Gigantosaurus The Game is a fun-filled family 3D platformer/racing adventure game based on a children’s animated television series. The four main characters work together in each level to explore, collect seeds and return missing dinosaur eggs to their nests, before racing away in go-karts to discover new areas.
The game begins with a colourful animated story with narration and subtitles explaining a little about each character and the predicaments that they will be facing. The narration even rhymes and is very much aimed at the younger players, but this relates very well to the animated series and certainly fully captured the attention of my nieces who are 4 and 7 years old.
The controls are fairly simple, perhaps slightly trickier for very young players but not so difficult that they can’t enjoy the game by just jumping and moving around with a little guidance or help from others. In multiplayer mode the characters did occasionally get stuck on certain scenery and refused to move at all, causing a restart and a small amount of frustration, but it didn’t happen in single player. It was very helpful that the flowers accurately bounce the dinosaurs up onto platforms because the camera tends to spin around and zoom in and out (with no way to control it) making movement a little tricky at times. It is possible that the added camera control would have been too difficult for the intended audience to control so even though its movements sometimes appear a little irrational, it definitely wasn’t the worst experience taking everything into consideration.
If a player falls off a platform or gets stuck, they will reappear in a bubble next to (or on top of) the player in front, but this isn’t always reliable and can sometimes take both players speeding off in the wrong direction. Luckily there aren’t many time limits in the game, so this is usually not too much of a problem other than having to begin the task all over again. In some games, cut scenes can feel inconveniently placed or too lengthy, but the balance felt about right for a children’s game and actually provided a nice little break from gameplay now and again.
As it is based on a preschool show, it is likely that this will mostly appeal to families with young children. There are many elements of this game that will encourage family engagement and with the racing elements and challenges in the various areas involving puzzles, there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy. Each dinosaur even has its own special ability which is required to perform different tasks along the way so it will certainly keep them occupied for some time while they figure everything out.
Players may join or exit at any point without it disrupting the game so it will easily provide some very positive and enjoyable interactions, especially if parents need to stop to do other tasks or join in again occasionally to help the younger players who have got stuck. The game can also be saved from the menu at any point; a very useful feature that will help to avoid arguments about stopping playing to do something that is more important!
The release date is conveniently timed, as many families are currently stuck at home and desperately looking for ways to distract the kids. This might encourage parents to pay the £34.99 price tag, but under usual circumstances this feels a little steep in comparison to what is available in the genre of children’s games for much less.
The music is very cheerful, creating a rather positive atmosphere and, although repetitive, it feels suitable for the target audience – children really do enjoy repetition, so this is acceptable (for once!) in these circumstances. Any child who has seen the television series will obviously love to jump right into the action but for anyone who hasn’t seen it before, there is no reason why they wouldn’t enjoy it just as much. From an adult perspective, it is certainly not as interesting or stimulating in single player as other games that are aimed at children, but playing alongside children really is great fun. It seems that Gigantosaurus will easily keep them busy and having fun as the game is varied enough, takes a while to complete and there is so much to do. It also gives children to opportunity to just wander around and enjoy interacting with the environment, as many younger children seem happy to do in games as a break from reality.
Whether it was intentional or not, this game certainly requires teamwork skills in multiplayer as they are not able to move around freely in any direction, so it requires verbal communication and cooperation to enjoy it together. Among younger siblings this may cause some conflict to begin with but these are certainly beneficial skills to practise for later in life!
Gigantosaurus The Game is a very friendly and easy going title which will provide hours distraction for young children and fun the whole family. It is not too difficult to play and there is a good balance of puzzles, collectable items, races and cut scene animations to keep everyone amused and entertained. It is likely to lose its appeal once the kids reach a certain level of maturity, but it is definitely recommended for families with younger children that need a good diversion and older family members who can jump in and out to help if anyone gets stuck.