Review: 3D Dinosaur Adventure
While it may not be able to compete with modern-day 3D technology, at the time of its release, 3D Dinosaur Adventure was unlike almost anything else on the market. With a variety of interactive games and information at the player’s fingertips, this game is exciting and informative at the same time. However, the whole game does not feature 3D graphics. The game includes a small number of features that require the use of 3D glasses and provide the player with an exciting 3D experience.
3D Dinosaur Adventure is an educational computer game for children all about dinosaurs, however, it has received mixed reviews. Some praise its educational and informative premise and highlight how beneficial it is for the younger generations. Others have criticized the graphics and somewhat primitive gaming experience it provides. We will take a closer look at the critics later in this article and let you form your own opinion of this classic computer game from the 90s. First, let's take a look at the game itself, the creators, and how the game works.
What is 3D Dinosaur Adventure?
3D Dinosaur Adventure was developed by Knowledge Adventure and released in 1993. Knowledge Adventure, an American based company, are creators of educational software, including titles like My First Encyclopedia.
Being an educational software company, it is no surprise that they released 3D Dinosaur Adventure. The game was released to be compatible with DOS, Macintosh and Windows 3.x and is built around a theme park setting. The aim of the game is to explore the theme park and the different areas which are contained within this setting.
Within the breakdown of the game, players can visit a virtual museum located at the theme park, as well as take part in a variety of quizzes and access an encyclopedia full of dinosaur-related information. While the game is classified as 3D, there are only certain parts of the game that feature 3D graphics.
The game itself comes with two sets of 3D glasses, and in certain parts of the game the players need to wear them in order to experience the full effects of the 3D graphics. The main parts of the game which include 3D graphics are short, informative clips of dinosaurs; these appear to jump out of the screen at the viewer. Players will also need to wear their 3D glasses when they visit the dinosaur museum, but this provides exciting 3D images of various dinosaurs.
It is clear that this game falls firmly in the educational category of games. Within the game there are plenty of opportunities for the user to learn and find out new and interesting facts about dinosaurs. 3D Dinosaur Adventure has also taken into account that a number of age ranges may be interested in this topic and has adapted how the information is delivered.
While older children will be interested in accessing the encyclopedia for information, within the game there are a number of storybooks that are targeted at younger children. Both the encyclopedia and the storybooks are read aloud, with the option to read along, making the game accessible for a variety of ages.
Arguably, one of the most attractive features of the game is the movie theatre in the theme park. Players have access to 30 live-action films in the theatre. The films cover a great number of topics and themes, all related to dinosaurs, of course. The films are different lengths and are both entertaining and humorous.
As previously mentioned, the game is set within a theme park. Obviously, this is a great choice as it is an exciting place for the game to take place, especially in the eyes of the target audience. The theme park setting also allows for the game to be logically set up, and easy for the player to navigate and find their way around.
There are three main areas within the theme park; each of these areas provides a variety of games and activities for the player to get stuck into. Each section of the theme park offers plenty of features, including interesting facts and information. Let's take a closer look at some of the different features within the game and how to make the most of 3D Dinosaur Adventure. To do this, we will break down each section of the theme park and highlight the different activities available in that section.
In the Triassic Tour section, there are a number of exciting features and activities. Players can test their dinosaur knowledge by playing Name-a-Saurus. They can also access a Dinosaur storybook which is read aloud and gives the user the chance to read along too. This feature is really great for players of all ages.
Finally, within the Triassic Tour section of the theme park, players can access the 3D Dinosaur museum.
This is arguably the most exciting feature of this section as it utilizes full use of the provided 3D glasses. As players take their tour of the museum they will see exciting 3D images of a wide variety of different dinosaurs.
This could be considered the most creative section within the game. Jurassic Jungle allows children to explore, discover and create. This section is also easily accessible for younger children, as the activities available are not dependent on knowing a great deal of facts about dinosaurs.
The first activity in the Jurassic Jungle section is called Photo Safari. As the name suggests, players are taken on a safari and get a taste of what life is like as a wildlife photographer.
Only the subject of their photographs are the wildest creatures of all. Players get to search for and discover a variety of different dinosaurs and take photos to look at later.
