Like anyone who is suffering from a throbbing ear ache, sore throat and body aches, I found myself unable to sleep. Like anyone with an iPhone, this led to trawling through the App Store and randomly downloading games.
This week, the free app of the week is Dinorama by thesixtyone.
Yes, it’s free people: go and start that download before you continue to read this!
You are in charge of a Dinorama. That’s right, your very own linear Dinosaur Park! You start with a very little pile of money to buy a dinosaur and then the visitors start coming. Your job is to keep your park afloat. This includes feeding and cleaning dinosaur pens, finding lost items, reuniting old friends, blowing up balloons, weathering storms and refilling the popcorn shop.
The game steers you gently in the direction of prosperity with achievement style missions (“Save 60 coins to survive the upcoming storm”) that you can work towards at your own pace. And you need to really work for them.
Dinorama is categorised as an Educational App and it should be noted that most would consider this a “kids game”. With this in mind, the soothing introduction to banking to generate interest doesn’t seem so patronising. In fact, young people could be learning about time management, saving money and pet care while enjoying the unreality of dinosaurs.
Best of all, there are no in-app purchases or adds!! You won’t be tempted to spend real money to get that gift store, you will have to save up in game. This feature alone should turn the hand of any parent and candy-crushed individual.
Dinorama is beautifully presented, with minimalistic but characterised designs of both humans and dinosaurs. The Dino’s themselves are slightly customisable with different colours available from the store.
The bold pastel palette shaded with subtle textures defines the simplicity of this game. The tiny shadows that appear under your visitors provide motion and a somewhat 3D feel to an otherwise 2D game.
Finally the changing time and weather patterns, cycling between day and night, super sun, sunny or stormy, prevent the limited gameplay area from feeling stagnant.