iPhone Game Review: Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter
Reviewed by JadeDragon
If you are a dinosaur buff and an avid hunter, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is your dream come true, virtually. Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter has rich, even extravagant information on dinosaurs, hunting ground, weaponry and more. In both graphics and gameplay, the game feels like console quality. We ran Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter on both the iPhone and iPad, they look equality good with smooth gameplay on both.
If you come just for the kills, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter offers plenty of that with 5 hunting locations, 9 kinds of preys and 6 weapons. On top of that you can also choose to hunt during the day, night or dawn. There is also the consideration of wind, camo and more. But like in real life hunting, killing is only a part of hunting. The other part, perhaps equally as important, is to know your prey. Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter aims to arm you with as much knowledge as you are willing to absorb, and practice your knowledge immediately on the killing field. Not so keen on the idea of killing dinosaurs, even though nature proved to be the most effective killer of all? No problem, there is a dart option instead of bullets.
The territory in each of the 5 locations feels expansive. It?s unlikely that you get to see the entire territory on the first few hunts given the limited ammo. Each location has its own unique features ranging from ocean side, hills, swamp, forest and more. If you do explore the locale though, it will take quite a bit of time to walk the entire map. The game provides several tools that help the hunters get closer to their prey in such a big place: first you have an area map. The map shows not only the terrain but also where your preys are. Follow their movement, you can get to a target really quickly. Second, you have a pair of decently ranged binoculars that can see far and if the sight happens to fall on a dinosaur, it will tell you what kind of dino it is, the distance from you and more. It?s a very handy tool when you want to verify a target, though if one dino is behind another in the line of sight, it will only see the one in the front. Third tool is the prey call. Hit the button on top left corner, you will send a call that attracts the prey with their response call back.
Remember we said knowing your prey is just as important as arming yourself with a dead weapon and a killer instinct? We weren?t kidding. Read up on your dinosaur dictionary that the developer so kindly included in the game. If you walk into herbivore territory, it will run away from you; but if a carnivore catches you aiming a weapon at it, it will come running and eat you for lunch. In addition to the thick knowledge and being a shrewd observer, the game does offer you some protection, other than weapons. In addition to the camo, you also get scent cover because some dinosaurs have very good sense of smell. Now, let?s look at the weapons. You start out with a lame handgun, which is only good to get you some kill points under your belt and earn enough credits to take out the big guns. These include two shotguns, two riffles (one with a sniper level sight) and a crossbow.
A smart hunter will take all weapons for a spin and see which ones suit his needs better in different hunts. But for the terrain hunt, sniper riffle and crossbow are the most effective weapons when you consider accuracy, reload speed and range. Shotgun varieties are useful for Survival mode where dinosaurs swarm at you instead of being hunted. Hunt and Survival are the only two modes in Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter. And you die instantly if you are attacked by a dino in either mode.
Graphics & Sound
The 3D graphics looks sharp enough for walking the terrain and searching for dinos. Dinosaurs are distinguishable in the distance, and different terrains give you different feel when you walk through them. Dinosaur movements are smooth, and very fast at times. The retrieval ship is a nice touch and the map view plays essential part in the hunts.
Controls work extremely well in Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter. There is a virtual d-pad that controls hunter?s movement and you can drag anywhere on the screen to look and change directions. Weapon controls are responsive and realistic, i.e. handgun, crossbow, riffle and shotgun all have their own aiming, shoot and load speed.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter has a very fitting title music that?s heavy with anticipation. Once you are in a hunt though, the music disappears, instead the game gives you undivided attention to the sound of your surrounding: dino calls. Weapon shooting makes sound, but other than that not much else shares the audio space with the dinosaurs.
Hunting dinosaurs is an intriguing idea that, when well designed, can give a game infinite replay while keeping things interesting. Different dinos behave differently, much more interesting than bucks, for example. Various terrains add more dynamics to the hunt, and then there is the weapons, all contribute to the fun of strategizing your hunt and executing it in a realistic environment. If you are looking for a high quality hunting game, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is hard to pass up. The game looks sharp on the iPhone and very good on the iPad which gives you an even bigger view of the field.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Nice 3D graphics, smooth movement.
Sound: - 4 - Appropriate sound FX, though not plentiful.
Controls: - 5 - Controls are well designed, work smoothly.
Gameplay: - 5 - A complete package as a hunter game, lots of replayability.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Read up on dinosaur info if you don?t know about every dinosaur included in this game. It will help you stay alive and make it easy to sneak up on their if you know what to do.
- Day hunts are very forgiving in terms finding your prey and shooting them; but night hunts are hard. Hone your skills in Day and Dawn hunts first.
Developer: Tatem Games
Release Date: June 12, 2010
Price: $2.99 (on sale)
Buy App: Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter
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