Google Lively-RIP

You may have heard that google recently shut down it's Google Lively service, google's own virtual world. I was ambivelant about the news, having not heard about it until it was shut down. But then, dear reader I saw this screenie in one of the articles.

Alas poor lively

Yep! Dinosaurs. Upon this discovery I became sad. It's always sad when a dinosaurs in games brother passes on to the other side, let us take a minute to think in silence before the inevitable analysis.

Dinosauriness: Well from this single screenshot it looks like we have (had) yet another Tyrannosaurus rex. Still, even a Hollywood lost brother is a lost brother.

Scientific Accuracy: What accuracy Lively gained from not having to bother with feathers it lost from having an animated skeleton. You would be hard pressed to move that hulk around without any connective tissue or muscle. Still it looked cool so 8.5/10.

Buzz bonus: Google lively, others may not mourn your loss but here we salute your dedication to make games and virtual worlds 1000000% better through the inclusion of dinosaurs. May nobody say a bad word about you without the caveat "but they did include some KICK ASS dinosaurs". RIP.


Way back when Walking with Dinosaurs came out, the beeb put up a neat little "game" downloadable here. Although basic and very dated now it still offers some surprising enjoyment, some mission based play and even the chance to create your own herd of dinosaurs!
The game/edutainment software starts out with our protagonist mysteriously transported back to the Jurassic. There's very little exposition (you are sometimes treated as a human, sometimes as a disembodied camera) but it's best kept ambiguous in my opinion. You can then explore a number of environments (salt lake, forest, desert) and discover some facts about dinosaurs and other animals as well as observing them milling around and doing their thang.
Surprisingly there is a little bit of progression through the 'game' and you have see and discover certain things (an Allosaurus eating a meal or large dragonflies) in order to unlock the next event culminating in you hitching a ride on a pterosaur to a secret area. In this new secret area you can use a couple of simple keystrokes to spawn your own herd of Diplodocus or Allosaurus or both!
The program is entirely free and runs quite smoothly and definitely worth a try, you could even set it up to be some kind of persistant screensaver when you are away from your desk as all the animals continue to potter around even if you aren't there to see them do so.
Takin good screenshots proved very hard Dinosauriness: A smattering of prehistoric critters are here. Allosaurus, Diplodocus, Stegosaurus and a pterosaur (the ID escapes me know) all populate the environs.

Scientific Accuracy: Nothing obviously wrong the environments don't exactly blend together realistically but whatcha gonna do about it. Of course no feathers but this was made almost 6 years ago now.

Yeah this is my herd. As you can see, one of them is resting, wink wink, nudge nudge Buzz Bonus: Climb to a high ledge and hitch a ride on a pterosaur to the secret salt plain where you can spawn as many dinosaurs as you want until your computer crashes. CONFESSION TIME! I spent hours spawning sauropods and theropods trying to arrange two armies to fight against each other. Unfortunately, the AI isn't up to enacting my grand plans so half the dinos would potter around oblvious to the threat whilst the Allosaurus queued up to get beaten to death by a single Diplodocus. Oh well, you win some, you lose some...

Endless Ocean- Wii

Even Endless Ocean can't stray from the glory that is dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures in their games. Endless Ocean is awesome. You should buy it.

Desmodema polystictum, a plesiosaur and a bream
Dinosauriness: One can find some splendid vertebrate fossils in the Abyss, including this plesiosaur above and if you look hard enough you can find a lovely Anomalocaris fossil!

Scientific Accuracy: Aside from a bit of ecosystem merging, pretty good. 8, no 9 accuracy. HELL MAKE MINE A 10!

Buzz Bonus: You should make use of the SD card soundtrack possibilities. Disney's Under the Sea is an obvious choice....

Stranglehold Revisted, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC

Hello readers! You may remember recently (ish) that I mentioned the game Stranglehold in the pages of this here blog. Since then I have had a chance to visit the museum proper and boy o they have a lot of stuff on display! Here's a guided tour (ish). Apologies for the broken objects but at the time of the tour I was under some pretty heavy fire you know?

Welcome to the Chicago Field Museum a museum in Chicago! I'll be your tour guide Tequila Yuen! It's a name!

Exciting dinosaurs!
The museum has at least four taxidermy specimens of Thylacinus on open display! You won't see these in the wild unfortunately!

