All kids loves dinosaurs, right? But, even if the cold-blooded behemoths weren't extinct, giving one to your child as a pet would be a horrible idea.

Once the excitement of having a 10-ton carnivore in the house wore off you child would inevitably grow bored, and you'd find yourself dragging a wheelie bin-sized pooper scooper around the park every morning before work.

There' good news for budding palaeontologists, though, as 101 DinoPets 3D is now available. It's a game that gives kids the opportunity to raise their own dinosaurs without the hassle of having to dig the sofa out from under a quarter-ton of steaming Jurassic waste matter.

It's easy to be cynical about yet another e-pet game for 3DS, of course. Nintendogs & Cats set an high bar early, and now a slew of clones litter the system's library.


DinoPets manages to set itself apart. This is in small part due to its large variety of mini-games perfectly targeting its young audience, but it's mostly due to the fact that dinosaurs are great.

Out of the gate (well, egg) the game makes the most of its pre-historic focus, with the very first item on the agenda being to create your own adorable new pre-historic friend.

There are a total of five different dinosaur types, ranging from T-Rex to Zaurolof. Each has three editable characteristics along with a selection of colours and patterns, allowing for a good range of believable and ludicrous lizards.

Once created, and after sitting through a questionably long load screen, it's time for your 'little D' to take its first steps.

It becomes your job to care for, teach, and raise the little guy, but the game really takes its time laying out these systems.


This is where DinoPets's intended audience really becomes obvious, as each of the many training stages are explained in excruciatingly fine detail.

Dinosaurs, it seems, require the same care as any other virtual pet, right down to house-training. Text flashcards walk newcomers slowly through each menu to the required action on the first try.

This slow starting pace makes you wonder whether you'll ever be allowed out on your own due to the sheer volume of instruction, but once you get over this initial hump the game really starts to bloom.

Most of the tasks have you playing some kind of mini-game. These include the standard puzzle and memory games that most kiddie titles utilise, but DinoPets also packs in some action with an endless-runner and a simple shooter that sees you blasting germs.
My little DinoPet.

As with all such simulation experiences, there's a lot of busywork. Luckily, thanks to the wide variety of tasks and a good achievement system (replete with satisfying fanfare), the game is never bogged down too much.

While it may lack the refinement of Nintendogs and Cats, 101 DinoPets 3D is a varied game that will keep younger players entertained - particularly if they like dinosaurs.