can view that as me not having rose tinted glasses, it's really your call and I'm not here to change your mind on that. Furthermore, it's no skin of my back if people enjoy the game. Please, by all means, play it if you like it. The purpose of the review was simply to state my opinion, which was that I absolutely do not like the game.

Regardless of our disagreement, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, I always appreciate it.

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