Thylacinus and bullets
A nice Parasaurlophus skull!

That was close!

What a surprise! On your right you'll see a Tyrannosaurs skeleton :(

And wow what a treat! A taxidermy Dodo. You won't see many of these around.

Didus ineptus
You uncultured bastards!

Dead as a Raphus cucullatus

A GIANT Rhamphorynhcus!


Here you will see a Camarasaurid sauropod just past the goons!

This was a tail.

Price of buying new ones 50,000 USD
This was some vertebrae with ribs but...


It's just tommy K

And that brings us to the end of our tour. Please wait here for the tour of the Archaeology section and apologies to those visitors who lost limbs and relatives.

Beat that BM!

Dinosauriness: Countless of prehistoric creatures in these galleries and some nice recent examples of extinct animals including: Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Camarasaurus, a couple of pterosaurs, a sabre toothed cat, Einosaurus, Parasaurlophus, Triceratops, Mosasaurus, Rhamphorhynchus, an Ichthyosaur, various dinosaur eggs and footprints, Velociraptor, Thylacinus, Raphus cucullatus and a selection of flightless birds!

Scientific Accuracy: Museum conservation issues aside (the taxidermy specimens of the dodo and thylacine shouldn't be on open display) they are striking representations of real specimens with the rare exception of a few enlarged specimens.

Buzz Bonus: If you shoot all of the bones off of the large sauropod skeleton you can run up the back of you get the achievment "Palaeontologist".

GTA IV, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Hello readers! It's time for an update! Today we are looking at the popular videogame Grand Theft Auto IV and the dinosaurs therein!

Balls indeed
Tucked away in Liberty City, where the AMNH would be in the real New York, is a lovely museum! As you can see from the expert images taken here, Rockstar copped out by including the museum "undergoing redevelopment" which is a lazy way of saying we have better things to do than fill a museum with objects.

The museum includes a bunch of Egyptian bits and pieces, a whale skeleton AND SOME FRIGGIN DINOSAURS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. They have a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Triceratops (species unknown). If you so wish you CAN SHOOT ALL THE BONES OFF AND DAMAGE THEM. Why you would I don't know but vigilant curators magically fully repair the skeletons by the next day. Good work museum guys.
I don't think the font size is DDA compliant but the thought was nice
The museum even has labels, where are the anti GTA guys now huh? This shizzle is educational as well as violent. Time for the business however.

Dinosauriness: Just two this time round, the classic match up of Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops.

Scientific Accuracy: The skeletons seem pretty accurate although I did notice abnormal vertebrae numbers and morphology of forelimbs on the Triceratops. Also, the poor Tyrannosaurus seems to be without gastralia. I hope they are just in storage or something. More importantly though, the specimens are repaired every day which certainly is not accurate. It would take months of work to repair thedamage by machine guns.

Buzz bonus: Technically, birds are dinosaurs as any smart arse palaeontologist will tell you so we should include all the birds (the collectible pigeons). Do you have all the pigeons yet reader?

JetPack Brontosaurus

IT'S IMPOSSIBLEIt's an Apatosaurus called Brontosaurus see! And it is wonderful. Watch, listen play here. If it's anything like Velociraptor Safari it'll be proper wicked! And addictive and better than 98% of Ubisoft's recent softography. Oooooh burn from a blogger I bet they are crying into their shreddies* as we speak**!!!

*English use, not ozzy
** Read. Or you read. Or as I type. Whenever. They'll cry whenever.

Warpath: Jurassic Park- PlayStation

Another day, another JP game. This one is "based" on Jurassic Park: The Lost World movie. You know, the worst one.

In this game you get to fight against other dinosaurs in arenas taken from the movie. That is pretty much it folks. One of the great things about this game is that you can eat passing goats/humans to replenish health. For the carnivores fine but for the ceratopsian dinosaurs it doesn't make much sense. Also, the game comes complete with a museum where you can check out all the battling beasties and learn all kinds of factoids about them. WARNING! Do not play this on a PS2 with the fast disc speed setting. It condenses all the narration in the museum mode. Well you could I guess.

This could happen
Dinosauriness: Acrocanthosaurus, Albertosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Cryolophosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Megaraptor, Pachycephalosaurus, Spinosaurus, Stygimoloch, Styracosaurus, Suchomimus, Triceratops and inevitably Tyrannosaurus rex.