Another fun and creative activity in this section is called Create-a-Saurus. This is a feature that allows users to let their creativity shine through. Players can design their very own dinosaurs out of everyday materials. This great feature will keep children of all ages entertained as well as letting their creativity blossom.
Finally, within the Jurassic Jungle players can yet again use their 3D glasses. As mentioned previously, there is a great selection of 3D videos all about dinosaurs. All the videos in the theater are informative yet entertaining and cover a wide range of topics.
Within this final section of the theme park are two more captivating activities for any youngster interested in dinosaurs.
First up there is a quiz game called “Who Am I?” In this game, players have to use picture clues to figure out which kind of dinosaur they are looking at. This activity provides a great opportunity for them to consolidate their learning and what they have found out in other areas of the game. However, as this activity requires a bit more knowledge about dinosaurs, it is more accessible for older children.
3D Dinosaur Adventure also provides users with a game within a game. Save the Dinosaurs is a race against the clock to rescue dinosaurs. In order to play, users must use the mouse to navigate through a maze-like setting. The aim of the game is to save all 15 kinds of dinosaur before the time runs out. Players are aiming to try and save them all before they are wiped out by a comet hurtling towards Earth.
What the Critics Think of 3D Dinosaur Adventure
While this game has a multitude of different activities and features to keep children entertained, 3D Dinosaur Adventure has received mixed reviews. That said, most reviews are positive with the only real criticism being related directly to the quality of the graphics. Some praised its innovative technology and use of 3D glasses to enhance images, giving users the experience of dinosaurs appearing to jump out of the screen at them. Others argued that Knowledge Adventure were capable of making better.
Educationally, the game received plenty of praise. The Educational Technology Handbook highlighted that the game and its animation sequences had the ability to not only inform students but help them retain the information they had learned. The game also won Best Overall Education Program in 1994.
PC Mag did praise the game as a good reference tool for young learners but highlighted that the technology and special effects could have been better. That said, it is clear that 3D Dinosaur Adventure is a great resource for any children interested in learning about dinosaurs.
What We Think of 3D Dinosaur Adventure
While this game is obviously not really relevant in today’s market, 3D Dinosaur Adventure was an exciting and informative game that was mainly well-received when released in 1993. However, the one thing that arguably let it down was its primitive graphics and special effects.
That considered, let’s focus on the main point of the game; it is ultimately an informative resource aimed at educating children and students about dinosaurs. The element of 3D graphics is an added exciting factor, but it is not the entire objective of the game.
The game itself only has a limited number of features that allow users to access the 3D imagery. But at the time this limited number was still enough to give the game an edge and add extra levels of excitement and engagement.
The features of the game that do include 3D graphics are well-executed and interactive. They add an exciting element to the learning process and allow the user to feel even more connected to these prehistoric reptiles featured in the game, especially when watching the variety of 3D movie clips.
There are also a great number of different activities and features included within 3D Dinosaur Adventure. This is something that is very important in order to open up the game’s appeal to a wider variety of age ranges and interests. The game is easily accessible to children of all ages and has thoughtfully adapted features to accommodate these different groups.
The availability of a number of different kinds of activities is also great as it allows learners of all abilities and interests to find something that they’re keen on. Not everyone learns in the same way, and this game tries to support that with a number of different, yet interesting and informative, activities.
Overall, we think 3D Dinosaur Adventure is a great piece of kit. It may not stand up well against modern-day technology standards and it may not appeal to the current generation of children. But, at the time of release, this was a wonderful resource.
There are a great deal of different activities available on 3D Dinosaur Adventure to keep children busy for hours. The information is delivered in an instructional yet exciting and interactive way and this is arguably one of the best methods to learn and retain information. With the added feature of quizzes within the game, players are also given the opportunity to consolidate their learning and test what they still need to find out.
While the entire game does not contain 3D graphics, the areas of the game that do are well-executed and interesting. The fact that the game also comes with two pairs of 3D glasses is also a plus; this allows for more than one player to play the game. The second pair can also serve as a spare pair if the others are broken or lost.
We think that the 3D Dinosaur Adventure game is a great educational resource that still appeals to different age ranges. With a wide variety of different games and activities to get stuck into, there really is something for everyone. Why not dig out a copy and have a go if you have an old PC lying around? There is plenty to learn from this game, whatever your age.
Featured Image via Amazon