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Dinosaurs. There pretty much aint a kid around who wasn't at one point or another utterly fascinated with these giant reptiles.
Of course, where children find fun, companies quickly find money. That is the usual course of things, and "dinomania" is no exception. Hence we get dinosaur movies, comic books... and (how else?) computer games.
Some of you may assume basing on this games' name that we're going to hunt for cute reptiles (like the oh-so-friendly Tyranosaurus - look, he's just begging for a pat on the head!). Fortunately, that is not so - all we are "hunting" for are pictures and videos of whole sixty species of these overgrown lizards.
Initially you only have access to a basic camera to take your pictures with, but as the game progresses several more devices will appear - a video camera (which can record movies), a detector which will help you find your way to the critter you are looking for at the time, and finally a lure which is perfect for getting that shy Velociraptor (or another Deinonychus) out of hiding.
The game's difficulty level has been geared towards children, and for their ease of gameplay the CD also includes several savegames pre-engineered by the authors. These allow access to all the extra devices and large amounts of energy credits (used for movement, taking photos and the use of special devices) right away.
It is also worth noting that while there is no background music and the SFX aren't of too high quality, all the dinosaur entries have voiced descriptions - simply click and hold with your mouse over the box in the entry that you want to have read.
While the pre-rendered graphics and scarce sound won't impress anyone these days, Dinosaur Safari is still a source of great fun for kids - thus the ideal way to get that younger sibling, visiting brat or your own growing successor occupied for a couple hours when you attend to more important matters.
And who knows, maybe you yourself will enjoy a bit of dinosaur-stalking fun?
Notes on unpacking and running the game:
In order to run, the game archive must be unpacked to the root directory of your hard drive or burned on a CD. Removable memory devices (eg Pendrives) can also be used. If you unpack the files anywhere else, the game will not operate correctly.
Notes on running the game in Windows XP:
Dinosaur Safari can be ran under Windows XP, if you fiddle around with Compatibility Modes. In order to do that, right-click on the executable and from the menu select [Properties] then select [Compatibility] tab. Select "Windows 95" from the drop-down box and check the boxes next to "Run in 256 colors" and "Run in 640x480".
Notes on running the game in Windows 9x:
Your color depth has to be set to 256 and the resolution to 640x480. Trying to run the game in higher resolutions will result in a black box being present around the game screen.
The game has a tendency to freeze every now and then when ran on Windows 98. I'm afraid there is no way around this issue.