Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores review (iOS / Universal)July 15, 2014
10 word description: Dinosaur shooting gallery. Numerous dinos, weapon upgrades and IAPs.
10 word review: Enjoyable despite IAP overload. Dinosaurs look great; Very polished overall.
You will like this if you enjoy: Sniping games, target shooting games, anything involving dinosaurs (and shooting them).
The good news: Presentation is of a consistently high quality. Backgrounds are varied (between regions) and nice looking. Gun models and dinosaurs are detailed, varied and realistic. Dino animations are decent. Mission structure and weapon upgrades fit together well. Infrared (more like Predator x-ray vision) is a slick and entertaining feature. For a game which is swamped in IAPs, it is surprisingly easy to progress and complete entire regions without spending a single penny or being forced to wait ages for timers.
The bad news: No cloud sync between devices – boo! The IAP timers, although quite short, are still irritating. None of the exotic (or even the slightly higher standard) weapons can realistically be obtained without spending real money. The weapon prices (if you are stupid enough to go the IAP route) are absolutely ridiculous.
Arcadelife verdict: If this game came at a premium price without IAPs (and the associated timers and silly weapon prices) it would be excellent. As it is, you need to be able to tolerate two things in order to progress and enjoy it without spending any money: 1 – The energy and high level weapon upgrade timers. 2 – The fact that you will only ever be able to use the “standard” weapons for each region.
The good news is that the game can be played and completed without spending any money on it. I have reached region 3 (the final area) using only the default weapons, the ones that can be bought and upgraded to their maximum at very reasonable prices with in-game currency. The really weird thing about this is that it suggests that all the better weapons (that cost a lot of real money) will only serve to make the game unnecessarily easy. It’s easy enough with the bog-standard weapons so I can only assume it turns into a complete joke with the expensive ones. Sure, there are entire mission chains in each region that can’t even be started without specific exotic weapons, but those mission chains are optional and do not prevent progress through the region bosses or access to new regions.
As a “hunting” game, it is rudimentary at best, with no exploration (there’s no character movement apart from aiming your gun) and nothing else to do but aim and shoot. As a target gallery, it is a gorgeous looking series of shallow yet undeniably entertaining prehistoric executions.
I’m not sure about the lore or the backstory to the environments; there’s a wrecked Viking longship on top of a rock in region one, and what appears to be a crashed WW2 fighter plane in region 2. Maybe you just make up your own reasons for these, or ignore them and concentrate on shooting hapless dinos in the lungs. I suppose it’s a “mysterious island” or a “lost world” but the complete lack of an explanation doesn’t take anything away from the game.
My recommendation: pretend the IAPs don’t exist and have as much fun with this game as you can. Regarding the score (below), I’ve marked “content” down due to the IAP weapons that you can’t acquire without spending loads of real money. Every other sub-score is based on playing the game without spending any money on it.
Presentation – 9.5/10
Visuals – 9/10
Controls – 9.5/10
Content – 4/10
Fun – 8/10
Final rating – 7.9/10
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
Glu – Dino Hunter website link