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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs review

A little bit of (pre)history repeating...

Pros

  • Packed with color
  • Core platforming is well developed
  • Won't frustrate youngsters

Cons

  • Unexciting multiplayer offerings
  • Way too easy
  • Too many cutscenes

You might think that decent licensed platform games died out with the dinosaurs. But Activision has experienced reasonable success recently with the likes of Kung Fu Panda, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs follows in the same vein by delivering another competent slice of platforming action. In fact, it might have been a bit of a mini-classic if only the difficulty level had been ramped up a bit.

It’s not as easy as it is by mistake, of course – it’s tailor-made for the younger gamer, and on this level it’s a total success, because we’d imagine this is an enthralling adventure for your average kid. But even if you’re older, the grin worthy charm and the simple but inventive platforming sections will still draw you in, to a degree.

It’s not all pitfalls and double-jumps, mind you. Variety is Ice Age 3’s middle name (but the title was long enough already, so it doesn’t appear on the packaging). One minute you’re hunting down a gazelle (or trying to) as Diego, the next you’re in Sid’s skin, teetering atop a giant snowball, nervously navigating crumbling passageways while nearby dodos attempt to peck you off your perch. It’s consistently lively and nothing outstays its welcome, although it can lay on the cutscenes a little thick at times.

It falls short of an unqualified recommendation at full-price because of a difficulty curve that’s more or less flatlined, and the sometimes glacial (as in ‘ice age’, ha!) pace of the action. But it’s never boring, and doesn’t that count for a lot?

Jul 14, 2009

More Info

GenreChildren's
Description

Offering more than six playable characters, Dawn of the Dinosaurs allows players to master the unique abilities and combat skills of each through a variety of gameplay including action-platforming challenges, side-scrolling missions and puzzle solving.

PlatformPS2, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, PS3, DS
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date30 June 2009 (US), 26 June 2009 (UK)
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