At last year’s PAX, we took a look at Slam Bolt Scrappers, the debut title from young studio Fire Hose Games. This year, they were showing off their sophomore title Go Home Dinosaurs.
Scrappers was aptly labeled as a combination of Tetris and Super Smash Brothers, whereas Go Home Dinosaurs is a tower defense game at its core. A group of gophers is enjoying a nice barbecue, when all of sudden, dinosaurs come storming down on the happy gathering. From here, defending the little guys’ turf becomes a game of strategy and defense.
Gameplay consists of placing defenses on a grid (this is tower defense, after all). The dinosaurs follow a linear path along said grid as they make their way to your precious barbecued meat. Gophers can be placed anywhere other than this path, and they’ll attack the baddies with whatever weapon they have. Should your defenses fail, there are two mines that will instantly kill any dinosaur that reaches that precious grill – but only once. Several types of gophers can be placed, from standard bullet-shooters, to Eskimo-themed defenses that slow the enemy, to mad scientists that drop meteors onto opponents. The stronger and more efficient the troop, the more space on the grid it covers. As with your little guys, there is also a variety to the dinosaurs. Different species can take more damage, which only makes sense: a T-rex should be able to handle more than a compy.
When your placements aren’t pelting dinosaurs with various projectiles, a lone gopher hovers (or rather, stays half-grounded) in the grid. As coconut trees pop up over the battlefield, players can click the growth to send this lone gopher to harvest the coconuts. These coconuts are necessary for purchasing troops – they must be bought before they can be placed – and for stocking up on cash. Stronger troops require greater numbers of coconuts, and a limited number of each type is available; you’ll have to purchase and station the little guys wisely.
After defending your turf, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase items. Cash is collected after every round: leftover coconuts, efficiency in setting your defenses, and time spent on the round all affect how much green you receive. Stronger troops go without saying, but upgrades are also available. These range from stronger overall damage, to starting with extra coconuts, and everything in between. All purchased items come in the form of trading cards. Aside from adding a Pokemon-esque addictive quality, the cards also serve a deck-building purpose. Before every mission, you must choose three types of troops and three upgrades for use in the round – that’s all you get. Building an efficient deck adds a great layer to the usually trite world of tower defense.
Go Home Dinosaurs is bringing more of the cutesy charm that Fire Hose debuted with Slam Bolt Scrappers, but unlike that crazy first title, Dinosaurs is much more accessible and palatable. Look for the title soon in the Google Chrome Web Store.