TinkerTown: Leaving something to be Desired

I really wanted to like this one. You can get TinkerTown on Steam for $16.99.

TinkerTown is not a bad Game

Before I dive into TinkerTown, I want to be clear: This game is not bad; I just found it incredibly dull. I went in with no expectations and somehow was still disappointed by various aspects of the game. From the game’s pace to the building, and finally, the one NPC I met, TinkerTown got boring exceptionally quick. 

If these kinds of games are your thing, I recommend this game to anyone with friends to play with. Just be aware that there isn’t a story, and some parts of the exploration will feel like a slog. 

This is what crafting looks like in TinkerTown.

TinkerTown is Slow

TinkerTown feels like a slog to play. The movement speed felt like the developer had cut it in half, and the gathering felt like it was taken forever. A big problem I had with the game’s speed was the combat. It becomes a slow dance to see who takes the most damage first.

The building does not Matter? 

When a game has a base-building component, I have to try it right away. I have hours in Minecraft trying to build locations. In TinkerTown, it feels like building amounts to nothing. You will have to have a good imagination to get the structure to look just the way you want it. 

I wanted to like TinkerTown 

I went in with no expectations and came out bored and disappointed. When writing this review, the game is in early access. I feel like it needs a lot more time in development.

The scope of the game felt confusing to me. Many of the games with mechanics like TinkerTown pack a punch in other areas. TinkerTown feels like it tried to borrow from the best games in the genre and missed the mark completely. 

I only played TinkerTown for a short time. I may revisit it in the future. In its current state, TinkerTown does not do it for me. 

Go Home Dinosaurs: Full Game Review: Not for tower defense veterans

Here they come!

Go Home Dinosaurs was released on Steam in 2013 by Fire Hose Games. The premise is fairly simple. You have to stop hoards of dinosaurs from crashing your BBQ and stealing all the steaks. The towers in this game act like puzzle pieces and must be fit in accordingly. Go Home Dinosaurs has 60 levels for the price of $9.99 on Steam. For that price tag, you’re getting plenty of levels to play.

I judged this game too early 

When I downloaded Go Home Dinosaurs, I was convinced it would look and play like a mobile game. By the second level, I was wrong. Go Home Dinosaurs has a refreshing level of polish and thought. 

The art style is charming, especially for the dinosaurs. The style works well for each level, and the towers are well designed on the outside. Go Home Dinosaurs should not be underestimated solely by its appearance. 

One level example.

The towers could have used more time 

In a tower defense game, the most important element is the towers. The gimmick of Go Home Dinosaurs is that each tower is a puzzle piece, meaning you can’t use every tower on every level. I find myself constantly trying to use my favorite towers, only for them not to fit. 

Some of the towers I had.

Tower Economy

To buy more towers during a level, you have to gather and spend coconuts. Some towers cost three coconuts, and some cost as many as seven. The tower economy is strange because of the puzzle aspect of the game. 

The upgraded rock shooter is seven coconuts and takes up a larger area than the three coconut shooters. The developers appeared to have tied in the strength of a tower to the size and shape. For the most part, this makes sense, except the meteor launcher that you can purchase for eight coconuts becomes obsolete if you use a couple of smaller towers.

This all depends on what level you’re playing as well. In some instances, the meteor launcher will be the best you can use for an area, and other times it would be a waste to place it down.  

Tower Shape 

Although I like the gimmick of each tower being a puzzle piece, I hate how tower shapes seem to be decided. Each tower can only fit into a certain number of blocks, and of course, each tower can only do so much damage. 

Some of the shapes make no sense and appear to take up more space than they should. Other shapes seem too big for what the tower does.

Some of the dinosaurs don’t make sense with the tower selection in the game either.

The Dinosaurs 

The dinosaurs in the game and the available tower selection do not make sense. Some of the dinosaurs make the towers feel useless. Bruno acts as a meat shield for other dinosaurs to hide behind. The hitbox is unclear, and the hiding mechanic drives me nuts. In instances where it seems the tower should be hitting a dinosaur, it doesn’t because Bruno is in front. 

