As a youngster, I was fortunate to have access to a myriad of consoles and PC’s, from the classic Pong to an Apple Macintosh. But one that I remember the most fondly was the Commodore 64. I could go on for hours about this machine and its awesome library of games, but for now, I want to focus on one game in particular. It was called Dino Eggs.
Dino Eggs was a platformer originally developed in 1983 by David Schroeder and published by Micro Fun for the Apple II, and was later ported to the Commodore 64 and the IBM PC. It tasks you as ‘Time Master Tim’, traveling back to the prehistoric ages to save as many baby dinosaurs as possible and, of course, achieve the highest score.
Roughly five years ago, having watched an interview with David on YouTube, I left comments about the game and how my brother and I were still competitively playing Dino Eggs. Never thinking in a million years that he would read them, last year I received a message from David himself thanking me for those comments. He informed me that, due to all the positivity from the interview, he had decided to remake the game, officially titled Dino eggs: Rebirth!
So, after Time Master Tim’s original adventures, he decides to go into retirement to start a family. Unfortunately for him, the Government manages to cause the extinction of the dinosaurs all over again. Fast forward to 2015, and the story continues with Tim’s daughter, Tamara, who accidentally incinerates the last remaining Dino egg in existence. Guilt-ridden, she decides to travel back in time to two hundred million BC using her father’s time warp, to return his prized possession. This is where our next adventure takes place. It’s a simple premise, which provides enough motivation to rescue the hatchlings once again.
After the tutorial sets up the story and prepares new and old players for what’s in store, you are given access to Tim’s original adventure, Tamara’s new adventure, which also features local co-op, plus all new puzzle modes. The Dino Dilemmas are fun and challenging brain teasers. You will need to be at the top of your game to achieve the perfect rating on the later levels. The Secret of the time Quartz adds another challenge with the inclusion of a time reversing crystal, and two different game modes for local multiplayer which can support up to eight players.
All the hazards (and frustrations) make a return, like the Dino Mom, plus some new and interesting ones. Perfecting a strategy is vital to your survival, as starting a fire in an inconvenient spot, or contaminating a stack of eggs (which could be thirty at one time!) while trying to cage another baby dinosaur could mean your demise. Fortunately, Tim and Tam are much more skilled this time round, with better jumping and climbing abilities, which you will need to master in order to perfect some of the tougher puzzles, but when you do, it’s incredibly satisfying.
The graphics have also received an update, as you would expect. Due to the limited graphic capabilities of the Commodore, I now know what the horizontal dashing projectiles were supposed to be. As you explore the four new time areas, you are now given a choice between David’s original graphic style, and another created by Jamo Games pixel artist James Biddulph. I enjoy switching between these, it’s not often you see this kind of option in a game, and it’s very welcome. The classic tunes are back and are much softer and pleasant than the original ear piercing sounds from the Commodore 64’s SID sound chip. We even have a bit of voice acting too!
At six to seven hours in, and with plenty more perfect ratings and achievements to unlock, I can say that for a fan, like myself, playing the classic game mode alone was worth the entry price. David Schroeder and Eric Ferrot have done a supreme job bringing this classic back from the dead for a new generation. It successfully recaptures the feeling of the old Dino eggs, while adding more to the experience to keep it fresh.
Dino Eggs: Rebirth is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. You can purchase the game from the official website, plus anyone who buys the game will receive a key to Dino Eggs: Rebirth for its Steam release on the 9th of June 2016!
Tim Pearce is a freelance writer for PN2.