In today's video we will be looking at a game called Dinocide, developed and published by Atomic Torch Studios, released on January 21st 2016.
What is it?
Dinocide is a single player, action adventure, 2D side scrolling platformer that takes heavy inspiration from classic Nintendo games such as the beloved series Mario Brothers.
Set in a prehistoric fantasy world, the protagonist, which doesn't seem to have a name, chases after his cavewoman who was lady napped by a mysterious, mountain like dinosaur “god”. Going through level after level, he travels across a large world map, picking up new tools and friendly dinosaur mounts, each with its own unique skills. And while I didn't find any, there are secondary paths the player can take making this nice little gem of a game nonlinear.
Dinocide plays like a classic game, but comes with a few unique mechanics. To start off, all you have is the main character and what looks like rocks, or maybe they were coconuts. You spawn in a level that scrolls right, you get platforms to jump up on, pits to fall in, and a variety of creatures to throw your rocks at. At the top of the screen you have, what I can only describe as, a hunger bar. If you are too slow, you starve to death and have to restart the level. This bar also counts as a health bar in the more traditional sense and if you get hit by one of the creatures, you lose health, and ultimately, time to finish the level. Luckily, there are tasty snacks in the form of floating fruits and meat along the way to essential heal you up.
But there are two other items you will find along your path. The first one are tool upgrades. Going from rocks to axes, to arrows to boomerangs. Similarly, the dinosaur mounts can be found at certain points on the map, again, much like Super Mario Brothers and Yoshi.
But unlike those more classic games, the upgrades you get last until you get a new one, or die. If you complete a level, the tools or mount you received from that level go into an inventory and at the start of every level you can choose to use, or not to use, one of the tools or mounts for the next level. But be careful, if you die, you lose the tools.
On top of this, the dinosaur mounts have unique skills, each one corresponds with a level type, for example, the fire based mount, which can spit fireballs, is immune to the lava, so if you miss a jump and land in the lava, you are fine. Which brings sort of a interesting tactical, decision making process to the game as well.
One of the more modern features of the game is a speed run option. At first glance, the speed run level seems randomly generated, but after dying several times and failing, I found that the speed run was the same every time. There maybe more levels beyond this first one that I just simply couldn't get past for some reason, but it would be nice if the developers made this function a randomized daily event, which is finding its way more and more into the world of indie games like this.
Graphically, the game lives up to its 8-bit promise. With vibrant colors, Dinocide has multiple scrolling layers that gives each level a sense of depth even though it's a 2D game. The animations are very smooth making the controls of the game, from the input to the action played on the screen, very reactive.
Each character, creature, dinosaur mount are all easy to identify with large, unique sprites, expertly designed.
And let's not forget the classic 8-bit music of the early era of gaming. With several tracks depending on the type of level, the game really does a great job creating an exciting atmosphere for the player to enjoy some nostalgic gameplay.
At the time of this review, Dinocide did not have a price showing on Steam yet, but with so much going for it, Dinocide will be an excellent addition to your Steam library regardless. So if you are looking for a new game to play but love the classics, head on over to Steam now to get your copy.