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Dinoland Review

Official Score

Overall - 20%


Dinoland’s billiards concept is squandered with its broken physics engine. The title is borderline unplayable, making even the simplest shots a major struggle.

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Billiards are pretty fun and dinosaurs are pretty cool – what happens when you combine the two? This unlikely pairing comes to life with Canmaru and RealBlocks’ Dinoland, a casual title that has players knocking things around with their reptilian friends. Is it a match made in heaven, or should some things never be combined?

Dinoland Review

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You’d think a casual billiards title would focus squarely on the action, but Dinoland starts with a brief story segment. Set a long time ago (when dinosaurs ruled the Earth), Tino, Tree, and Carney come across a large egg in the woods. Not one to let sleeping eggs lie, they go off on an adventure to see who lost this mysterious egg. No need to worry though – outside of the intro and its stills, this is never brought up again.

Rather, these three heroes must use their powers to conquer 100 different courses. Gameplay loosely follows the rules of billiards; the pocket is the goal, and players must put the target ball into said hole. The catch? The dinosaurs themselves are the balls; they all have the ability to turn into a spherical version of themselves. Much like a golf game, the higher the power on the meter, the farther each of these dinos rolls.

Sounds simple enough, right? However, the physics engine of Dinoland is not suited for the job. You would think a game that relies on things bouncing off of one another would get this simple thing down to a science, but the execution here leaves much to be desired.

Each shot quickly loses momentum, as if each stage is covered in sand. As a result, it can be tough to judge any shots. Something you think would line up and work simply doesn’t get the job done, and any sort of mental adjustment does not change the fact that things are broken on a fundamental level.

There’s no need to worry though; players are given as much leeway as possible when it comes to its system. One can net additional rewards for finishing in a set amount of turns or getting all the food items in a course, but the ability to brute force things is also an option. There’s simply a lack of challenge, and it makes the whole thing feel pointless.

To add insult to injury, there’s little variety throughout the game. Each of the three playable characters varies with different abilities, but the end result is a bit of a grind. Many of the stages feature the same overall themes, making everything blend together.

Dinoland’s billiards concept is squandered with its broken physics engine. The title is borderline unplayable, making even the simplest shots a major struggle.

[infobox style=’success’ static=’1′]This review of Dinoland was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.[/infobox]

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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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