Dino Run DX Review

Updated on August 10, 2016

Dino Run DX is an endless runner racing game from Pixeljam. The game is a an updated version of the original 2007 browser game. It is now available on Steam for Mac and Windows.

In this indie racing game play as a little raptor trying to outrun a pyroclastic wall of doom. The plots as simple as that and that’s all you need to enjoy Dino Run DX. Dino Run DX features Pixeljam’s trademark pixel graphics and chiptune soundtrack which fits with the quirky vibe this game exudes.

At a glance Dino Run DX is super simple, run as fast as you can and gain power ups along the way, but there’s actually a lot more going on. The game itself includes different gameplay modes and within levels there’s so much to collect, explore and interact with. Even starting out you can customize your raptor avatar with a surprising plethora of skin colors and hats which comes in handy when playing multiplayer.

There’s great level design in Dino Run DX with multiple pathways from point A to point B side-scrolling along. There are a lot of fun surprises to discover in each playthrough like the ability to boulder surf, catch a ride on a pterodactyl or an area you missed in a previous playthrough. There are special resources to collect throughout the game and finding the best stashes of them usually comes at the expense of losing time and speed. This creates a nice reward for super skilled players that can easily get ahead of their impending doom as well as creating an interesting balancing decision for players to make.

In Dino Run DX it is your little raptor’s goal to not only escape extinction, but to preserve its species by collecting Dino eggs and to evolve to a stronger faster raptor, ensuring the survival of it’s species. The later is done through collecting DNA found in the bones of less fortunate dinos and by eating smaller, less speedy creatures. Collecting DNA and bonus points for various things throughout a run-through will allow a player to upgrade their stats to become faster, stronger,etc.

Run little critters. Run!
Run little critters. Run! | Source

The use of physics is a nice touch in this straightforward 2D game. Obstacles such as asteroids can fall from the sky and get in your way, slowing you down and pushing you backwards and forwards. The stronger you are, the easier time you’ll have dealing with such obstacles.

One of the most frustrating things that can happen in Dino Run DX is your little raptor’s propensity to get turned around after an awkward jump or collision with another creature etc. You may find yourself facing the entirely wrong direction without having ever tapped that directional key and it can really slow you down. There aren’t that many levels in the single-player challenge mode and although there’s a lot of replay in getting a better score, trying different difficulty modes etc. it would be nice if there were more levels for this particular part of the game. Pixeljam has started a unique crowdfunding platform specifically for bringing improvements and new content to Dino Run DX so maybe later down the line the lack of challenge mode levels will be a complaint of the past.

There are three different game modes in Dino Run DX. There’s a single and multiplayer challenge mode. In multiplayer you can chat and join public or private games. Multiplayer is great for playing with friends and testing your skills after playing through all the single player content.

There’s also a speedrun game mode in Dino Run DX. Speedrun mode has a lot of available levels to run through and is all about getting the top score. Planet D is a unique game mode with specialty levels where aspects of the world are a little off, for example raining small creatures to eat from the sky.

Cavernous volcanoes are just some of the dangerous obstacles these dinosaurs will face.
Cavernous volcanoes are just some of the dangerous obstacles these dinosaurs will face. | Source

Verdict

Outside of running through pixelated, prehistoric landscapes players can spend their collected bones on artwork from the game and unlocking the soundtrack. Players can also activate cheats and mods to make their experience more customized and enjoyable.

Dino Run DX is a unique and quirky game that fans of running games will love. There’s a lack of challenge mode content and a some frustrating control issues but overall it’s a very solid game with good level design that a lot of detail went into creating. Those that enjoy Dino Run DX may consider donating to the crowdfunding campaign to bring more content to the game. Dino Run DX can be purchased on Steam for $5.99 for Mac and PC from Pixeljam.

Disclaimer

This game was provided by the developer and reviewed on a Windows PC using Steam.

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