Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores Review: Stalking Really Big Game


Hunting deer is great, and necessary for thinning out the number of creatures who want to jump out in front of your car while its in motion. Glu Mobile has had plenty of success with its Deer Hunter games, but eventually, there comes a time when you just want to hunt something bigger and more formidable than a buck.

Enter Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores, which is exactly what it sounds like. Though the game is short on story, the gist is that your hunter ends up on an island straight out of John Hammond‘s greatest dreams, as dinosuars are still alive. To survive, you’ve got to put those hunting skills and some significantly more high-powered weapons to good use and bag some dino corpses.

Hunting missions come in four different flavors: regular series that require a specific type of gun, contract hunts that are essentially races against the clock, exotic series that test your skills with the heaviest firepower, and trophy hunts that pit you against specific dinosaurs with distinct personalities. Even the standard hunts that target herbivores can come with a little extra side of peril, as the sound of gunfire can attract wandering tyrannosaurs and other meat-eaters. Needless to say, if you don’t meet your objective in time, you can and will be eaten, and I don’t remember deer ever doing that.

You’ve got a couple of nifty tricks to avoid becoming thunder lizard food. All guns have telescopic sights to zoom in on prey and infrared vision that can pick out vulnerable internal organs. Especially tough dinos will have their weak points marked so you know exactly where to shoot, and time slows down whenever one of the reptiles is about to pounce so you can get off a last ditch shot to avoid an untimely demise.

All weapons can be upgraded with cash you earn during hunts, with the barrel, ammo, muzzle, stock, sight, infrared and magazine capacity all accepting five levels of improvements. Gold, the game’s premium currency, can be used to get through the process faster, though Dino Hunter also prompts you to spend it to speed the wait time for your higher level upgrades to arrive, something that feels unnecessary in a game that already has pop-up ads and premium weapons as monetization devices.

Extra cash can be won by taking out targets with especially precise shots, though the otherwise gorgeous graphics occasionally give you some weird takes on where bullets strike. I know dinosaur anatomy has its differences, but I’m unaware of any dino heads being located in the back part of their torsos.

These quibbles aside, there’s a definite sense of fun in the somewhat arrogant idea that a lone hunter could take out a whole bunch of dinosaurs singlehandedly, and though the prehistoric PETA crowd won’t like it, gunning down pterodactyls with automatic weapons is pretty amazing. If you try a couple hunts and find its your cup of tea, I almost guarantee you’ll be in it for the long haul, attempting to find enough map pieces to unlock all of the regions of the mysteriously dinosaur-infested island. One thing’s for sure: this is a lot different than stalking deer.

Pull the trigger on Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores if …

  • You enjoy the Deer Hunter games but want something bigger and badder to hunt
  • You want to handle some serious hand-held weaponry without having to worry about real life kickback
  • The Jurassic Park movies didn’t feature enough dinosaurs for you

Don’t pull the trigger if …

  • Ads plus in-app purchases seem like one monetization method too many in a free-to-play game
  • Anatomical incorrectness offends you
  • You think Bambi was a violent hunting movie.