Developer: Triniti Interactive Limited
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

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After messing around with Call of Mini: DinoHunter for a while I thought it might be interesting to take a look at Call of Mini: Zombies in order to draw a comparison. Fans of the latter take note: this is not the same game. Yes it’s an arcade like third-person shooter featuring colorful and cartoony characters, but the differences go beyond the bullet sponges.

First, the similarities. DinoHunter uses a similar dual virtual stick control scheme. Swiping the screen looks around, and there’s an added button that will trigger the current character’s special ability. The levels, of which there are many, all consist of SHOOTING ALL THE DINOSAURS. Typically this means holding out until a large boss dino appears, then extincting it, but there are a few variations thrown in to the mix such as recovering items from one end of the map and carrying them back to the start (while under siege, of course) or trying to defend a barricade from waves of nasty thunder lizards. Playing (and especially completing) each stage awards coins for buying new gear and characters, experience for unlocking new gear and characters to buy, and the odd dino part such as a tooth or hide or something for crafting and upgrading new gear.

DinoHunter is a solid enough action game in its own right, but the added mechanic of acquiring rare item drops for forging and upgrading makes it feel like something more. Specifically it gives the whole thing a distinct Monster Hunter vibe, and seeing as I’m a huge fan of the franchise I consider this to be an incredibly good thing. Being able to unlock and buy new stuff is cool and all, but having to challenge tough bosses (sometimes repeatedly) in order to acquire all the necessary bits to craft a powerful weapon is about as satisfying as it gets for me. What can I say; I love to work for it.

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Granted it can take a while to earn everything needed to craft the really impressive weapons, but at least there’s no real reliance on gems (the special currency) to earn anything. It’s all there; ready to be unlocked with enough effort. The gems just unlock it sooner. Although the effort can be a bit irritating when my thumb misses the movement stick and ends up rotating the camera around in a most disorienting fashion. Still, it’s not a game-breaker.

Call of Mini: DinoHunter is a fun action game made even more fun thanks to what I think is an intentional nod to a great franchise. At least as far as I’m concerned. Defeinitely worth a look, but fans of the series should know it’s a little different.


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