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The Best Idea: Dinosaurs On A Spaceship

Oh god, no! Don't look this way! Aim your early 1990s cordless phone at the dinosaur, for goodness' sake.

My favorite thing about Jurassic Park was how dinosaurs always somehow managed to end up in the absolute worst places. Right on the brink of a gigantic, car-devouring abyss? Yep. In a cramped generator room where everyone could’ve sworn they left the rest of Samuel L Jackson? Naturally. Oh, and how about the kitchen? I was half expecting to find raptors dressed in full chef regalia just going about their business when the kids fled in there. Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, however, is a “retro-styled futuristic top-down survival horror game” that’s looking to take that idea a couple million steps further. Yes, yes, that obviously means space, but how the prehistoric ultra-lizards managed to get there is a story that actually sounds kind of – dare I say it – interesting?

Here, then, is the plot, which is actually a thing this game has:

“Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is a retro-styled futuristic top-down survival horror game. Which following the title will have the player facing mecha-dinosaurs invading the ‘Cradle’, a spaceship constructed to carry the remains of the human species in cryogenic sleep to a new world leaving a heavily polluted earth. The twist is: the dinosaurs did the same when facing their extinction. They left the doomed planet to the lowly mammals and other lesser beasts, vowing to return when the Earth was once again suitable for life.”

As a result, your nearly pitch-black ship will quickly be overrun by “vindictive, now homeless mecha-dinosaurs.” Truly, the most dangerous combination.

In order to avoid certain, roarstomp boomkerplode death, stealth, exploration, puzzle solving, and occasional action are your only options. And sure, it all seems quite graphically simplistic, but recent survival-horror outings like Lone Survivor and Home have pretty well proven that you don’t need Unreal Engine 437 to secrete wretched, oozing fear.

Of course, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship seems to be looking for a comfortable line smack dab in the center of scares and silliness, so we’ll see how that works out for it when it releases later this year. But still, dinosaurs. In space. Admittedly, it’s sort of already been done by that one Dino Crisis game nobody liked, but I’m all for someone else having another go at it. I mean, someone made a dinosaur dating sim recently. How hard can mechafuture prehistoric survival-horror in retrospace actually be?

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Nathan Grayson

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