Carnivores has a simple premise to get killer dinosaurs into your crosshairs: a science ship scouting deep space for planets suitable for human colonization stumbles across a world swarming with prehistoric reptiles. Naturally, a corporation has snatched up rights to the planet and begun chartering safaris — on the condition that customers take sole responsibility for their safety once they’ve set foot in one of the six hunting zones on the planet.

1_1The planet is home to all sorts of cool dinosaurs, but only seven of the bunch — Parasaurolophus, Pachycephalosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Allosaurus, Velociraptor, and Tyrannosaurus Rex — will count as kills and be displayed in the Trophy Room. The first three are harmless herbivores, and the only challenge in bringing them down is getting close enough for a clean shot. But the Stegosaurus will charge if your first shot misses, and the last three are out-and-out man-eaters that’ll jump you as soon as they catch sight or scent of you.

Eventually you’ll get up your nerve and begin hunting those carnivores, and that’s when you’ll discover the game’s weak spots. Even with hunting aids like radar and cover scent, getting close enough for a shot can take an eternity, because these guys cover ground a lot faster than you do. And if you’re unlucky enough to miss — especially when aiming at T. Rex — you probably won’t have time to get off a second shot. There are only three weapons in all — shotgun, crossbow, and sniper rifle — and you don’t even get to use the sniper rifle until you’ve racked up 100 points.

Categorizing Carnivores is a bit odd. It’s more of a shooter/hunter combo, but doesn’t have the finer gameplay elements of a professional hunting game. Still, for a budget release, you can’t really expect a whole lot, and what you get here is quite impressive in the long run.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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