Developer: CDS
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.4.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

A name is important. When it comes to naming an app, developers need to mull over a few things. “What will grab people’s attention? What sounds catchy?” and “Do we want the name to describe exactly what our game is about?” – are all questions that will pop up sooner or later. For CDS, the answers must have been “Yes, yes,” and “Oh heck yes,” because they named their game Dinosaur Assassin.

20130929-204456.jpgAs an assassin who has been sent back in time (while looking like a very popular character from a very successful console series), players must hunt dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures for no apparent reason other than to reach the set amount of kills outlined at the beginning of each stage. Despite the irritatingly slow and troublesome panning, aiming using the pistol or hunting rifle is fairly easy and smooth, while strafing helps with swerving attacks. The dinosaurs and other beasts look suitably intimidating and detailed, while environments appear vast but generally uninhabited. As the size of the prey increases Dinosaur Assassin becomes more interesting, but the open, sparse landscapes mean it’s often hard to find the desired target.

20130929-204444.jpgGetting tagged by a dinosaur is an instant K.O, so it’s advisable not to take one head-on if any closer than a safe distance away. Also, for some strange reason these creatures seem to have an unrealistic pack mentality. After shooting a Triceratops, a Pterodactyl subsequently dive-bombed me, while a fish leapt out of the water at my face. Weird. While death is the obvious outcome of a prehistoric confrontation, it makes Dinosaur Assassin a frustrating experience, especially because of the lack of checkpoints and frequent easy deaths. Players will end up trawling each environment until they have enough kills to move on, and that can get pretty old pretty quickly. There are several ways to get around, whether it’s on foot, by motorcycle, by jeep, or on horseback. Unfortunately they only offer a short respite from the tedious core gameplay.

Dinosaur Assassin literally delivers what its name suggests: a linear, one-dimensional game that is a novelty as long as players can stand it. A more story-driven, focused, refined approach to gameplay would turn this into a whole new game.


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