The best thing about the dinosaurs is the variety and art style. I wish Go Home Dinosaurs had larger maps so all of the dinosaurs could be utilized to their fullest potential. The tightness of each map makes it hard to track what dinosaurs are on the field as well. 

The Shop is so close to being useless 

The shop in Go Home Dinosaurs does not provide towers. Instead, it offers one-use items and skins. You can also purchase a vegetarian option: Although I get the sentiment, I can’t help but be confused as to why that’s even an option? Steaks and salads would make sense since some of the dinosaurs would prefer a salad over a steak. 

I digress. 

The one-use items are not useless, but I have never preferred taking them over another tower card. Since tower cards are limited, I like to take as many as the map allows. The skins are a nice touch. 

The shop would have been better if you could buy tower cards or more tower card slots. Go Home Dinosaurs has one of the worst shops I have ever seen. Luckily there are no microtransactions, and the coins can be earned as you play. 

Go Home Dinosaurs is a fun experience for fans of all ages 

Despite my nitpicking, I genuinely believe Go Home Dinosaurs is a fun experience. I would suggest Go Home Dinosaurs to anyone who likes tower defense games but does not want to spend a lot of time planning and buying upgrades. 

Go Home Dinosaurs is perfect for kids. The reading in the game is minimal, and the concepts are easy enough to understand, plus the art style screams kid-friendly. There are no curse words in the game. Go Home Dinosaurs does not feature any blood or gore either. Go Home Dinosaurs can be a fun place to start for fans new to the tower defense genre. 

Time to go home 

Go Home Dinosaurs is a game I do not regret playing. Although it lacked the depth I enjoy in tower defense games, I found myself itching to progress to the next level. The shop is one of my biggest complaints about the game because it feels tacked on. 

Go Home Dinosaurs would be best enjoyed by children or people who are looking for a more straightforward tower defense game. The tower system works for its purpose but could be better. You can tell when levels are specifically designed to be used with certain towers. 

Go Home Dinosaurs will be receiving a 5/10 because of the animations and lack of depth. However, the game is fun to play, and I can recommend it if you pick it up on sale. 

Rating: 5 out of 10.
Victory Screen.

I took all the screenshots in this article during my play-through. Please do not use these screenshots or this article for any reason.

Go Home Dinosaurs: Mini-Review: A fun tower defense game, mostly.

Go Home Dinosaurs is a fun tower defense game released on Steam in 2013. The premise is straightforward. You have to defend your barbeque from dinosaurs using a variety of traps that each have a different shape.

The gimmick for this tower defense game is the puzzle pieces. Each trap can only fit in a certain area, like Tetris: Not every trap will be usable on every map.

Not for veterans of tower defense games 

Tower defense games are some of my favorites to play. With that in mind, I can’t recommend this game to anyone who has played even a fraction of the tower defense genre. Despite having some complex elements, Go Home Dinosaurs does leave some to be desired. 

Great for newcomers 

Go Home Dinosaurs is a game I would recommend to newcomers! The store is not that complex and could probably be avoided. The traps are straightforward, and the levels are well designed. 

If you have never played a tower defense game, I suggest starting with Go Home Dinosaurs.

Conclusion 

Go Home Dinosaurs is a fun tower defense game that lacks depth. Despite having some cool ideas baked into it, I could not stay interested long enough to recommend this game to genre veterans. 

Children and players who are not familiar with the genre will likely have a good time with this game. Go Home Dinosaurs has a fun art style and a simple premise that will make it easy to follow. If you’re looking for a more “advanced” tower defense game, this is not your game.

Go Home Dinosaurs will be receiving a 3/5 for its mini-review because of the lack of depth and the general uselessness of the store. Although I like the puzzle gimmick, it does get old fast. There is some variety in the traps you can use but not enough to justify some of the design details.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I took screenshots used in this article. Do not use the content in this article for your own purposes.

Left 4 Dead: Level Dive: Crash Course: Not My Favorite Level, Not Even Close.

The start of the Crash Course campaign.

Understanding what Crash Course is. 

The Crash Course level is not an introduction level, and it is not supposed to be telling a major story. Crash Course is a filler level that explains what happens after No Mercy but before Death Toll (if I have the order of levels correct.) The Crash Course level is designed to fill in some blanks. 

