Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
Danger Zone is a weird one for me, because I must have played it over about 10 years of my childhood. It turns the eponymous park into a board game, where every space triggers a solo or multiplayer mini-game. I had a friend who lived far enough away that our families only met up a few times a year. They were the rare occasions where I’d get to play local multiplayer games, and Danger Zone was always the first thing we’d load up on each visit.
Every mini-game starts with a little theme song, many of which we still sing at each other to this day. I’ll probably be humming our (incredibly witty) ‘Pull Your Pants Up’ parody of ‘Paleo Pair-up’ on my death bed.
Some of the mini-games are more exciting than others. My favourite was Raging Raptors, where (and I’m really not sure to what end) both players would control a simulated velociraptor in a fight to the death. I went through a period of winning those duels by just spamming the tail-whip button, leading to my friend tearing the keyboard away from me in frustration while accusing me of cheating. Years down the line, we’d have sophisticated conversations about what constitutes a ‘scrub’.
It hardly mattered who actually won the mini-games: victory went to the first person who, in a special mini-game, could fill their DNA tube with DNA from their chosen dino. Neither of us would ever fail – even when we deliberately chose Compies or Pterodactyls – so the winner would just be whoever was the first to land on three of those spaces.
I only just found out that some of the game was ripped from Jurassic Park III: Dino Defender, and I don’t know how I feel about that.