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[Review] The Dino Comp INFORM Games

by J.D. Berry

Posted 5 April 2000 to rec.games.int-fiction

I need to rate something, so Iím taking advantage of the recent Dino Comp to do just that. As Mr. Cadre qualified, "if you spend more than a few afternoons on these games, you are missing the point." With that in mind, Iíve reviewed just the Inform games with a lighthearted attitude, a terse reviewing style and a plated hide. Authors, thank you for the fun.

Explanation of the "scoring":

Chuckle Factor
  Dinosaurs werenít known for their sense of humor, so I went with a pure size comparison.
    3 stars - Supersaurus Vivianae
    2 stars - Diplodocus (luckily they were so big with a name like that)
    1 star - Brachiosaurus
    0 stars or not applicable - Fossil Not Found

Fear Factor
  There may have been no pants or beegeezus in those days, but I imagine there was crap to be scared out of. Thus here are some of the terrible lizards.
    3 stars - Deinocheirus
    2 stars - T. Rex (I still love the sound of those old dinos)
    1 star - Allosaurus
    0 stars or not applicable - Fossil Not Found

Thought Factor
    Supposedly, the smartest dinosaurs were as intelligent as the modern bird. This is an apporpriate scale for games written in a short period of time.
    3 stars - Troodon
    2 stars - Deinonychus (also the dinosaur god of wine)
    1 star - Velociraptor
    0 stars or not applicable - Fossil Not Found

To the games!

-
A Dinoís Night Out by Aris Katsaris
Summary: A fitting tribute to "A Bearís Night Out"
Review: Any game where I donít need help gets plusses from me. This is a neat little mixture, especially for oneís first authorship.

Chuckle - Diplodocus
Fear - Fossil Not Found
Thought - Deinonychus

-
An Important Appointment by Jennifer Earl
Summary: Eat and hope for Judge Ito
Review: Munch and run. Run and munch. Itís your option!

Chuckle - Brachiosaurus
Fear - T. Rex
Thought - Velociraptor

-
A Stegosaurís Night Out by Quentin D. Thompson
Summary: Bearís Night Out meets Varicella
Review: If you can handle the explicit language and liked Varicella (the game, not the disease) this game will give you laughs aplenty.

Chuckle - Supersaurus Vivianae
Fear - T. Rex
Thought - Fossil Not Found

-
d2d by Simon Lamont
Summary: Waiting for Godotasaurus
Review: Instinct tells you your dinoís gonna be extinct before the game gets going.

Chuckle - Fossil Not found
Fear - Allosaurus
Thought - Velociraptor

-
Dinosaur Dinnertime! by anonymous
Summary: Eat.
Review: "Thatís not what I expected from a tyrannosaurus rex," said the pteranodon. "Well maybe you shouldíve," said the predator. "Luckily, Iím a progressive dinosaur from Phoenix and will rise from the ashes."

Chuckle - Fossil Not Found
Fear - T. Rex
Thought - Fossil Not Found

-
Dino Hunt by Admiral Jota
Summary: A hunt for real treasures!
Review: Cutely amusing and/or amusingly cute. A pleasant five minute diversion.

Chuckle - Brachiosaurus
Fear - Fossil Not Found
Thought - Troodon (Brought me back to the days of pure fun)

-
Why did the Dino cross the Road? By Richard Bos
Summary: But I wasnít done stomping.
Review: I took too long to solve this (7 minutes), but that's my problem. Another interesting first timerís game.

Chuckle - Brahciosaurus
Fear - Allosaurus
Thought - Fossil Not Found

-
Very Old Dog by Tony Delgado
Summary: Sit raptor sit! Good boy!
Review: These mini comps are a good idea. This one encouraged another writer with promise.

Chuckle - Brachiosaurus
Fear - Fossil Not Found
Thought -- Deinonychus

-
Revenger by Robb Sherwin
Summary: Duh, I donít see any dinosaurs.
Review: Bitterly sardonic, even the help is amusing. So far, though, the only game I didnít solve in my arbitrary 10 minute time limit.

Chuckle - Supersaurus Vivianae (Robb, as one reviewer so eloquently stated but that I paraphrase for you now, is one funny mother something or other.)
Fear - Fossil Not Found
Thought - Deinonychus

-
Rowr! By Gunther Schmidl
Summary: * Eggs * over easy
Review: I partied like it was 1000000999 BC, I bungled in the jungle, then there must have been a ghost in the machine. I couldnít get it to work.

Chuckle - Brachiosaurus
Fear - Allosaurus
Thought - Fossil Not Found

-

Sorry I didnít get to the other games. If any of the authors of the more "serious" efforts want HELPFUL feedback, email me. Again, thanks for the diversions!

This article copyright © 2000, J.D. Berry

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