Scientific Accuracy: The dinosaurs have all kinds of anatomy defying moves that they probably couldn't have used in real life. However, I have never extracted dino DNA from mosquitos in amber and mixed it with amphibian DNA to make dinosaurs so what the hell do I know about it? 6/10.

Buzz Bonus: Fighting through the levels and different opponents unlocks a host of extra characters and features. One such feature is exhibition match. We regularly set up exhibition matches, betting on which dinosaur is going to win. HOT TIP: Always bet on the Ankylosaurus FTW!


There's more!Worst defence ever
Worst speed ever
Yes! Readers of the other stupid thing I do on the internet will know that I am a bit partial to a bit of the Pokémon. I justify this to myself by claiming there be prehistoric creatures in them thar games. Or parodies of anyway. The above Pokémon and their pre-evolutions represent the first, second and third generation of prehistoric pokémon. From left to right we have Omastar (representing ammonites), Kabutops (representing trilobites), Aerodactyl (representing pterosaurs), Cradily (representing Crinoids many groups of which were mor eprevalent in ancient times), Armaldo (representing Anomalocaris, the prevolution is clearer), Relicanth (representing coelacanths for completeness) and Piloswine (representing mammoths). The fourth generation introduced the first true dinosaur critters, Rampardos (Pachycephalosaurs) and Bastiodon (Ceratopsian dinosaurs) are here on the left. Pokémon players must revive fossils that they find in the game to own these extinct pokémon (Swinub, Relicanth and Piloswine can be caught in the wild). The Pokémon series of games is famously a parody of biological organisms we find today and as fossils. Most of the major groups are represented (some to an agreeable level of accuracy).

Dinosauriness: (Parodies-of people!) Ammonites, Anomalocaris, Ceratopsian dinosaurs, Coelacanths, Crinoids, Mammoths, Pachycephalosaurus, Pterosaurs and Trilobites. I appreciate that crinoids and coelacanths are still around today but this is my website K?

Scientific Accuracy: Well. Once we get past the "not real animals" and the whole "reviving fossils" business I'd say 9.5/10. Yeah. 9.5/10.

Buzz Bonus: As you may know Pokémon can only say their own name or parts thereof. What evolutionary benefit this has no one knows but one person might be able to tell you. That person is OMASTAR!


Exciting Times!: UPDATED

Imagine my happiness when this game turned up in the post today:
Why Ubisoft, why?

Yes I don't know why Top Trumps has been turned into a DS game. What is the merit/advantage over the traditional pack of cards? But it does have dinosaurs in it. So expect a review in two hours when I have finished the Ubisoft shovelware.

Preview based on box art: 5/10. Too many dogs.

UPDATE: Having now played the game it is as nonsensical as it sounds and a bad game to boot. This version has no benefits over the traditional game (aside from the fact that you can't cheat, which may not be an advantage). The two player game is awful because for obvious reasons you can't see both cards so one player guesses which attribute they will win on until they lose then the second player does the same. The element of "I hope he chooses this one" is completely lost. Furthermore, in the one player tournament game you have to play through ten rounds in one sitting without the option to save the session after each round. Even furthermore still there is a quiz option but some of the quiz questions are a bit wrong. So questions like "How many Corythosaurus are on the Corythosaurus card?" create difficulty, firstly because, you can't see the pictures on the card very well and secondly because the answer (one) doesn't appear to be correct.

Review based on playing it for an hour too long: 5/10 too many dogs.

Jurassic Realm PC

Found in a Morrisons for £5 I could not not buy Jurassic Realm especially with these lovelies on the box art. At the same time, I also bought 101 Dino Pets but I'm saving that gem for a rainier day. Jurassic Realm is essentially the game jewelled but given a Jurassic Twist. I say "Jurassic Twist" but quite what handaxes have to do with the Jurassic is anyone's guess.
So the aim of the game is to get rid off the symbols by clicking on ones that are in rows or columns of three or more. Different "slime" and "dynamite" items help you to clear levels quicker by wiping out entire rows or by detonating and destroying symbols nearby. The reward for beating a level is that you get to go to a new level. If you manage to beat special levels within a time limit you get to unlock dinosaurs which you can check out on a rock or something. It's not a bad game and it's not really a dinosaur game. It's a puzzle game with a coat of dinosaur paint on it but it'll munch up and hour or two in the same way that spider or minesweeper might.
That's not a high score FYI
Dinosauriness: Lots of dinosaurs and non dinosaurs are unlocked as you progress through the levels. And there are lots of levels currently I have unlocked Dimetrodon, Lesothosaurus and Triceratops but there are still plenty more to unlock.

