Review: Android: Dinosaur War

It’s the age of dinosaur and man but all is not well in this seemingly small Jurassic universe. The harmony of your tribe has been destroyed and it’s up to you and your dinosaur rearing skills to create a new tribe filled with a variety of prehistoric friends with DroidHen’s marvellous little dinosaur park game.

You’ll start with a small plot of Jurassic land and a central base. The tutorial will whisk you through the basics of collecting resources like Fodder (hay) and Stone. With these you can start to harvest and mine resources in sections of time; 1 minute, 30 minutes, 2 hours and 8 hours. These different times carry different amounts of resources, if you’re out for a while just knock it up to 8 hours or a smaller amount if you fancy getting stuck right in for a while. You can also harvest meat, these are the three main resources you can harvest and you can create multiple buildings for better production when you hit the right level.

After your finger has had a little wander around your plot of land you’ll get to work on the best bit about Dinosaur Wars and that’s the dinosaurs! The first hatchery you’ll build is the Colossal Egg Nest which spits out little beaky Gastornis’s, like resources you can hatch them on those four different time slots, 1 minute, 6 minutes, 30 minute and 1 hour. These buildings can be upgraded to produce more dinosaurs but cost resources to do so, so spend them wisely.

Once you’ve created a few dinosaurs you can send them into battle either offline or online using the Arena building or tapping the little red sword icon. There’s some extra areas and bosses to unlock in the offline mode and it becomes a great way of earning extra XP and even equipment by defeating the bosses again when they become available. Online fighting is a little different, you can buy a Stonehenge building which lowers the amount of casualties you receive so you’ll always have some dinosaurs back at base.

Unlocking buildings and extra dinosaurs is easy just keep plugging away at your XP bar and they will steadily become available. The only drawback to that is there can be quite a wait until you unlock your next dinosaur or be able to take advantage of a new building. This does hamper the fun slightly and it makes the gameplay a bit lengthier without any clear reward for doing so but if you keep revisiting your park you can almost side step this issue. You are also given quests/challenges by three tribe members that will appear on the left hand side of the screen. These will require certain objectives to be completed to collect the XP and/or some resources, you might have to make several hundred of the same dinosaur or build certain buildings. These are a great way of unlocking all that extra stuff just that little bit quicker.

You can also equip armour once you find it either in shops or in battle. Some pieces of armour come with special abilities that can add stats to certain dinosaurs or just adds extra stats to your life or strength. These slight statistical additions can change the tide of battle so think carefully about what you want to equip and what the negatives and positives would be to create that perfect fighting balance.

Dinosaur Wars is seriously addictive and you can play it offline without being connected to a server! If you aren’t creating an assortment of dinosaurs to fight for you, you’ll be organising your park and expanding it. You can play with your friends too through Facebook and fight against players online so really, it has a bit of everything and the best thing of all it’s free. Download it today!

 

Score: 3/5

Dinosaur War Google Play Link

Dinosaur War Trailer

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Review: Xbox 360: Dirt Showdown

Codemasters have unleashed another Dirt upon us but this time it’s damaging, hurtful and more about destruction and chaos compared to its cleaner and sharper predecessors. Dirt Showdown takes itself in a different direction, it’s less about traditional racing and more about putting on a show! Showdown is a fabulous balance between racing and destruction sporting a variety of vehicles that look more at home on an American scrap yard than on our British roads. You end up trashing most vehicles making them unrecognisable against other drivers across new and exciting race modes and you get rewarded for doing so, Dirt is definitely all about the confrontation this time!

You have the usual Tour Mode to burn through, Joyride and the Multiplayer world to nose dive right into. The only weak aspect about Showdown is the Tour Mode as it has no background story, so it doesn’t necessarily have a great way of delivering it’s different race modes and other features initially but when you get over that tiny hump you’ll be in for a concentrated dose of brutal annihilation!

The biggest difference in Showdowns overall control scheme is it’s manipulated to be extra easy on those wheels and more forgiving so you’re able to pull of some huge drifts and bonkers doughnuts. You also get deeper and wider cornering which means if you don’t hit curves at the right time and angle you can end up all over the joint, this new perspective and feel of the game works really well the the fireworks, ramps, obstacles and even the A.I have a bit more of bite with their new attitudes on the race track. You even have access to a Boost feature which gives your vehicle a heck more momentum, this also causes bundles more damage to the opposition. It’s really quite different from the faster paced ‘grit your teeth’ racing we’ve seen from Dirt 1 & 2. Showdown really feels a lot more inviting as it requires less super rigid skill for more creative and flexible reactions instead. Alongside showdowns slightly altered gritty attitude is the new set of excitable tracks, which brings heaps of glorified mayhem to each race. There’s tracks that cross over one another, ones that box racers in with each other and much more to burn through.

