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Dino Eggs: Rebirth Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Dino Eggs: Rebirth is a loving tribute to a forgotten gem. It offers a number of brand new modes, updated graphics and even multiplayer support. But even with all these enhancements, I'm not sure this will appeal to gamers who missed out on the original. Rating: 64%
Dino Eggs: Rebirth
Dino Eggs: Rebirth Dino Eggs: Rebirth Dino Eggs: Rebirth Dino Eggs: Rebirth
  • Review Score:

  • B-
Long before indie games became trendy, they were simply known as 'games.' While there were still big companies commanding attention, many of the releases from the early days came from one or two dedicated programmers working out of the garage. One of those games was Dino Eggs, a 1983 Apple II hit from David Schroeder. Although simple in scope, this addictive action game helped lay the groundwork for an entire generation of cute platformers.

Three decades have passed since "Time Master" Tim meddled with prehistory. In that time we've seen the invent of virtual reality, the internet and exploding hoverboards that don't really hover. But for all the changes this world has experienced, we still love a good, old-fashioned 2D platformer. And just in time to ride the wave of golden oldie reboots is Dino Eggs: Rebirth, a game that attempts introduce a new generation to the primordial ooze of mascot games.

As you might have guessed already, "Time Master" Tim got his nickname from discovering a portal that sent him back to 100,000,000 BC. What you may not realize is that Tim accidentally contaminated the eggs, which sent him on a mission to save all the infected dinosaurs from the common cold. Years have passed and Tim has retired from the egg-collecting game, but now his daughter, Tamara, has the itch. Together they will travel through the different eras grabbing dinosaur eggs and sending them into the distant future.

Of course, it's never as easy as it sounds. Our heroes can only hold three eggs at once and are constantly forced to dodge snakes, spiders, flying critters and more. They'll also need to navigate the maze, all while dodging the dinosaur mother's gigantic foot. If you can collect all the eggs and roaming dinos, then you can move on to the next level and start the process all over again.

While the premise is simple, the gameplay is deeper than you might expect. Players can use the spider's web to double jump, bonfires can be started to keep the mother away, power-ups can be collected, boulders can be dropped to kill enemies and Tim and Tam can even trap baby dinosaurs with a special jumping technique. You'll need to master every last mechanic if you plan on saving all of the eggs.

Dino Eggs: Rebirth (Windows)Click For the Full Picture Archive

As a concept, this variation on the tried-and-true maze game formula is perfectly sound. It gets old after an extended amount of time, but that's true of most arcade-style action games of that era. Thankfully, Dino Eggs: Rebirth has taken this fun but limited concept and added a bunch of challenge, puzzle and multiplayer modes to the affair.

It's these puzzle levels that impress me the most, as they force you to look at the mechanics in a different way. For example, instead of constantly avoiding the poisonous snakes, there are times when it's actually advantageous to get bit. There are a number of brain-teasers that had me stumped for longer than I care to admit, and that was even after mastering every move. There are dozens of levels to be unlocked throughout the course of the game, including four different time periods to explore. What looks like a simple time-waster at first glance will ultimately take hours to complete.

As impressed as I was with the variety of modes and levels, I found myself tiring of the repetitive action. The game doesn't do enough to differentiate itself from stage to stage, and I wish they added more enemies to the mix. The visual presentation is also lackluster, though certainly better than the Apple II original. There are two different graphic styles to choose from, both of which grow stale after a few levels.

Dino Eggs: Rebirth (Windows)Click For the Full Picture Archive

As somebody who grew up playing Dino Eggs on the Commodore 64, it didn't take much for the nostalgia to flood in. That said, I'm not sure this will appeal to gamers who missed out on the original. Even with the improvements, the game still feels dated when compared to the hundreds of platformers released in the three decade hiatus. But even if it doesn't bring any new fans in, Dino Eggs: Rebirth is a loving tribute that makes a strong argument for its place in the annals of video game history.

(Note: Dino Eggs Rebirth is currently sitting in Steam Greenlight waiting for votes. You can buy the game right now at the official website for $10.)
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