Scientific Accuracy: It's a tricky one to call. Being first and foremost a puzzle game, the scientific accuracy is kind of hard to measure. I mean what are you supposed to be? Either way the first wheel and handaxes are some of the symbols you have to destroy which, science currently has not discovered in the Jurassic. Or Dimetrodon either. Or Triceratops really. So not winning too many points here.

Buzz Bonus: Once again, Morrisons came up top trumps. I think they may have noticed that someone is buying up all the £5 dinosaur games so are stocking them on purpose. Fair enough I guess.

Jurassic ParkIII: The DNA Factor, Game Boy Advance

Perhaps the King of film to movie spin-offs Jurassic Park spawned yet another game conversion. Jurassic Park on the Mega Drive was classic (and impossible), Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis was nice and Warpath: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park: Tresspaser have a cult following. Jurassic Park III: The DNA Factor is not so great. In fact this one is pretty much the worst one I've played so far. It's as if they weren't even trying. Gameplay is poor, storyline is non existent, characters are generic.

This is as good as it gets folk

It's basically a side scrolling dodge em up (you can get a gun or some fruit to use as a lure but running past everything is by far the quickest route to success) and the player has to negotiate dangerous jungle and avoid dinosaurs to collect bits of DNA that fell out of a plane before it crashed on the island. You play as pilot Lori Torres or photographer Mark Hanson and you negotiate 12 levels to collect DNA which you then use in a mini "game" to get DNA sequences for dinosaurs. Except it's all a bit rubbish. The side scrolling parts are repetetive, annoying and bland. The recombining DNA game is easy. Which is a good thing because if you waste all of your DNA before you complete the sequence you have to start the level all over again.

Dinosauriness: I've yet to beat it but I imagine it's all the Jurassic Park lovlies. I'll get back to you on that one later.

Scientific Accuracy: There are no scientific mistakes in this game. It's all feesible and plausible. Just look at the DNA base on the log on the screenshot. That's what DNA bases look like when they fall out of planes on islands.

Buzz Bonus: The copy I purchased from Amazon was listed as "new". So I was surprised when it came through the door. True to the promise it was new and still sealed (with Comet security stickers intact) however it looked like a 10 year old child had been carrying the unopened box in his school bag since the game's release in 2001. Tat-o-rama. Although it doesn't affect the game play experience it did irk me. I was irked.

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis PS2, PC, Xbox

Yes, the Easter holiday allowed a small amount of gaming time and I was able to spend some time with some of the dino games I've been neglecting because I wanted to savour rather than rush. One such game is Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis.
Run children, run!

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, or JPOG as I will refer to it, is essentially Theme Hospital but with Dinosaurs. What do you mean what is Theme Hospital? Oh yeah, that's right I forget that kidz these days grew up in a world without Bullfrog. No wonder they're all wrong. So, to begin again. Jurassic Park:Operation Genesis, or JPOG as I will refer to it, is essentially Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs but without boring modern day animals and with better Dinosaurs in it. You have to build your own Jurassic Park, populate it with dinosaurs and then build shops and other attractions to keep the moronic masses happy because, you know, it's not deemed impressive enough that dinosaurs have been more or less brought back to the earth for your viewing pleasure unless you have a souvenir shop to go with it. So you go about building your park but you have to fund palaeontological digs in order to dig up fossils in order to get enough fossil material to SCIENCE MAGIC HAPPENS HERE then you have dinosaurs. But don't worry because none other than Dr Alan Grant, Dr Sattler, Robert Muldoon, Sam Jackson, Dr Wu (Not that Dr Wo) and John Hammond pop up on average every ten seconds to tell you that something is broken or someone's unhappy or that someone died. If you read the instruction booklet it sounds like managing the park is going to be a nightmare because occasionally the creatures go on rampages or there's a twister that destroys your park. However, these rampages do not occur very often. Twisters do happen but are more annoying than life threatening. By far the biggest challenge is pleasing the miserable visitors. There's a nice feature (taken straight from Theme Park) that lets you check the passport of every visitor to the park and despite the fact that your park may boast up to 100 dinosaurs with countless viewing vents, domes, safari trips or balloon rides some spod will still walk around your park claiming that "there aren't enough dinosaurs" or "This place is alright". This can be remedied though, more often than not the dinosaurs will need a bit of "encouragement" from the player before "accidentally" being let out into the park to begin chomping on Giselle from Ohio who wants to see more blood or Shaun from South Korea who takes issue with the fact that you charge entry for the toilets.

