I wanted to get my son’s thoughts on this game for nearly 2 weeks now but he’s been so busy playing it, I haven’t been able to get a good overview from him until now. I shouldn’t be surprised. It combines his favorite thing in the world, dinosaurs, with something he does every day with his sister… fighting.
Fossil Fighters is a new game for the DS where you can pretty much guess what it entails from the title. You play a boy (what? no girls?) who comes to an island to hunt for fossils which will turn into battle-ready dinosaurs, ready to tear your opponents dinos apart. Well, its not quite that exciting, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The gameplay consists of 4 main elements: the story, hunting for fossils, cleaning the fossils, and fighting. The story helps move things along and does a good job of introducing the other parts of the game as you come to them. New areas of the game open up as you progress allow you to explore and find new fossils. The fossil finding is dead simple. You have a radar that tells you where they are around you and you dig them up. The excitement is in finding new fossils that give you a new dinosaur makes existing ones more powerful.
My favorite part of the game is the cleaning. If you have kids who have always wanted to be paleontologists or archeologists, they’d love this. You have to chip away at the rock using a hammer and drill to uncover the bone within. The challenge is you must do this without damaging the fossil as well as complete the task within a set time limit. The less damage you do to the fossil, the more powerful your resulting dinosaur will be. This can be both rewarding and frustrating. Some rocks already have parts of the fossil showing, so you must be more careful in those areas. Some rocks resemble swiss cheese making the cleaning process feel like surgery. The DS is perfect for this task with the touchscreen. To top it off, your drill creates dust making it difficult to see what you’re doing so you blow on your DS to remove the dust making it great fun.
That brings us to the fighting. Battles crop up in many different ways, but most are when you dig something up and another fighter pops out of nowhere claiming it to be theirs. You break out your pack of dinos and take turns unleashing a variety of moves. There is actually a good amount of strategy involved as different types of dinos are strong or weak against other types. This affects which ones you bring with you to battle (you can only choose 3). Also, one of these does the main fighting at a time while the others serve supporting roles. If you win, your dinos get a little stronger. If you lose, you don’t lose your fossils or any similar dire consequences with lowers the frustration factor for kids. You simple end up back in town and you try the same thing again.
The downside of this game is that for being named after fighting, the fighting doesn’t seem to be the best part. The fights are repetitive and very easy for most of the game. It’s fun to try out new dinosaurs when you get them, but it’s the same routine over and over. Many times, the fighting gets in the way of the fun, which is a shame. The good thing is that the rest of the game is quite satisfying and its certainly not a game they will finish in a few days. There’s plenty of entertainment for the kids in this one.
Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
Website for More Details: Fossil Fighters Nintendo DS Game