Setup & Timing
Getting around in Dino Master: Dig, Discover, Duel (henceforth shortened to Dino Master) is simple enough. The opening credits are a little long and unskipable, though. Also, the demo transmission is under "Options" and then "Give Data" (somewhere newer and younger players - the prime demographic? - may not know to look).
Menus & Navigation
The menus are otherwise fine. The options are large enough, the labels are large and clear. Even the buffer space is good. The menus move around a bit, but the center part of each line is always tapable for a given option.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Controls in Fossil Hunt are a little bit sketchy when it comes to "dragging" the archeologist or his truck around. They always seem to be a little behind the stylus. The camera (viewpoint) also cannot be controlled separately, meaning it's often not where it's wanted. In Dino Battle... well... it's just tapping and guessing. The tapping works OK.
Category Score: 10.5 / 15
Dino Master's content is lacking. There are two donwloadable demos (no multiplayer (even mini games). There are no options like difficulty levels or choice of dinos. While the graphics are great for the dinosaur recreations in Dino Battle, there is no animation (the graphics in Fossil Hunt are alright). There's nothing wrong with the sound, but it does harken back to late '80s/early '90s arcade games.
OK, here's the thing. The point of multiplayer gaming, especially Single-Card Download content (and, in particular, downloadable demos), is to share the game (hence the term "Game Sharing") and show off the game to friends. Players get a shared experience and publishers get more game sales. In Dino Master, there are two demos, each with major, MAJOR flaws. For the demo game Dino Battle, all of the play (except for the occasional, single-use Tech maneuver) is based on luck. No skill, just guessing. For a game to be good, you need an appropriate balance of luck and skill, and the scale here is broken. For the demo game Fossil Hunt, there are no results of success. Sure, you can unearth fossils, defeat the boss, and learn new skills. In fact, the gameplay is even a little addictive. The problem is that the game doesn't even explain in words what happens next in the full game. No descriptions or explanations at all. What can you do with the fossils you unearth (besides battling)? What new skills can you learn? Why not say what's great about the game? In fact, there's not even a "How To Play" introduction. Remember, developers: "There's always room for T-E-X-T!" Don't get me wrong, these demos aren't terrible, they're just flawed from their planning stage. I've played worse. I've also played better. (Remember, I don't review the main portion of the game, just the Single-Card Download portion.)
Change "Mulitplayer" to "Connectivity" and move the demos there.
Permit the player to move the "camera" around separately from the archeologist.
Improve the "drag speed" of the archeologist and his truck.
Include some player-selected options (difficulty level, dino selection, etc.).
Offer a description of what would follow in the main game after each playthrough of Fossil Hunt.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 64 / 100 (a.k.a. 32/50)
Other information available:
If you'd like to contact this website:
to return to the DSSingleCard.com Dino Master: Dig, Discover, Duel profile.
to return to the DSSingleCard.com main page.