Friday, December 11, 2015

DinoCity (Super Nintendo)

Smart Egg Software
Irem, 1992

I have no idea where I first learned of this game or when or where I even bought it. I know you aren't supposed to judge a game by it's box art or in this case label art, but man does this game have horrible North American artwork!

I watch a lot of YouTube retro video game shows and I've yet to see this game featured on any of those channels. Kind of half thought it show up on one of Metal Jesus' Hidden Gems videos. Anyhow the game thankfully is much better than this horrible label art. Based loosely on the film Adventures in Dinosaur City, this game was first release in Japan and then later in the U.S..

The game is a side scrolling action type platformer. You can take control of two different small kids, Timmy or his friend, Jamie. Each ride on the back of a different dinosaur and have their own attack and abilities. As you progress through the level you'll eventually come to the end and there will be two doors you can enter. Once you go through enough doors you'll fight a boss before moving onto the next area. 

What I can't figure out is that there are two doors, usually one yellow and one red. I don't know if either color is better than the other. It seems you are randomly transported to an ice cave, jungle or grasslands. There are a total of 6 areas to work through, ultimately chasing Mr. Big which has stolen an important component of a machine that will send Timmy and Jamie back to their home.

Timmy attacks with a close up melee type punch while Jamie can attack with a mid-range dart attack. Each can jump on the head of the enemies a la Super Mario Bros.. You can also dismount from your dinosaur to help solve puzzles to advance through the level. The game does support 2 player simultaneous play which is a nice addition.

The game looks great. It's very colorful and well animated. The music was mostly forgettable. Gameplay wise it's challenging. Honestly I wasn't expecting that much of a challenge. The more I played the better I got, especially using Jamie. The longer range attack was really helpful. This is one of those type of games that once you learn the level layout and enemy patterns it gets easier.

Overall this is an above average game. A quick search on eBay gave plenty of listings for the game and most sellers were asking anywhere from $15 to $20. I'm still looking to pick up the instructions for my copy. If you can find it cheap I'd say give it a try.


  1. The older I get,the more I can appreciate simple games like this.Looks like fun.

  2. nice one, don't have this one yet and never seen it so thanks for the review !!

  3. I remember renting this game from the video store during the SNES era. It was 1 of 2 SNES games they had for rent! (the other game was Taz-mania)