Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is, as you've more than likely already surmised,
is a game about hunting dinosaurs. While the dinosaur aspect may seem like it
would give the game an exotic vibe, Carnivores is actually a rather pedestrian
The game's main mode starts you off with a budget that you spend to select
your map, target dinosaur(s), and weapon for your game. At first the more exotic
dinosaurs and weapons are locked and unavailable, but that doesn't really matter
as your budget is so tight that at first you'll only be able to afford to hunt a
small herbivore with a pistol. Once you've made your selections you're dropped
into the wilderness and left on your own to find your prey until you either run
out of ammo or end up as a snack for a tyrannosaurus.
The game is played liked a first-person shooter, and the virtual D-pad in the
lower left part of the screen works well enough to control the game. Icons
around the screen allow you to bring up your binoculars (which in addition to
zooming the view identify the dinosaurs for you by species), select and fire
your weapon, and use a dinosaur call to lure a lovesick thunder lizard to its
doom. There is also an on-screen compass which indicates the wind direction,
which is an important consideration since your scent alone can cause a skittish
dinosaur to scurry off towards the horizon.
Carnivores is a rather pedestrian hunting game, with most of the challenge
coming from the snipe hunt exercise of simply trying to find the right dinosaur.
Pick the ankylosaurus as your target and you can kill diplosauruses left and
right and not get any points for them. Since the initial levels are
carnivore-free, your initial time with the game will be pretty tedious as you
roam the wilderness trying to locate the one dinosaur you can kill for points.
Even when you make it to the point where you can hunt multiple dinosaur types
and there are dinosaurs about that are hunting you, the game only becomes mildly
more interesting. It's more of a time-killing distraction than something that
could actually be called fun.
The game was ported from a late 90s PC game and it shows. The environments
are pretty pixilated and could certainly have used an overhaul before being
released for the iPhone.
The game features an achievement system and social networking integration, so
when you finally bag a T-Rex you can share that even with your friends. This may
provide additional incentive for some to keep playing the game, but for most the
game will feel more tedious than exciting and the only thing going extinct will
be their interest in the game.
Final Rating: 60%