|Platform Reviewed||IBM PC|
|Genre||Combination Driving and Shooting Game|
|Number of Players||1 - 2 (two are possible, if one drives and one shoots)|
|Multiplayer Value||Minimal to Moderate|
|Length||Extremely Short (approximately one hour to completion once mastery achieved)|
|Difficulty||Extremely Hard (20 to 25 hours of practice, minimum)|
|Skills Required||Fast Twitch - Split Second Timing and Flawless Memorization|
|Interface Devices||Joystick, Mouse, Keyboard|
|Programming||Excellent, and Solid|
|Game Design and Playability||Shallow, but Enjoyable|
|Type Of Fun||1940's Style Action Comic Book Mayhem, Roller Coaster Ride|
|The Best||It is amazingly beautiful, and you can cooperate with a friend. Unforgettable.|
|The Worst||It is very shallow, triffically difficult, and very short, with lengthily practice required)|
|How much would I be willing to pay for this||25 to 30 bucks|
Like many Rocket Science games in 1995, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is derived from the seminal Sewer Shark by Digital Pictures. Essentially a cartoon version of a live action, full motion video -based shooting/steering game, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is beautiful but mindless entertainment. The gameplay consists of shooting obstacles and avoiding hazards in order to earn video story sequences.
After a great ecological, and possibly metaphysical, cataclysm, the earth is reformed. On a new earth teeming with life, the player must race against the clock to save the few remaining humans from annihilation, by racing down jungle paths in a Cadillac whilst shooting tree stumps and avoiding dinosaurs.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is an exquisitely beautiful, extremely difficult, mindless game. The visuals are nothing short of jaw dropping amazing, the action relentless and very, very fast. Even on easy mode, the game is a severe challenge, but if one is up to the considerable task, the reward is a brief but exceedingly wild ride. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is a computerized combination of roller coaster meets shooting gallery.
True to the exceptional artistry of Mark Schultz, the creator of the graphic novels that the game is taken from, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is stunning to gaze upon. This is an 'amaze your friends' game, especially those that appreciate comic art and animation. This is eye candy indeed. It should be noted though, that the game quickly becomes repetitive, yet requires flawless attention and instantaneous reactions. It is also necessary to memorize a route through the game because the pace is so fast that reasoning is virtually impossible. This means that trial and error replay is essential to completion of the game. Once the game is mastered, a perfect run takes about one hour, but mastery will elude all but the most dedicated, or gifted. Indeed, fully 20 to 25 hours of dedicated effort, and trial and error practice, should be expected to even hope to achieve that single hour of world saving glory.
Although not promoted as a true two player game, the tasks of driving and shooting can be split between interface devices, permitting two players to cooperate on surviving the run. This works quite well, and is enjoyable, providing the players are of good temperament and are tolerant of mistakes. It will take many, many attempts to progress far in the game.
In the final analysis, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is an exceedingly well crafted bit of fluff. It is the gaming equivalent of a tasty bon-bon, small, sweet, but not suitable as a meal. If you crave a fierce roller coaster of mayhem, interspersed with comic book fun, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is your game.
Within it's considerable limits, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is superb. But you will find nothing revolutionary in this ride, except the beauty of the view. I recommend the game with some reservations, it is enjoyable and well crafted, beautiful and solid. It is also difficult, shallow, and short, save for a very long learning curve indeed. If you have a sweet tooth, give it a taste, for what it is, it is top of the line.
Jennifer Diane Reitz is a Game Designer and Computer Artist, and one of the founders of Happy Puppy. She is the creator of numerous games and software products, including Boppin' , Shark Chums, Elsewhere, and many others. She has worked for such companies as Activision, Sculptured Software, Epyx, SRI, and Electronic Arts, and founded Accursed Toys. She has been active in the computer gaming industry since it's earliest days. She considers games to be works of artistic merit and achievement, and views computer entertainment as the most important media of our era.