We Spared No Expense
A popup in Dino Hunter — Wild Jurassic Hunting Expedition offered to unlock all weapons for me at the low, low rate of $189.99. I tried to close out of this popup but a new one took its place. Now the deal was 50% off at $119.99—a bad deal and worse math. When I closed that popup, another attacked me and claimed the deal was now 75% off. Velociraptors aren’t this persistent!
Like A Kid That Found His Dad’s Gun
Dino Hunter is a freemium rails shooter by Citadel Games. That is to say, it’s free until it isn’t and the player stands motionless until they don’t. Players shoot dinosaurs before said dinosaurs get close enough to maul them. Then, if the level lasts more than 30 seconds (rare) and the developer remembered to animate the level (rarer), the player character bobs up and down to a new position to shoot more dinosaurs. Choose a level, choose a gun, hunt dinos, repeat.
If this all sounds familiar, it is. Like the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, Dino Hunter — Wild Jurassic Hunting Expedition is a clone. Citadel Games copied the name of Glu Mobile’s popular Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores and the gameplay of countless, far better dinosaur shooters. In fact, Citadel Games advertises their knockoff with screenshots from some of those games. Unfortunately for players, Dino Hunter is a poor copy full of generic assets, embarrassing animations, and bizarre “bargains” designed to rip people off.
Hold On To Your Butts
Ads play after every level in Dino Hunter. Sadly, this is not an uncommon monetization strategy. However, Dino Hunter’s levels can be beaten in under a minute, so watching ads comprises a good chunk of the total playtime. And it’s not as if the game lacks other revenue streams…
Dino Hunter is less a game than it is a sales pitch. Buy all 14 guns for $189.99! Buy 20 levels for $189.99! For a AAA MMO, these prices would be extreme, but for a game which can be beaten in an afternoon they are borderline criminal.
That Is One Big Pile Of S***
Do you remember the scene in Jurassic Park where a dinosaur spits venom into Newman’s eyes? That’s what looking at Dino Hunter is like. Weak points clip through dinosaurs’ bodies, leaving living hearts dangling from triceratops torsos or brains bulging from T-rex faces. In fact, for an on-rails shooter, the player character has a nasty habit of bee-lining right through rocks, trees, and any available obstacle during scripted walking sequences. Once, my character looked into the sky and spun around for twenty seconds before teleporting to next vantage point. Maybe they were as tired of looking at polygonal dinosaurs as I was.
Citadel Games’ Dino Hunter — Wild Jurassic Hunting Expedition exploits players with a predatory businesses model. Thankfully, this predator is as inept as its hobbling, gangly raptors. Nothing in this game is worth experiencing for free, let alone paying hundreds of dollars for. “…After careful consideration, I’ve decided not to endorse your park.”
Is It Hardcore?
Without ads, this would have been a fun browser game ten years ago. But the only way this Jurassic expedition could be any worse today is if the dinosaurs actually ate you.