Developer: Glu Games, Inc.
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Ever wanted to come face to face with rampaging dinosaurs? What about going on a hunting trip specifically to bag trophy dinos? That’s exactly what you’ll be doing in Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores, an interesting riff on what hunting enthusiasts will recognize as having been cut from the same cloth as games like Deer Hunter. Your sole mission is to hunt these lumbering beasts, and while it’s a serviceable enough virtual hunting trip, it’s bizarre that your trophy kills rarely do anything other than laze about in their natural habitat while you stalk and kill them, which makes it, as you can imagine, kind of weird.

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From the beginning of the game you’ll be tasked with stalking your prey using a predetermined loadout. From raptors to pterodactyls, each mission requires you to take aim at these unassuming dinos to take home the big bucks and a high score for the kill. Yes, granted, that’s exactly the nature of hunting, but creeping on these large lizards feels just a bit strange. For one thing, you can’t shift from your position, only altering the trajectory of your bullets and where you’re aiming toward. From your vantage point it’s your job to aim for the best killshot, which is obviously better if you hit the head or other vital areas.

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Taking out the dinosaurs requested of you in each level will allow you to advance. With the funds earned from completing the levels you can purchase better and more powerful equipments, armaments, and bonuses. If you’re unsatisfied by the gear you can purchase with in-game cash and gold, you can hit up the weapon shop and spend some real-world cash on rifles, assault rifles, shotguns, and more. There’s a whole host of augments available for you to implement in your hunts if you want to invest, but you can get away without using them if you perform well enough.

And honestly, performing well is mainly contingent on having the right equipment and keeping your eye on the target. Rarely you’ll miss a shot as long as you’re working with upgraded equipment, so the only real challenge stems from making sure you’ve made enough trips to the shop for guns worth using on your targets.

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It looks and feels great enough, but given the strangeness of the dinosaurs moving slowly, plodding around, and not presenting much of a challenge, Dino Hunter is a very weird beast. What’s more, it’s got some glaring issues with hit detection. I had several flank shots register as headshots and were scored accordingly, which I’m not complaining about, but they were such deliberately inaccurate shots, and it happened so often enough, it became a bit of a running joke.

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Dino Hunter is a polished enough game, despite its strange hit detection issues, but the slow-moving and hardly “dangerous”-acting dinos, obvious push-to-purchase additional armaments, and overall weird hunting vibe just didn’t click with me. If all the “challenge” stems from slow-moving dinos and what gun I’m using, I’d rather find a much more engaging game to spend my time on.

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