Demo News: a Dinocide demo hatches
Dinocide is an in-development platformer all about cavemen life – which naturally involves riding dinosaurs while rapidly starving to death. Dinocide is one of the many “8-bit” style indie games to slurp out of the primordial retro ooze, but can it evolve beyond its brethren? A playable demo recently hatched to enable us to test that question.
In the world of Dinocide, your quest is a tale as old as the ages: rescue your love interest who was kidnapped by the evil Dinosaur God. Something I think we can all relate to. However, being a mere fleshy weakling with an undeveloped frontal lobe, you’ll need support from your scaly best friend – the humble dinosaur. These prehistoric pals are there to help extend your abilities, such as jumping further, swimming faster or, just like real dinosaurs, shooting fireballs from their maw. Naturally, opposing you and your dinopals are the usual retro platform game suspects like vicious wild dinos and giant cavebats, ever eager to rend the flesh from your bones, as well some more… colourful… inclusions, such as pirate pigmen, and uhh, reanimated SAS trooper skeletons.
More dangerous than this cadre of horrors, though, is the ever-present threat of starvation. Perhaps in a nod to the first Wonderboy, here in Dinocide your health bar continually diminishes over time due to hunger. You’ll need to eat many of the various floating fruits scattered around each level to maintain your dinoriding lifestyle.
The hunger mechanic is an interesting idea but basically boils down to a time limit, only harsher (since it consumes your health). In what is surely empirical evidence the paleo diet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, your belly empties so rapidly that the cold skeletal finger of starvation is often mere moments away. Perhaps fitting for a game set before the invention of agriculture, but it really feels a bit too fast and I felt the need to zip through the stages rather than properly exploring and enjoying them.
Having said that, Dinocide is not finished yet so there’s plenty of room for polish. For example, the animation is still a work in progress (the demo tells you it still uses placeholder graphics), meaning the jumping animation in particular looks more like someone activates a hidden spring underneath your feet each time you push the jump button rather than from any effort on the caveman’s part. Hopefully a lot of things like hunger and animation will be tweaked before release.
The demo only provides four relatively short, linear prehistoric levels to meander through, but the final game promises much more – non-linear progression, a shop to upgrade your stuff, and plenty more dinos to ride. We’ll have to wait and see if the final product delivers, but in the mean time, you can download and play the demo right now.
Dinocide | Demo