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Best of it's genre

Review: Go Home Dinosaurs

by April 15, 2013

Dinosaurs have a history of being disagreeable and rude, gophers on the other hand carry a trait that isn’t spoken of often, the ability to make delicious barbecue.

What happens when 50 tons of dinosaurs go on a rampage for some T-bone steaks?

Fire Hose Games lets you see how it plays out in Go Home Dinosaurs.

This is how not to protect your BBQ

This is how not to protect your BBQ.

Go Home Dinosaurs is a tower defense game. For those not familiar with the genre it means there’s a set path of bad guys (dinosaurs) and it’s up to the player to stop them by placing their defenses (gophers) along that path. You are on the side of the gophers making delicious BBQ. You’re pitted against hoards of dinosaurs of every shape, size and speed and they’re coming to get that BBQ.

At first look, you’d think that gophers can’t mount much of a defense against dinosaurs, but BBQ isn’t the only secret they have. In Go Home Dinosaurs you’re able to use defenses like military gophers who shoot out of their tree stumps, mad scientist gophers who have giant meteor magnets, and my personal favorite, a gopher DJ who attacks the dinos with fat beats and auto-tuned lyrics. You’ll need to use all the different types of defenses along the way to ultimately stop the dinosaurs.

At the start of the game you’ll see that you have a deck, which you can fill with cards. Each of those cards is a defense you can use against the dinosaurs with the only stipulation being that you must have enough coconuts to deploy that specific defense.

Ho do you get coconuts? Glad you asked!

sometimes the difference between winning and losing on a level will be how you managed your time at the start.

At the beginning of each level you’ll see a field with the path that the dinosaurs will take on it. You’ll also see one gopher.  You’re in charge of him. There will be coconut trees popping up on the map and it’s up to you to click on each tree to get the coconut. Each coconut tree you click on is worth one coconut and you’ll use these to “pay” to place a card on the playing field.

In the early levels the field will be bare or just have grass, but as you progress through the games you’ll see that there are rocks and other obstacles on the ground. A coconut tree can only grow on an empty spot so it’ll be up to you to clear the field as much as you can in each level so you can get the most coconuts.

There’s another component to your defenses, and that’s the fact that you just can’t place your defenses anywhere you want on the field. The map is broken down into a grid and so are your defenses. There needs to be enough spaces on the playing field for the piece you want to place. Your defenses will come in a number of different shapes ranging from two squares next to each other to zigzags of blocks you must fit to the map.

You'll need to balance clearing out the map and fighting dinosaurs.

You’ll need to balance clearing out the map and fighting dinosaurs.

Lastly, you are the gophers’ last defense. The gopher you control has the ability to attack dinosaurs on his own by tossing projectiles at them. There are also certain power ups your gopher can use that include throwing flaming fireballs, and turning into a whirlwind of attacks.

You’ll need to find a good balance between getting coconuts and attacking dinosaurs. Sometimes the difference between winning and losing on a level will be how you managed your time at the start.

Go Home Dinosaurs doesn’t feature one and done gameplay though. To defend their grills against the dinosaurs the gophers have planted sticks of dynamite in front of their BBQ; two bundles to be exact. If a dinosaur reaches the dynamite, it’ll explode along a path destroying the smaller dinosaurs and pushing larger ones back. The drawback to this is that you’ll also lose a steak. If you lose all three steaks on your grill the game is over.

The controls are done very well. In tower defense games one wrong click can literally mean disaster, and everything in Go Home Dinosaurs is precise. There are no miss clicks or dead zones in the game. If you place one of your defenses wrong or fail to grab a coconut the blame is on you. This helps the game never feel cheap.

The difficulty ranges from moderately easy to moderately difficult. There are very few levels that someone will find impossible. After a few unsuccessful tries, that light bulb will go on over your head and you’ll figure it out. Also, in between levels you’ll have the option to shop for new cards, which will add new defenses to your arsenal. You’ll pay for those with the coins you earn at the end of each level.

Go Home Dinosaurs has three worlds with 20 levels in each world. For someone who’s well versed in tower defense I would expect the game to last 5 or 6 hours with another 2 getting gold on every single level.

The game looks great with each dinosaur having its own individual style. The dinosaurs have their own personalities that are demonstrated by how they carry themselves down the path. Some are slow and brutish, while others are fast and sneaky. While all this is going on the game runs flawlessly, even when things get hectic on the screen there’s never a sign of slowdown. The other nice thing is that all of the characters are large on the screen, you’ll never be stuck wondering what dinosaur is coming down the path because you can’t make them out.

Between levels you'll need to manage your cards.

Between levels you’ll need to manage your cards.

The sound in the game is well done with the brightest spot being the gopher’s catch phrases. I’m not sure if anyone can play the game and not like at least some of them. Everyone will find a favorite.

The music in the game fits well, doing a good job of filling in the background without taking attention away from the action or being so repetitive that you want to shut it off during gameplay. It also does a good job going from one mood to another when certain dinosaurs enter the game.

Why it may be helpful for people with anxiety

  • Lighthearted and cheery atmosphere
  • Ability to replay stages and grind to overcome tough spots
  • Good assortment of characters all with their own personality
  • Simple point and click controls
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • You’re always busy doing something in the game, there’s never a moment of waiting

Ways it may be unhelpful for people with anxiety

  • None

Why you should be playing this

Go Home Dinosaurs is a quality addition to the tower defense genre with Fire Hose Games creating a game that stands out on its own.

Between gathering coconuts, clearing out areas, and battling dinosaurs you never feel like you’re just waiting for each one of your defenses to get ready. You have a real feeling of control in Go Home Dinosaurs that is sometimes missed in other tower defense games.

Go Home Dinosaurs is catered to the player with creature comforts like not having to click on the coins at the end of a level, instead it’s just a swipe of the cursor. Being able to flip to the upcoming map at any time while selecting your cards at the start of a level is also a nice touch. These little things here and there help make playing never feel like a chore.

I had a lot of fun with Go Home Dinosaurs and playing it straight through never felt like the same old same old. The levels were varied enough with different objectives that it always stayed fresh.

Overall if you’re interested in tower defense games at all you deserve to give Go Home Dinosaurs a try.

This review was based on the PC version that was provided by the publisher.

Overview
Release Date

April 4th, 2013

Digital or Retail

Digital

Platform

PC

Developer

Fire Hose Games

Publisher

Fire Hose Games

Badges
AwardsBest of it's genrePlay it no matter whatConsistently good games from developer
Positives

Looks great, easy to pick up and play, runs flawlessly, funny and quirky characters

Negatives

Sometimes hard to navigate certain squares when the action gets really heavy.

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
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Graphics
8.0
Gameplay
9.0
Story
7.0
Sound
9.0
9.0
Our Rating
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Jason Moquin
Oh this is where I get to say something about myself like I was captain of the debate team or that I was once king of Prussia. Well games, let's throw games in there, and I like sports, and comics, and animated things, mostly Japanese giant robots, oh and pasta, big fan of pasta. You know all shapes taste different? Each one has a distinctive bite and holds the sauce differently. A lot of people are like "PASTA IS PASTA" and I say "STOP YELLING AT ME".
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