There is some small weather effects and conditions, though this is for Dirts track conditions so they don’t end up too samey, there’s some weather that obstructs your view but it’s not majorly menacing to your races. Licensed cars aren’t available but expect some creatively designed machines to have the pleasure of destroying instead. In fact, I can’t actually begin to remember how many of my own vehicles I’ve totalled or how many I’ve denied the A.I of. Different vehicles can be unlocked and then bought with your hard earned cash from those races and the statistics of your vehicles can be improved before races too; Power, Strength and Handling can be improved to raise the grade of the vehicle. You can also select different liveries before you jump right into the action, they’re designed by company’s that each have there own unique theme or particular design they follow.

Dirt Showdowns Tour mode is pretty standard, within it is the different race types you’ll get running through Showdowns different difficulties. The race types carry a lot of destructive type races where you’re either trying to aniline as many opponents as possible to score points in a giant raised platform or boxed right in with a few bends to swing round and hold on to be the last wreck standing. The roaring crowds gives these events a nice buzz, a good sharp edge to get you right into these scrums. It’s as much fun as it sounds and failing a few races wont have you retching with shame, you’ll just want to have another bash at it. As exciting as the destruction is, it is a step back from your incredibly sharp blind bends and terrain that’s strict to navigate through, it wont push you even nearly as hard as the other two but offers up a more than suitable alternative direction if you like your action orientated racing games.

If you’re more of a trickster, those tricky obstacle courses are back from Dirt 2 when you start to progress into the other tier of difficulty’s; Pro, Allstar, Champion and Legend. Smash hunter is a particularly enjoyable test of handling, precision and hand eye co-ordination. The courses and objectives are also well laid out and creates some wonderful opportunities to utilize the built in YouTube recorder to upload your best runs to impress your community! You have to drive around the course and hit the coloured bricks as you’re prompted to on screen, the blocks are coloured and are easy enough to see but there’s some slants and angles that blind you to just keep you on your toes. You can use the Flashback feature if you fail to hit the required amount of blocks so you don’t screw up your near perfect run with that one annoying mishap, though upping your difficulty will limit the number of Flashbacks you will have to begin in each event.

After you’ve had a good thrash around the Tour mode, Dirt offers up a fun, open and challenging mode apply named Joyride. Here’s where you get to drift around two open locations with other unlockable areas while completing certain challenges in or around your environment. Joyride is definitely a more balanced aspect to Dirt Showdown and Dirt 2, it’s not so much the destroying or maintaining elements like your velocity that you utilize here but simply just thinking, reacting and then finishing with some amazing balancing acts and tricks combined together. You’ll drift under lorry’s near perfectly or Salem round the narrowest gaps and then pull off two jumps and a donut just to get right down to the last missions on your list. Dirt has some very rewarding unlockable and challenging elements scattered through it modes which brings you further into Dirts experience as a whole but it also lacks in a nice sharp competitive edge which the last two titles did have due to their rallying nature. What you’re looking at is a straight swap from a sharp nimble racing game to destructible high octane one and the transition between the two comes across very well in Dirt Showdown.

Alongside Dirts online aspects it also has a Challenges section you can find on the main menu screen. After each race you can send invitations to your friends to beat your time or score and you can check any expired or pending submissions in the Challenges menu tab. You can also see how many challenges you’ve beaten and kept and who with, in a clear and efficient online menu system. There’s an Options and Extras section just below Challenges which has all of your bits and bobs to tinker with including your Driver Details where you can edit your name, audio name, horn, difficulty and your YouTube setting so you can upload your best smashes.

Xbox Live mode has a handy tier’d menu system to help you into Multiplayer matches. You can set up your playlist first by selecting which types of matches you’d like to compete in, these being, Everything, Demolition, Hoonigan, Racing and Party and all these have a neat little descriptions and bar that lights up all the relevant info. There’s also different Bonus’s to aim for while playing the Multiplayer mode like the Underdog Bonus where you can grab extra fans for beating the higher level players. You can also organise party’s to run around online with, if you can get the players together you should definitely give it a good bash as the fun is only amplified with friends and that good ol’ banter you can find in a good group of gamers.

Racenet Events is part of Dirts extensive online experience. Sign up to Racenet to access this feature, go to extras & options and check the Racenet tab there and you’ll find all the instructions you’ll need including the website you sign up to. It even comes with a little gift as you’re a new comer and some in game cash!

Overall Dirt Showdown has a had a good crack at the action orientated side of the racing genre but has also kept its distinguishable features from the past titles at the same time. It’s also given the games’ new direction a place to shine and really draw you in with it’s bendy tracks and jumps and along with the whole destructible side of the game only brings it to life online and off. The only thing it lacks is a podium or background structure to show it’s Tour mode off with, it’s really quite enjoyable but lets the rest of the game down with it’s lack of enthusiasm. It’s one to add to your collection if you’re a Dirt fan or you favour your brutal action.

Score: 7.5/10