Stop for a second and think about how different the planet would be if dinosaurs had not been wiped off the face of the Earth some 65 million years ago. Tatem Games places you in this world full of gargantuan creatures with modern weapons and a single mission to hunt them down.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter has 5 enormous maps, each with its own obstacles and landscape features. You can choose whether to hunt at dawn, day, night, or simply explore in observer mode. There are 15 dinosaurs, some of which will attack you on sight and others that will flee. In order to battle these beasts, you are given any combination of 6 weapons, from a pistol to a sniper rifle. Also included is a survival mode in which you attempt to stay alive for as long as possible while vicious velociraptors charge at you.
In the main hunt mode, the game has a great currency system where you can choose the map, dinosaurs to hunt, and weapons to use. Every time you strike down a designated creature in the game, you earn points, which can be used to select stronger dinosaurs and weapons. Not including the pistol, the game has great weapons, including a crossbow that looks fantastic. The in-game map is extremely helpful and is your primary guide for navigation.
Carnivores has very smooth controls with a directional pad to move and swiping to look around. There is a button that lets you look through binoculars at dinosaurs in the distance, and one that sends out mating calls to attract animals of a certain species. Shooting is very easy and can be done by choosing the weapon icon and tapping the fire button. You can also jump over ledges and some obstacles by tapping the bottom right of the screen.
In hunt mode, the dinosaurs are often very smart and will run away if you fire at or even approach them. Hunting in a massive environment takes a lot of patience, but this isn’t the case in survival mode. Instead of attending to their own needs, angry carnivores charge at you in progressively stronger and faster waves. This gives the game a much faster pace and a chance for you to kill all the extinct beasts you want.
The trophy room, a map in itself, is creative and phenomenal. There are models of the different types of dinosaurs that you have hunted, and tapping on them reveals your stats for that species. There’s not a trophy room in another game that is nearly as interactive, and you get to walk around with normal game controls looking at immobile replicas of these mighty giants.
The hardest part of Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is starting the game. Although the controls are easy to learn, you can’t do much with the provided pistol. There are plenty of dinosaurs roaming around the map, but you only earn points for killing the ones marked by yellow dots on the map. You also have no idea how much ammo you have and often run out in the process of targeting a dinosaur.
For some reason, weapons sometimes miss randomly when shot. With the crossbow and pistol, the “strength” of the dinosaurs sometimes allow them to not take damage when you shoot them from two feet away. It’s also difficult to shoot between trees and up at creatures. The frequency of missed shots combines with the lack of an ammo count to provide an experience that gets frustrating quickly.
While the graphics look decent when you’re not moving, they become fuzzy as you make your way across the environment. It’s almost impossible to predict when you’ll be able to walk up an incline as well, and you’ll most likely get stuck at a sharp point in the ground or around a corner at least a few times.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter has some great features like the currency system and survival mode that make it one of the better hunting games available. However, the game will often become draggingly slow while trying to chase dinosaurs and frustrating when it comes to weapons. On an iPod Touch 3rd Generation, the graphics are not impressive, but the game itself is still fun to play.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is worth considering for $2.99 and will be sensational for fans of hunting games.