When the level starts, you’re greeted by the burning helicopter the survivors used at the end of No Mercy: It crashed, and now the survivors have to get to a truck. Everything is pretty straightforward, and like No Mercy, the level design is cut and dry. 

That damn truck.

No Problem With Filler 

Because of the number of campaigns in Left 4 Dead, I have no problem with filler. My issue lies with how bland Crash Course feels. Left 4 Dead has some spectacular level design further in the game, but Crash Course feels like it is missing some love. 

The filler is fine because the campaign is short. There are only two levels. Crash Course feels extremely washed out. I was expecting something like this because of the general setting of the level. 

Waiting for the truck made me want to pull my hair out. 

Typically, I don’t have any problems with these portions of the game. In No Mercy, you have to wait for the helicopter to arrive before you can escape. Something about Crash Course felt slow. 

Defending the truck had me wanting to pull my hair out from the moment it began inching its way down. The hoards of zombies were fine enough, and fighting two tanks was fun, but I couldn’t wait for this level to be over. 

Final Score 

The Crash Course level will receive a 2/5 on its level dive. Although I understood the purpose of the level and its story, I couldn’t help but count the minutes until the level was over.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Left 4 Dead: No Mercy Level Dive: It Feels like Coming Home

Clearing the hospital in Left 4 Dead. This screenshot was taken on Steam.

No Mercy is one of the best levels I have ever had to play. Few games give me the feeling of returning home like I have been away for too long. This feeling of familiarity is one of the biggest reasons I replay No Mercy every time I download the game.

No Mercy will not Waste Your Time. 

The best thing about No Mercy is the speed at which the player can complete it. If you wanted to you can speed run No Mercy with minimal effort using just the bots. Each level has a few rooms you can check but Left 4 Dead is not about collecting collectibles, so you’re not missing much if you decide to rush. 

Level Designs are Straight Forward 

Each level is straightforward. You will not have to walk around in circles, scanning the various areas repeatedly. Some levels require you to trigger the hoard, but you never have to fetch anything. 

The goal of the game is to survive, and No Mercy encapsulates that. It is easy to find where you need to go next as you run through each level. The level that has you jumping down the utility hole cover has bends and twists, but the gameplay flow always leads you to the next door. 

The Washed Out Colors 

No Mercy is devoid of bright colors; even inside the hospital, it feels like the level has been drained of its color. It is understandable; lack of color has been used to make levels look “scarier” for a long time. However, I feel like No Mercy often feels too muted.

I could adjust the gamma or the brightness of my screen, but oftentimes the darkness does not bother me. Despite feeling like No Mercy could benefit from more colors, the lack of strong colors never takes away from the overall level design.

Defending the Hospital Never Gets Old

Killing zombies on the roof.

When you reach No Mercy’s last level, the survivors have to hold out on the roof of the hospital until the helicopter arrives: This part of the campaign never gets old to me. 

You have the option of using a mounted machine gun, multiple bombs, and various gas tanks to hold your position as you fight waves of zombies. As you hold out, more zombies and tanks will spawn. Up until the helicopter’s arrival, every moment feels tense, provided you’re not playing on easy mode. 

The race to the helicopter is the best part because there are multiple opportunities for a special infected to grab you. When you play on a higher difficulty, the damage taken between the building and helicopter could kill you outright. 

The AI Gave Me A Run for My Money 

As I progressed through No Mercy’s various levels, the AI would slowly do things to annoy me. My biggest grievance is waiting for them to enter the safe room. In Left 4 Dead, the AI does not use grenades either, but I knew that going in. 

No Mercy. No Problem. 

No Mercy is always fun to run through, regardless of how many times I have played it. It benefits from being one of the few levels I can return to after long breaks and jump right in. 

Left 4 Dead does have multiple campaigns, and No Mercy sets up perfectly for the next one. Clearing the hospital and defending the rooftop is still one of my favorite moments in gaming. 

No Mercy will be receiving a 5/5 because of the simplistic level design that does not drag on for too long—creative set pieces and an epic ending that leaves me wanting more. Although the AI drove me crazy and the level appeared dark at times, neither of these things was enough to take away my enjoyment of the level. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.