Wow, as of writing this post, I’m a published author! How wild. Anyway–something else dino-related that came out around the same time as my book is this lil game called Paleo Pines. I’ve been… quietly stalking this game since I first heard of it years ago, but I didn’t realize it was here so soon!
Man, I realize this chalks another post on my blog about paleo/dinosaur stuff, huh? I was trying not to make that the only thing I blogged about on here, but it’s just turning out that way. Almost like I like that stuff a lot, I guess. The next posts probably won’t be, though, but they’ll likely be about Pokemon, so… uhh….
ANYWAY. I’m off track. Paleo Pines! Farming games are like, really in right now, by the looks of it. Everywhere I look is a new farming game. I used to play Harvest Moon fairly often as a kid–I had Friends of Mineral Town and Tree of Tranquility–but I gotta admit: I wasn’t… very good? If you can even be good or bad at these games? I would dick around for a long time, spend years in-game without really progressing much. Turns out you kinda have to “cheat” in these games and look things up, or you do if you just can’t intuit games like this like me. Paleo Pines is like that, too. But the big, big thing with Paleo Pines, which I think you might gather, is that
this game is 100% tailored to me.
Cute lil dinosaurs you can befriend and ride around on and pet and ohhHHHMY GGODDD
LOOK AT THEMMM
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
Okay. The premise for this one is pretty standard: you move in to a beat-up farm (as you always do), and you’re tasked with farming and collecting dinos to fill it out. The dinos help you clear out your farm as well as obstacles out in the world, and can also help you farm. Farming helps you pay to feed dinos (yeah it does other stuff I guess but that’s all I really do it for).
(As you can probably tell, I’m playing the game as Evie, since it feels only right.)
Obviously the dinosaurs are the main attraction, here. To get them on your farm you need to make sure you have the appropriate stuff for them on your farm(a pen, food, a “dreamstone”–basically a place to sleep). Then you just go out into the wild and find them roaming about! With a mixture of flute-playing and a (often frustrating) balancing act of feeding and soothing, the dino becomes your pal and follows you home!
The selection of dinosaurs (and even other paleo-critters!) is actually pretty impressive, and not to mention pretty accurate, for the stylization of the game. And also adorable. This can count as spoilers if you’re wanting to go into the game a bit more blind, so tread carefully here!
There’s your classics: T. rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus all make their appearance. Your main steed you begin with is a Parasaurolophus, who appears to be the only one–making one of the main story missions of the game to find more of them. Honestly, it’s about time something hooked on just how much people love Parasaurolophus. It’s a lot of people’s favourite! And yet it’s usually just a background dino. Such is the life of poor hadrosaurs, I guess. Is a giant beaked reptile with hooves and crests not enough to be cool?! Huh?!!
(Maybe I’m not one to talk, because in the end I, too, am heavily theropod-biased. I know my flaws.)
But there’s a selection of quite a few really good other dinos here, too! I won’t list all of them, but if you wanna spoil yourself you can search it up on a fanwiki that I’ve been relying on while I play because, like I mentioned above, I literally won’t get anywhere otherwise.
I was surprised to see my darling Microraptor here! In fact, Microraptor and Archaeopteryx are both in the game, those funny lil bird-dinos. I’m happy tiny dinosaurs are here as much as the big ones, even if you can’t ride them. For obvious reasons.
I don’t think Therizinosaurus is a lesser-known dinos at this point (since it had a whole Thing in the 3rd Jurassic World movie… did people even see that one???) but I’m always so glad when these weirdos are in anything. And oh my GOD are they so cute in this game, I can’t stand it. They have a wonderful cross-eyed look when looking forward, it’s great. The other weirdo Deinocheirus is here, too! The incredibly strange hump-backed duck-billed giant. I’m just a bit sad that it doesn’t really have its distinctive duck-bill, or at least it’s not as noticeable on the model. Either way! More giant feathery weirdos, the better!
My biggest surprise was discovering there’s some NON-dinos available in this game: Dimetrodon, Postosuchus and Desmatosuchus! (I haven’t reached the area with Dimetrodon yet, so screenshots above are of the latter two) Some crocs and early synapsids! Wow! Dimetrodon feels like a natural choice since it often gets lumped into dinosaurs (despite being a very early mammal cousin), but Postosuchus and Desmatosuchus are genius. These creatures never get the spotlight, despite being incredibly cool. They were the dinosaurs before the actual dinosaurs! Not to mention how bizarre looking Desmatosuchus was–a crocodile trying to be an Ankylosaur but also… an armadillo? I don’t know, but look at that snoot!
With that, it only makes me sad there’s no pterosaurs in the game. It feels only right, if you’re gonna include some iconic non-dinosaurs in the roster. Sadder still, according to the fanwiki, there were plans and even MODELS of some pterosaurs, which were removed before release. I’m really hoping this just means they plan to add them in later, I’d DIE for this.
A cool feature of these dinos you collect is that they come in different colours and patterns. Every day these reset, out in the wild, so you can roll the dice every day with what colours the dinos will be, and see if you can get one that you like, or, if you’re determined, collect the rare colourations that spawn less frequently. It really strikes that shiny hunting itch from Pokemon, if that’s something you enjoy. I don’t have the patience for that, so I mostly just grab whatever colours I think look cool.
I don’t really know what this post is–a review? An endorsement? Whatever–I just wanted to blab about this game that’s had me in a vice grip the last 3 days. Would I recommend it? I don’t know. Like I said, I AM the target audience for this game, so I’m all over it, flaws and all. There are definitely parts of it that feel unfinished, or not as fleshed out. The human aspects of the game are pretty shallow (from what I’ve experienced so far), which works fine for me, because I mostly care about the dinos. But if a romance-filled Harvest Moon/Stardew Valley vibe is what you’re looking for, you won’t really find it here.
The dino friending mechanic is also quite the pain sometimes. On top of having to know what the dinosaur’s favourite flavour is, and having and adequate amount of snacks in that flavour, the only way you can seal the deal is with a special food of that flavour, too. Said special food is quite expensive! And it can be easily wasted if the friendship meter is not quite at the right point. But I appreciate, I suppose, that you can collect these dinos pretty easily, but still not too easy.
Anyways, this game is disgustingly cute and it got me. What more can I say!! It’s freakin’ dinosaurs! On a farm!
I’ve been considering blogging a bit more about random stuff like this, lately. I was trying to keep my blogs focused on my projects, but sometimes I wanna talk about other things! Like cute dino games! I have plans to replay all the Pokemon games, from gen 1 to now, and I kinda wanna talk about each one as I finish them, since I’ve never done that before–in fact, some of them I’ve never played, or it’s been decades since I did. Not gonna guarantee a more regular posting schedule here, but that’s something to look forward to? Maybe?
Thanks for reading?!?!!!!?!