Overall the game is great, you get what you pay for and in today's market you can pick up a PS2 copy of JPOG in almost every preowned Game section in the world for around £9.
FINAL ROUND. FIGHTDinosauriness: A number of the film dinosaurs return as well as some old favourites and the did-you-know-they-were-bigger-than-T.Rex newcomers like Carcharadontosaurus. Here's the full list Acrocanthosaurus, Albertosaurus, Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Camarasaurus, Carcharadontosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Corythosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Dryosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Gallimimus, Homacephale, Kentrosaurus, Ouranosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Parasaurlophus, Stegosaurus, Styracosaurus, Spinosaurus, Torosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.

Scientific Accuracy: Aside from the whole bringing dinosaurs back thing, which is the staple of every second dinosaur game, and a few scale issues it's standard fare. This game also (allegedly) lets you create mixed or single species herds and packs of dinosaurs. I've never seen this though. All I know is that no matter how many Ceratosaurus you create they all get murdered. Seriously. Just don't bother with them.

Buzz Bonus: The music is ace because it is taken straight from the film. You know, the film. Before the awful sequels. You can also unlock the theme tunes to Indiana Jones, Superman, Star Wars (all 6) and E.T! Nice.

Sea Monsters A Prehistoric Adventure- DS

Another week another Dinosaurs in Games update. Phew! You must be on the edge of your seat. Today we're going to look at a contender for Game of The Decade, National Geographic's Sea Monsters A Prehistoric Adventure on the DS. Do not be misled by the screenshot below [from IGN] what it lacks in aesthetic appeal in more than makes up for with Gameplay.
This game (also available on PS2 and Wii) is an adaptation of the National Geographic's recent IMAX blockbuster film of the same title. Now if I think National Geographic-Games-And documentary tie-in then I'm instantly forming an idea of a game in my head that's part Clever Kids in Dino Land, part Catz by Ubisoft and part whatever the latest Pixar lazy mulitplatform effort is. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

If only the DS was HD
Imagine the stealth-hit, Crackdown for the Xbox 360, but replace city heights with sea depths, replace cybernetically enhanced agent with extinct marine reptiles (and a flying one) and exchange hunting down increased abilities with collecting fossils to unlock other organisms to explore the depths with. All of this on the DS! Yes it is that good.
Playing as a Sea Monster you have to explore various marine environments to unlock the full cast of playable characters to then further explore hidden areas in order to beat all the challenges and collect all the fossils. Each reptile has advantages and disadvantages. Players start out with the generalist Thallasomedon who is quite nippy in the water but cannot go too deep in the water column before expiring. Progress then rapidly unlocks the rest of the cast. Henodus is slow, tiny and is restricted to the shallows but can dig in the sea bed to expose hidden fossils, Temnodontosaurus can dive to the sea bottom, Tylosaurus is the top predator and can bash through walls to uncover new areas. Players have to use a combination of the 7 characters in order to complete the game.

Dinosauriness: Of course, no dinosaurs but the cast of prehistoric animals is pleasantly diverse; Archelon, Cretoxyrhina, Dolichorhynchops, Enchodus, Gillicus, Henodus, Hesperornis, Kronosaurus, Nothosaurus, Pteranodon, Shonisaurus, Temnodontosaurus, Thallasomedon, Tylosaurus and Xiphactinus feature .

