Well, what a weekend, eh folks? Jurassic World has debuted to a record number of viewers, and whether you love it or hate it, almost everyone is talking about it. We’ve already covered the best dinosaur titles, as well as the worst. There are still some standouts that will receive should receive honorable mention.
I think we all agree that dinosaurs are awesome; otherwise, why would you be here? While it’s not easy to improve upon these already great beasts, there is one thing that could be added that might make them even more incredible: rocket powered boots. As to why no one has added this item to dinosaurs before, I cannot say. Developer Tree Fortress has rectified this grievous omission with their delightfully cartoony platformer Jumpjet Rex. You take control of a colorful T-rex and navigate your way through crazy space levels in an effort to return to earth. The platforming is tough, but don’t worry; you can tackle these challenges in co-op with a friend.
Jurassic Park (Genesis version)
Jurassic Park for the Sega Genesis/Master Drive was unique in its time as an action platformer that gave players the ability to choose between 2 different characters. Players could either control Dr. Alan Grant, or a Velociraptor. Dr. Grants playthrough was 7 levels long, and Grant’s goal was to navigate these levels using various pieces of equipment (stun darts, grenades, and a rocket launcher), all while trying to reach helicopter evac at the visitor center. The Velociraptor, meanwhile, had to complete 5 levels, using its quickness, teeth, and jumping ability. The goal for the Velociraptor was to make it to the visitor center for a confrontation with Dr. Grant. The game also borrowed content from the novel as well as the film, as marked by some non-film levels and the inclusion of the Procompsognathus or “compy” dinosaur, which served as a method for the Velociraptor to heal (by eating it, of course).
Jurassic Park: The Game (Telltale)
Developed by the fine folks at Telltale Games, Jurassic Park: The Game featured gameplay closer to a visual novel, rather than the more standard action games we normally see dinosaurs in. While this does put more focus on storytelling, the game by no means shuns action sequences, most of which are fulfilled by completing various quick time events to progress the story. Failure of these events normally led to dire consequences, as well as a quick restart at the last check point. Jurassic Park: The Game is offered on console, PC, and mobile devices, and originally featured an episodic distribution. All five episodes are available in collected editions now each platform.
Jurassic Park (SNES, self titled and The Chaos Continues)
Jurassic Park featured not 1 but 2 different games on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The first game, self titled, followed the actions of Dr. Grant from an overhead/birds eye perspective. Dr. Grant had to complete a number of tasks around Isla Nublar to escape from Jurassic park, including collecting raptor eggs, turning on power generators, and opening gates. This title was somewhat unique in that it also feature limited first person engagements that also happened to make use of the underutilized mouse of the SNES. Play time to complete was about 2-3 hours, which is probably ok, as the game feature no save system whatsoever; you had to beat it in one go.
The second JP title on the system, subtitled The Chaos Continues, featured non-canonical gameplay resembling that of Contra; side scrolling levels with many action shooting sequences. The story that sets up the game indicates that faith in Jurassic Park as an idea has not been shaken by the disastrous events of the movie. Biosyn, InGen’s top competitor, has sent scientists and soldiers to Isla Nublar in an attempt to take control and exploit InGen’s research and assets. John Hammond hires Dr. Alan Grant (first player) and soldier Michael Wolfskin (second player) to oppose Biosyn forces and take back control of the park for InGen. The gameplay was interesting in that players had access to both lethal and non-lethal weapons; killing too many dinosaurs (apart from raptors) resulted in a game over for players. Non-lethal weapons did not affect human enemies, making for some strategic weapons management.
Dino Crisis Series
Developed by Capcom and following some of the same architecture as the Resident Evil series, Dino Crisis has players assume the roles of Secret Operation Raid Team (SORT) members attempting to survive different dinosaur infused missions. Offered in true realtime 3D (rather than polygonal characters and objects superimposed over pre-rendered backgrounds , as in previous Resident Evil titles), the game still featured fixed cameras like its RE counterparts. Three different Dino Crisis titles were offered, some of which featured branching storylines based on player choice. Minor adjustments to the controls were made as well (letting players aim and shoot while walking, for instance), and the games were titled as “Survival Panic” instead of “Survival Horror.” A spin-off light gun title, called Dino Stalker, was also developed.
Carnivore: Dinosaur Hunter
Spanning multiple games (including a freshly released reboot) across iOS, Android, PSP, PS3, and PC, Carnivore: Dinosaur Hunter is quite different most of the dinosaur games in circulation based on what the focus of the game is: hunting dinosaurs as a big game hunter might. The game allows players to pick a map, a number of dinosaurs to hunt from a list of 18, and an assortment of gear before departing to hunt. This sandbox style gameplay is quite different from almost any other game featuring dinosaurs for its open world maps and simple hunting goals.
Developed by 800 North and Digial Ranch studios and published by Valve, Dino D Day depicts a world where World War II rages on, and the Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler has somehow managed to find a way to resurrect dinosaurs. The game plays as a team deathmatch with weaponized dinosaurs replacing more traditional vehicles of war. This class based shooter was developed in the Source engine, each side (Axis and Allies) had access to a number of human and dinosaur classes based on their team affiliation. There was no single player mode to speak of. Game modes included team death, king of the hill, and an objective mode that also included a fortress defense/assault objective. Feature dinos included dilophosaurus’ and veclociraptors, as well as kamikaze procompsognathus, and even a Tyrannosaurus Rex with jaw mounted machine-guns (badass!).
This list could not be complete with the inclusion of Yoshi, Mario’s friendly and always hungry dinosaur companion. Met with critical acclaim in 1990, and included with almost every SNES system sold new, Super Mario World set a gold standard in adventure platforming. Yoshi has become a video game celebrity in and of his own right, starring not only in more adventure platformers, but also solving puzzles, racing go-karts, and participating in mini-game infused star collecting board games that ruin friendships.
Dubbed either Joe and Mac or Caveman Ninja depending on your localization, this game featured 2 player co-op/competitive gameplay starring the green-haired Joe and the blue-haired Mac. Players platform through many dinosaur and cro-magnon infested levels, dealing damage with a wide variety of stone age gadgets and weapons. Exercise caution, as the game featured friendly fire. Most of the bosses in the game were large dinosaurs controlled by the cro-magnon baddies, who had absconded with all of the women from Joe and Mac’s tribe. The title has received a handful of sequels over the years, and has had many planned reboots that have never ended up leaving production for distribution.
Released as both home entertainment software and educational software for schools, Dinopark Tycoon provided a colorful and friendly environment where players could create a theme park featuring dinosaur attractions. Players not only cared for the dinosaurs, but also balanced the budget, and kept the park maintained and cleaned. The educational version of the software also provided teachers with in classroom activities and assignments. While originally only on PC, the title was ported to the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer system in 1994.
Wrapping up our list of honorable mentions is Beasts of Prey, a sandbox survival game with dinosaurs as the primary inhabitants. Developed by Ocatagon Studios and still in early access, the title has players mining and foraging for materials to build bases, weapons, and anything else that might help them survive in a prehistoric world. Newly added vehicles add an extra wrinkle to the game, getting us one step closer to that Cadillacs and Dinosaurs MMO that I never knew I wanted until right damn now!
Whew! That’s a lot of mentions! Between all our dinosaur lists, there is most likely a game in there that is right up your alley. So tell us: what dinosaur game are you playing?
Did you miss our list of best dinosaur games? You can still dig it up here.
Want to see the worst dinosaur games we found? They’ve gone extinct in this list.