Also on: PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Publisher: Wild River Games
Developer: Wild River Games/Schleich
Even if it wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of DINOSAURS: Mission Dino Camp, I was still excited to play it. I mean it’s basically Jurassic Park, but based on a toy brand called Schleich. How bad could it be?
Turns out: bad. Very, very bad.
For one thing, it’s pretty cheaply made: to call it bargain basement would be an understatement. The moment the game starts you’re met with a cutscene with character models that might have looked good on the PS2. They open their mouths and move their arms but none of it is in time with what they’re saying. To make things worse, the voice acting is horrifically bad, with characters sounding like they’ve just read their lines for the first time as they’re being recorded.
Mind you, it doesn’t help that the words they’re reading are incredibly stupid. I know that DINOSAURS: Mission Dino Camp is aimed at a younger audience, but I feel like even a four-year-old would expect better dialogue than what they find here.
All that would be forgivable, though, if the game play itself was actually fun. It is not. Most of the game is spent running back and forth, carrying out mindless fetch quests: you pick up berries in one spot, for example, then you bring them to someone who needs help finding a hair ribbon, then you find the ribbon and go to someone else who gives you another quest, and so on. It’s just lots and lots of running – or, more accurately, fast walking – around a map that’s not exactly easy to read. You occasionally get to interact with the dinos, but those moments are rare – certainly too rare for a game that has “dinosaurs” in its name twice.
As I said, I know that DINOSAURS: Mission Dino Camp is intended for a younger audience, so some allowances need to be made, and you shouldn’t go in expecting the greatest game ever or anything. But even kid-oriented games can be good, and when they’re done right they can offer hours of entertainment. DINOSAURS: Mission Dino Camp is definitely not done right, and for that reason should just be avoided.
Wild River Games provided us with a DINOSAURS: Mission Dino Camp Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.