Scientific Accuracy: Unfortunately, not all of these creatures are coeval but unlike ever other title that makes this mistake there is a disclaimer at the beginning. So, ultimately, forgivable. But unlike the majority of other dinosaur and extinct organism titles, this one is educational but not in the usual obvious "here's a fact way" but in a more subtle learning through experience way. So for example, if I were to ask you how do marine reptiles breath underwater? Would you be able to answer confidently? Play this game and you'll know. To be commended by reviewers who can see past the simple nature of the game.
This game does show some mild strain being crammed onto the DS though. Occassionally the Cretoxyrhina sharks will swim through walls, above the surface of the sea or upside down but palaeontologists have not strictly ruled out this behaviour in organisms in this genus so who knows, it might be correct.

Buzz Bonus: Other reviewers slated this game for being too shallow but in terms of the DS this is a quietly revolutionary title. The controls are difficult at first but then quickly become second nature and the gentle exploration is engaging and relaxing. The sandbox nature of the game is a welcome addition to the DS which up until now has been primarily minigame titles or lazy RPGs that have little to offer in terms of replay value. Oh and Advance Wars. Plus it's always nice to be able to play as the creature themselves rather than continuously running from them (Dino Crisis), managing them (Operation Genesis, Zoo Tycoon) or merely learning about them (Clever Kids Dino Land). 10/10 Game of the Decade and new benchmark for dinosaurs in games (and other prehistoric creatures. In games)

Dino Master- DS

I touched on it way way back when but some dinosaur based games are so good you have to look at them twice.
On the face of it, Dino Master is a relatively simple game.
Dig, Discover and Duel if you find the other person in the world who bought this

For half the game, you play as a palaeontologist who has to look for dinosaur Greatest Game of all time 10/10fossils in six different sites spread across the globe; Africa, Eurasia, Australia, N.America, S.America and the Antarctic. You have to excavate the sites facing the usual hazards encountered on a typical palaeontological dig. By excavate sites I mean drive around isolating areas Qix style (not Qix style actually, just Qix)and by usual hazards I mean being harassed by gigantic crabs, horseshoe crabs, dragonflies and ladybirds with minions of car sized caterpillars, flies and scorpions. Upon exposing areas in the Qix game you occassionally expose a fossil which you then later get to re-animate
and battle with, either against one of five bots or over WiFi. THis last notion is a joke because I don't even know anyone else who knows about this game and I've only ever seen it for sale online. Which is sad because my Ceratosaurus could KICK SOME ASS. I imagine. The battling itself requires players to give their chosen fighter a number of techniques (which can be attacking, defensive, etc.), the number and type of techniques that can be learned varies from species to species and techniques have to be unlocked with progression through the fossil hunting stage. The battling game is then a slightly more complex version of rock paper scissors. Each dinosaur you reanimate also varies depending on the size and quality of the fossil you uncover so sometimes they will have extra attack power, or low HP which adds another slight element to the strategy which is all academic anyway because I doubt a single person has ever played this game over wi-fi. Seriously. Let me know if you have but I bet the experience was ultimately unrewarding.

Dinosauriness: A whopping 100 different species of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals some you'll recognise, some you won't, some old skool ones and some brand spanking new finds. Here's a not so completed list because I'm struggling to collect the last 22 species. Here's the list so far Abelisaurus, Amargasaurus, Anatotitan, Apatosaurus, Archeaoceratops, Aralosaurus, Argentinosaurus, Borthriospondylus, Breviceratops, Carcharadontosaurus, Carnotaurus, Centrosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Chungkingosaurus, Cryolophosaurus, Dacentrurus, Daspletosaurus, Deinocheirus, Deinonychus, Dicraeosaurus, Dromiceiomimus, Dsungaripterus, Einiosaurus, Elaphrosaurus, Euplocephalus, Futubasaurus, Gallimimus, Gargoyleosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Gondwanatitan, Gorgosaurus, Goyocephale, Harpymimus, Huayangosaurus, Hydrotherosaurus, Ichthyosaurus, Indosuchus, Kentrosaurus, Kritosaurus, Lambeosaurus, Lexovisaurus, Majungatholus, Megalosaurus, Monolophosaurus, Montanaceratops, Nanotyranus, Neovenator, Opisthocoelicaudia, Opthalmosaurus, Parasaurlophus, Pinacosaurus, Pelaneustes, Pelecanimimus, Pentaceratops, Plateosaurus, Pleurocoelus, Prenocephale, Pteranodon, Saichania, Saltasaurus, Sauroposeidon, Scipionyx, Saurornitholestes, Stegoceras, Stenopterygius, Stygimoloch, Styracosaurus, Suchomimus, Supersaurus, Tapejara, Toopkusaura, Torosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Trinacromerum, Tyrannosaurus, Udanoceratops, Unenlagia and Utahraptor.

