Welcome back everyone. Today, we’re covering the re-release of a game that kept me sane through college- Dino Run SE, from Pixel Jam. In the following screenshot, I am sure you will see why.
I mean, look at it! Your main character is a pixel art raptor! That you can put hats on! Silly hats! That magically stay perched on its adorable little head as it runs through several stages full of obstacles. Surely, this will be a fun adventure full of laughs and-
Right, so it turns out you’re playing as a dinosaur from right before the meteor hits. Oh dear. Your ultimate objective is to escape the pyroclastic flow that pursues you in each stage until you reach a safe area. You’ll have hills, pits, and other dinosaurs slowing you down. On the plus side, there are power-ups that give you super strength, super speed, and mega jumping to be found along the way.
The main mode, “Challenge”, has your dino running through a succession of of increasingly difficult stages, culminating in a panicked run across the barren wasteland that was your home. Then there are speedrun stages, which are smaller individual stages, usually with a gimmick of some sort. The last mode, added by the SE edition, is called “Planet D”, which combines the gimmicks of the speedrun stages with the steadily increasing difficulty of Challenge mode. Planet D is for people who beat Challenge Mode on ‘Insane’ Difficulty and decided that wasn’t hard enough, so I don’t advise trying that one immediately.
As you save eggs, eat lizards, and do other impressive things, you’ll earn bones and DNA, because what else were you going to collect in dinosaur-themed platforming game? Bones unlock more stages, DNA can be used to upgrade your dino, which is vital for passing the stages on higher difficulty settings.
There’s only a handful of tracks, my personal favorite being the “oh god everything has gone to hell I want my mommy” track for the final stages. The music has the same low-tech style as the graphics, but that and the limited number of tracks didn’t stop me from enjoying it.
The game isn’t perfect. Sometimes you’ll get screwed over in a stage by sheer dumb misfortune, like when a pterodactyl hits you four times in a row, or a massive boulder lands on your head right as you need to jump a pit. The fact that the higher difficulties give you fewer “time shifts” to allow you to retry a stage and a much smaller margin for error when escaping the Wall of Doom does not help. That said, such moments are rare, and not enough to seriously impact the enjoyment I was having during the fun times.
You probably think I’m going to recommend this game. You would be right, but only to people that actually enjoying platforming, speed-run-y, or dinosaur related games. Dino Run SE is available for $3 on the Pixel Jam website.