Review – Gigantosaurus: The Game

I played a small demo for Gigantosaurus: The Game a while ago and was positively surprised with what I saw, even though I was more than aware that the game wasn’t aimed at me at all, nor at anyone else over the age of six. Then again, games targeted at very small children aren’t always the most polished pieces of software out there (looking at you, Race With Ryan). So I was equally pleased and relieved with what little I saw from that small demo. Cyber Group Studios and Outright Games were taking their time, ensuring that this would be a perfectly adequate entry-level platformer for the young ones to get used to the genre’s tropes.

The full version of Gigantosaurus: The Game is now available and I’m not surprised at all with the results. It is exactly what I was expecting. A very simple, humble, but fairly well-crafted collectathon that will entertain kids for hours. Even some grown-ups who are into 3D platformers from back in the day, such as yours truly.

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These racing sections are really basic, but they did remind me a bit of Diddy Kong Racing. That is NEVER a bad thing.

In Gigantosaurus, you take control of four different little dinos, each one with a specific special ability. You can swap between them at any time, just like in a Lego game. Your main objective is to look for dinosaur eggs, which act as this game’s star/jiggies/general macguffins, and bring them back to a safe nest in the center of the level. There are many other items to collect though, so there’s more than enough content to keep you busy for a while. After collecting enough of them (usually half of them is enough), you’ll trigger an event that will allow you to move to the next level by partaking on a very simple racing minigame.

Gigantosaurus‘ controls are very basic and straightforward. There are no double jumps, air combos, or anything you’d get from a 3D Mario game. Your dinos can jump, run, perform a simple attack, swim, and use their specific special abilities, such as making levers work or ramming onto logs in order to create bridges. It’s as simple as possible to make it easy for the little ones to quickly grasp the basics. The camera controls could have been better implemented, as they are a bit too slow and not sensitive enough to what is happening onscreen. But all in all, controlling your characters in Gigantosaurus: The Game is really trouble free, especially if you grew up playing platformers on the Nintendo 64 and having to deal with the camera with the C buttons.

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You need to collect those in order to progress through the game. They are EVERYWHERE.

When it comes to its presentation, Gigantosaurus is passable. It’s not a game that features fancy visuals or a lot of post-processing and lighting effects, but it does compensate by being really colorful, charming, and above all, faithful to its source material. It also runs fairly well on the Switch, be it in portable or docked mode. It didn’t ever think on reaching 60fps, but it did settle on a fair and rock-solid 30 at all times. The same can be said about the sound design. The soundtrack is cutesy, and it even gave me some slight N64 vibes at times, but it did bore me after a while. The game does try to make up for it with a ton of voice acting, as it features a narrator telling the entire story in a Dr. Seuss-esque poetry style. Will that please you or annoy you?

Finally, there’s the racing bit that the developers and publisher put so much emphasis when talking about Gigantosaurus before release. Honestly, I don’t agree. I just saw these racing sections, which are fairly competent and reminiscent of Diddy Kong Racing, as yet another small distraction to spice the gameplay up a bit, and not exactly something that is a core part of the experience. Just like the slight puzzles and the surprisingly good stealth sections, racing is just here to add up to the pile of things you can do in here. Collecting more macguffins you can think of is still the main selling point of Gigantosaurus.

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I remember back when it was okay to think that dinosaurs were big lizards and not overgrown chicken like nowadays.

Gigantosaurus: The Game is perfectly adequate comfort food. It’s a game that looks and feels like licensed platformers from back in the day; an Achilles’ heel and guilty pleasure of mine. It obviously doesn’t feature the best visuals and gameplay from this generation, but as I said before, this is a perfect entry-level title for kids, as it is chock-full of content without ever being challenging at all. Hell, even collectathon enthusiasts in general will appreciate the vast amount of macguffins this game has to offer.

 

Graphics: 6.0

The visuals are somewhat limited, with not a lot of post-processing or lighting effects, but they compensate by being ridiculously cute and colorful. The game does manage to somewhat recreate the show’s visuals to a fairly competent degree.

Gameplay: 7.5

Your standard 3D platformer control scheme. The controls are very simple. They are responsive, for the most part. The game tries to spice things up by featuring special abilities for each character, as well as some short racing segments with equally simple but decent controls.

Sound: 6.0

The soundtrack is quite repetitive, but I need to admit that it gave some weirdly nostalgic N64 vibes. There is also way more voice acting than expected, even though the whole story is told in rhymes, which will either please or annoy you.

Fun Factor: 7.0

Gigantosaurus can best be described as your kid’s first ever collectathon. There’s no challenge in here whatsoever, but the amount of macguffins to collect and areas to explore is impressive, even for platforming veterans.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Gigantosaurus: The Game is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Gigantosaurus: The Game was provided by the publisher.

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