Video Game / Dino Run
is a Flash-based Platform Game
developed by PixelJAM Games and XGen Studios and released in 2007, which follows a dinosaur as it attempts to survive the end of the world.
The game is Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- the player controls a dinosaur as it runs through several levels filled with pitfalls
, other dinosaurs and an Advancing Wall of Doom
that is destroying the landscape behind them. Along the way, players can pick up power-ups that will boost their speed, strength or jump power, as well as collectible eggs that unlock further content.
In addition to the original game, a Speedrun-centric
minigame called Dino Run: Marathon of Doom
was released in 2011, which focuses on a single stage where the player dinosaur must survive as long as possible, as well as an Updated Re-release
, Dino Run SE
, that adds more levels, an extra gamemode and plenty of new hats.
Play it for free here.
A sequel, simply named Dino Run 2
, was in the works, but it has been shelved until further notice
after the associated Kickstarter
failed to reach its goal. The developers are currently crowdfunding an updated Updated Re-release
, Dino Run DX
, instead, the development page for which can be found here
This game contains examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The speedrun levels "Stego Stampede", "Meteor Meltdown", "Dactyl Dodge" and "Dino Derby".
- Advancing Wall of Doom: The whole game. Luckily, you can get caught up in the edge of the wall and live (and get bonus points for it).
- Alien Invasion: Inverted. The aliens came to save the dinosaurs a la Noah's Ark and take them to their planet.
- Anachronism Stew: No stegosaurs, diplodocoids or brachiosaurids survived to the K-Pg extinction.
- Bittersweet Ending: Every ending (besides the Golden Ending and the Easter Egg) has the player's dinosaur make it to the "dino sanctuary" (an underground cavern). However, the world outside is ravaged and there's little to do except stand around.
- Camera Abuse: The screen shakes whenever a massive meteorite hits the ground in front of the dinosaur.
- Collection Sidequest: The larger eggs of other species are well-hidden, and sometimes require a bit of backtracking (yes, in an AWoD game) to grab. Of course, you're rewarded plenty of DNA and bones for finding them, so if you want to upgrade your abilities and buy things without grinding, it may be in your best interest to start searching.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The player's dino turns green after grabbing a speed boost, purple after a jump boost, and red after a strength boost.
- Convection Schmonvection: Running above/through active volcanoes? No problem. Running on a flaming meteor? No problem.
- Cosmetic Award:
- A message on the title screen informs the player that they can unlock new hats by "being awesome" (which entails beating stages on certain difficulties, etc).
- The Bronze, Silver and Gold Crowns are awarded for beating all stages on Normal, Hard and Insane difficulties, respectively).
- Death Throws: When AI dinosaurs or critters are killed by meteors or boulders, their corpses fall off-screen while slowly spinning.
- Disturbed Doves: Birds will stay situated in their trees until the dinosaur gets close to them. A bonus is achieved if the player can eat them by jumping.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: You can be rescued from the apocalypse by aliens, but only if you play on Insane difficulty. The other endings have you holding out in a cave.
- Easter Egg: Dino Paradise.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Hitting the speed or strength boost button with 500 DNA lets your dino run through most obstacles, including boulders and other dinosaurs.
- Golden Ending: Beating the game on Insane difficulty ends with the player dinosaur being rescued by an alien race and taken onboard their spaceship, which is relocated to Planet D with members of the other dinosaur races.
- Harder Than Hard: Insane difficulty. Don't have the maximum stats? You'll be lucky to stay more than five seconds ahead of the Wall of Doom if you make NO mistakes. Got the maximum stats? One or two false moves or missed power-ups may still be all it takes to meet your pyroclastic end.
- Helpful Mook: Any pterodactyls that aren't flashing red and flying to the left can be jumped into, and they'll actually carry you quite a ways before dropping you. In later levels, there are also Parasaurolophus you can jump on the back of for a free ride.
- Interface Screw: When the wall of doom gets closer, the screen gets darker to the point where you can barely see your dino, much less the obstacles you're trying to avoid. Right before the wall overtakes you, it will block out most of the screen.
- Justified Extra Lives: Extra lives are referred to as "time shifts", and further lives can be added based on how many bones/points are acquired throughout the various levels.
- Lava Pit: Present throughout the "Apocalypse" levels.
