Wouldn’t Jurassic Park be so much better if it featured happy dinosaurs having fun and playing with one another rather than killing each other and humans? Well..it probably wouldn’t have been such a blockbuster hit (or book) but the folks over at Chillingo decided to make a new mobile app game pretty much with this happy go lucky kid friendly Jurassic Park mentality appropriately titled Happy Dinos. All in all I would say the demographic for Happy Dinos is aimed at younger kids but I did find myself getting sucked in a bit just from the mindless nature of it all.
Happy Dinos just has a few core gameplay elements. Training, collecting and breeding dinosaurs. There are three species of dinosaurs you can get with different color and spot combinations that eventually total to be over 1000 dinosaurs. Gotta catch ’em all! So you start out with a few dinosaurs and to get more you need to breed them…which is kind of weird for what I’m assuming is a kids game but guess it teaches them genetics and better dinosaurs than pea pods. Anyway, the breeding aspect is simple; you pair two dinosaurs together and a list of possible offspring are shown and you get a random one in that list. So once you have a lot of baby dinosaurs running around you need to tame and train them though the use of minigames which I’ll get to later. And that is pretty much the basics of Happy Dinos. There are missions and achievements where you get free dinosaurs if you collect a certain number or a certain type but the basics are breeding and taming dinosaurs.
How to Train Your Dinosaur
To train your dinosaur you have the choice of four options (five I guess if you count skipping the process with in game currency) and all are in the form of little minigames. They are very simple and pretty monotonous. The first is called Rocket Ride and you just move left and right to collect fruit (fruit is what increases your tame level), the second is Twin Finger which is kind of a hunt and peck type of game, next is Fling Dino which reminds me of Fruit Ninja and lastly is Dino Hurdle which is kind of what it seems. Get used to doing these quick boring games because you’ll be doing a lot of them… Once the dinosaurs are tamed you can move them to their new home and they also learn pointless tricks to show you.
The rest of Happy Dinos is very reminiscent of typical nickel and dime city building games like Zygna’s Cityville and Farmville. By this I mean you have to use “energy” to do any action and must wait such and such time to get more. Your dinos have a happiness meter which you need to fill up by buying and placing expensive decorations around, you need to expand your islands, have to feed your dinosaurs, etc. And of course all these are fairly ridiculously priced to goad you into using real money to buy virtual goods. You can also visit friends and do things in their dino islands. Although will mention I like how in Happy Dinos if you don’t have any friends who play you can just go to random peoples islands so you don’t get stuck on missions. Overall Happy Dinos is a decent little kids game I would say but be warned of all the in app purchases so your kids don’t spend your whole paycheck on buying dinosaur food.