Scientific Accuracy: For the sheer number of genera included this title is by and large very accurate. There are a few issues arising. Bizarrely Plateosaurus is included as a plesiosaur and on the dino rebuild screen, Icthyosaurs, Plesiosaurs and Pterosaurs are listed as Gyoryu, Cubinagaryu and Yocuryu 'kinds'??? Some may complain that real palaeontological digs are not undertaken by driving a jeep around in perpendicular lines whilst being harassed by giant invertebrates but those people would be liars friends. Liars. Listen to them not a word more.

Buzz Bonus: For what the game lacks in the polish that say, Halo might have in spades it is an addictive game that has kept me up until 3 or 4 in the morning on occassion with "just one more go". For dino lovers it's great with a big list of extinct creatures to find and it's also good for passing a bus journey or tube journey with a couple of fossils hunts. Some other """Sites""" that reviewed it complained that the touch screen controls were unreliable. Sadly this is the liars at work again friends. How they live with themselves I do not know. So far in this existence it's my favourite game of all time!

Next week on Cunzy1 1's Dinosaurs in Games: I finally bought myself a copy of Sea Monsters A Prehistoric Adventure for the DS so expect a skit sometime soon. The low down is it could be great. The expectation is it won't be that great. But what is the reality?

Clever Kids: DinoLand

Yeah, so the old format wasn't working too well so from now on I'm going to update the site every time I play a new dinosaur game. So what better way to re-launch the site than to look at Midas' Clever Kids Dino Land.

Clever kids

The gaming establishment said that the PS2 era was over. They said that next-gen is the way forward. This game proves them all wrong. I picked up my copy for a mere £8. Perhaps the best 8 pounds I ever did spend.

The game (philistines may claim it is aimed at the kids) is a series of dinosaur themed minigames set in the titular DINOLAND. Dino Land appears to be nothing more than a 2D landscape with 6 dinosaurs in it but oh what a land! Lucky players have to solve complex puzzles (with upward of five pieces!) in order to unlock such wondrous dinosaur themed games as 'Trax', Slide Puzzles, Target Practice and Spot the Difference. The game is so forward looking that you don't even need a memory card! A mere passcode will work (hint star, star, cross, square is the code to unlock all the minigames). What a future looking title, if only some of the triple AAA games would take a leaf out of the CKDL book. Anyway, on with the overview.

Dinosauriness: A number of dinosaurs are present as well as the usual extinct prehistoric critters: Amargasaurus, Brachiosaurs, Deinonychus, Euplocephalus, Mammoth, Plesiosaurus, Pterodactyl, Pteranodon, Shunosaurus, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Troodon, Tsintasurus, Tyrannosaurs and Velociraptor.

Scientific Accuracy: For a low budget Edutainment (or is that Infocation) title there are a surprising number of misnomers, weird language use and factual inaccuracies. Mammoths, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs and icthyosaurs are unashamedly called dinosaurs and there is no attempt to highlight that they aren't. The game also claims that Ultrasaurus is unequivocally the biggest dinosaur known. Firstly, Ultrasaurus is the genus of an insect not a dinosaur so it should be Ultrasauros but even then the correct name for this species is Supersaurus and was changed over 10 years ago, so triply wrong. Furthermore, it's not too clear if it even is the biggest dinosaur (Sauroposeidon is a recent candidate for bigger). Doesn't anyone fact check these games? Also, the sentence "Tyrannosaurus was born in the late cretaceous" wouldn't sit well with most palaeontologists either. Some of these mistakes have been seen time and time again and are always pointed out by some nit picking scientist and it's a bit saddening to see them reproduced here especially for a title aimed at the "kidz". Overall it's a bit too naughty and lazy 3/10.

Buzz Bonus: On the pause screen you can check your progress in the minigames. Completing all the games, slide puzzles and spot the differences will get you a higher result on the "Dino meter". I have a serious problem with slide puzzles though so I only ever managed to reach Brachiosaurus status :(