- Made of Iron: Boulder hits your dino in the head? Caught in a meteorite impact? Run headlong into a Triceratops? No problem. As long as the wall doesn't catch up, your dino is A-OK.
- Mighty Glacier: The ceratopsids and stegosaurs can destroy small boulders, but plod along very slowly (often in the wrong direction) and are nowhere as agile as the player dinosaur.
- Mood Whiplash: Playing on Easy results in one less stage before the final level. This is rather jarring because the level in between serves as the moment of the game where you know it's all going downhill, where the environment becomes dark and overtly hostile. Averted if you play through on Medium or higher.
- Nice Hat: Many hats can be unlocked throughout the game, and do nothing more than add a level of customization to your character.
- Nitro Boost: Ducking while running over any flower results in a speed bonus. These bonuses can be chained to make the dino run much faster than normal (to the point that it's possible to run off the right side of the screen).
- Oh Crap!: An exclamation mark appears over the player dinosaur's head when the wall of doom gets close.
- One Dino Limit:
- Played straight when a dino successfully makes it to a challenge ending, since you get a differently colored dino to play as for a new game. (While you might think you got the yellow -your first- dino again at first, note that there are patterns on it that make it different.) Averted if you fail, as though the screen says "Your dino is extinct", returning to the main menu still shows the "extinct" dino ready to go again.
- After 'saving' enough dinos, you can customize your next dino's colors. And make them wear 'hats' too.
- Power Up Mount: The pterosaurs and Parasaurolophus are useful for bypassing obstacles and speeding up progress.
- Ptero Soarer: The pterosaurs can grab things with their feet, including small boulders and the player dinosaur.
- Randomly Generated Level: The basic geography of the level stays the same, but the positioning and frequency of the obstacles change each time it's played.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Among the bonus eggs you can find are those of the hadrosaur Olorotitan, the oviraptorosaur Rinchenia and the megalosauroid Magnosaurus (although it should be said that the Magnosaurus egg or "Magno" egg is found in a volcano and lava-coloured).
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Several, some of which are pointed out (but not necessary) by the game itself.
- Doing a low-level run (when your stats are at their weakest).
- "Boulder Riding" or "Doom Surfing" (the latter of which has the dino stay as close to the wall of doom without dying) for as long as possible.
- Using any of the "mod" cheat codes (Lights Out and Meteor Storm) during the various speedruns, which ups the overall difficulty and number of obstacles.
- Shout-Out: Many.
- The aliens who appear in the Insane difficulty ending look like the Xenomorphs from the Alien series.
- Many of the hats are pop-culture references, encompassing everything from Atari 2600's Adventure to Mine Craft, to Spy Vs. Spy, Michael Jackson, DEVO, Destructoid and much, much more.
- Spanner in the Works: The rats and lizards are basically powerups, but they can really mess up your day if they happen to step on a bridge you're crossing.
- Speedrun: The game encourages this, via standalone levels that can be unlocked and used in a "Time Trial" mode. The Marathon of Doom standalone game also encourages this, as the whole point is to beat the stage as fast as possible.
- Stock Dinosaurs: With the overall design of the game being very stylized, it's not really possible to identify the dinosaurs down to their specific genus except through Word of God. However, it's clear that all the dinosaurs belong to stock clades (ceratopsids, sauropods, ankylosaurs, parasaurolophinins, stegosaurs) or have stock body plans (small theropods).
- Sugar Bowl: Look at it. Cutesy 8-bit graphics, dinosaurs with beady dot eyes, vibrantly colored settings… What Could Possibly Go Wrong? The Sugar Apocalypse. That's what.
- Time Stands Still: The "time freeze", although it's technically the pause option.
- Time Trial: The speedrun levels. In some levels, it's actually harder to stay ahead of the wall.
- Too Dumb to Live: Most of the larger dinos actually run toward the doom wall, instead of away from it.
- Try Not to Die
- Unlockable Content: A surprising amount of content can be unlocked by collecting bones and redeeming them in the menu. The unlockable content includes concept art, desktop wallpapers, songs and even the original prototype of the game.
- Video Game Caring Potential: One of the goals is to save as many eggs as possible. On the opposite side, though…
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: …you can ignore every egg in the game and go straight for the end as fast as possible, leaving them to be engulfed by the advancing wave of destruction. You can even directly cause their demise by rolling stones or trampling your Parasaurolophus mounts over them.