Tag Archives: Tatem Games

‘Carnivores: Ice Age’: An Interview with Tatem Games

Recently, we caught up with Tatem Games to talk about their new game Carnivores: Ice Age.  We loved Carnivores Dinosaur Hunter when it first came out, and while it’s “sequel” hasn’t given us that wow, it’s definitely worth a look given it’s cheap price and high amount of content.  Read on further to find out what Tatem Games has in store for us.

NoDpad: What is your favorite thing about the Ice Age/dinosaur age?

Tatem Games: What we like about the times is of course the variety of species which are now extinct along with the very thought of these mind-boggling creatures once wandering around the planet where now skyscrapers and highways are. Whenever we visit a museum of nature or hear about the discovery of new animal who once lived on the planet, we regret that we’ll most probably never see a Diatryma running in our backyard. And this is exactly why we are developing Carnivores series – iDevices deliver very realistic feelings, and playing Carnivores you can dive into this lost world. Of course, bringing animals to your trophy room is not the best way to learn more about them, and this is why we’re planning to introduce photo mode with the future updates.

ND: What are your thoughts on GameCenter?  Any suggestions to improve it?

TG: Game Center is a great tool as anything which makes gaming social. It was an experiment to integrate Plus+ to Dinosaur Hunter and Game Center to Ice Age. From early feedbacks we have noticed that the presence of Game Center in question can be a decisive factor for purchasing the game. However, what we like about Plus+ platform is that it enables saving user data on their server and the player is able to pause hunt on his iPhone and continue it on his iPad. It would be great if Game Center got a similar option in an update.

ND: Why did you price Carnivores: Ice Age the way you did?

TG: There is a market research each day happening in the studio. We feel like there already is a certain pattern for pricing on App Store, which is pretty just – puzzles range from $0.99 to $2.99 and more complicated console-quality games have prices from $2.99 to $6.99. And of course, Dinosaur Hunter already had the $2.99 price tag and putting the same price for the sequel was meant to hint the gamers of what kind of game they are getting. It was much more complicated to choose a price for our Mac app.

ND: What was the biggest obstacle in the development process?

TG: We’re far from newbies in game development so there weren’t any considerable obstacles. We would rather call the development process smooth and fun.

ND: How easy or difficult is it to implement universal support along with support the iPhone 4’s Retina display?

TG: We don’t fancy charging people for the same game twice if they want to play it on iPad and iPhone, so whether or not the app comes as universal was out of question. Carnivores is quite a picturesque game and the experience people get on iPad is almost incomparable to that of iPhone. We made Dinosaur Hunter universal in about a month after it was released for iPhones and were impressed by the number of downloads and feedback – mind you, iPad just appeared in July. So making it compatible with both devices was not a stand-alone goal – it was an indispensable part of development from the very beginning.

ND: Are you planning any eye-popping updates for Carnivores Ice Age that we should be getting excited about?

TG: There’s one very big thing coming for sure! Once the player gets to a certain level (1000 points), he will be able to choose Yeti as a prey. Yeti is the “T-Rex of Ice Age” and is the most complicated creature to hunt. And of course, we’ll be making animal’s AI better with each update. We also plan to add new content like maps or weapons but no certain date can be called yet.

ND: What are your thoughts on the iPad or the tablet space as a whole: necessary or just a fad?

TG: We are all technology early adopters and are excited about this trend predicted for 2011. There are many things popular in geek community and completely unheard of in the rest of the world – but tablets  are not such, and mostly thanks to Apple’s brave take on the market. Tablets go mainstream, iPads can be seen as business tools in banks, supermarkets, and governmental institutions, which signifies that this is the device people need and use. And of course tablets are perfect for gaming, especially casual and board gaming, or games with rich graphics. Getting the most out of iPads and tablets in general should be a pleasant challenge for any developer.

ND: What is coming in the future from Tatem Games?  Any closing thoughts?

TG: We have announced RoboSockets* which will hit the AppStore on February 22nd – it’s an easy and simple arcade-puzzle, which, as we hope, will bring a breath of fresh air to bejeweled-type games. Among other plans for 2011 are porting at least some of our games to Android platform, which we are also very impatient to try out, launching a big social game and of course continue treating our ever-growing fan base with new games on iOS and regular updates. People who have been with us in 2010 inspired us to move on and do it fast, which we are very thankful to them for.

*Please note that RoboSockets has already launched on the App Store.  You can find their game here.  Also, you can find our review on Carnivores: Ice Age here.

Carnivores Ice Age Review: Something Feels Different…

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter was one of the favorites, earning the Must Have award after its release, and since then, it’s been updated to support the Retina display along with going universal.

Given its success, Tatem Games decided to launch Carnivores Ice Age, which—you guessed it!—takes place during the Ice Age.  You’ll be fighting anything from wild boars to wolves, and the maps are all redone to reflect the snowy atmosphere during that time period.

But one of the major differences I found between the Dinosaur and Ice Age version was the fact that the Ice Age version excluded the mini-game that came with Carnivores Dinosaur Hunter, a huge oversight in my opinion as that’s a game mode I went to to keep the game varied.

Along with that, the beginner animals (starting from the wild boar, which is only the 2nd animal), can kill you.  Their diet consists of “plants”, but that seems to all go to naught once they start charging you.

With those two factors in place, Carnivores Ice Age is a much harder game to get into for beginners and people that haven’t played the first one.  And if you have played the first one—like me—the game is still significantly more difficult.  It doesn’t help that the pistol is way underpowered in that it takes 3-4 hits to take down even the easiest animal.

The price is low, it’s universal, and it supports GameCenter.  But heck, tone down the difficulty.

Likes

Graphics: This may be a problem for others, since the graphics aren’t exactly crisp, and the surrounding environment looks old.  For me personally, the graphics are quite fine especially on the iPad.

GameCenter: I’m glad that they decided to add some achievements to Carnivores, and GameCenter is always a welcome addition.  While I’ve come to expect GameCenter now in most games, it’s always a plus to actually see some achievements in there.

Universal: I doubt that there’s anyone out there that DOESN’T like universal.

Dislikes

Hard to get into: Like I mentioned before, Carnivores Ice Age is somewhat tough to get hooked on and begin playing.  Wild boars kill me from all angles, the walking is still extremely tedious, and the maps are filled with many more obstacles.  If you’re a beginner, Carnivores Ice Age is just way too difficult in a lot of areas to really get hooked on.  The pistol needs a lot more power than it has right now, movement needs to be faster or the maps need to get smaller, and there are just a lot of factors that need to be tweaked a bit.

Carnivores Ice Age does nothing to improve upon its previous; all it does is provide hunters with an entirely new theme.  While I don’t think this would classify as a sequel, I do think that there are some things that could have been improved on — faster moving speed, a lower difficulty, a higher-powered pistol, and more animals that aren’t able to kill you.  Still, the game offers quite a lot for extremely little.

Carnivores: Ice Age was developed by Tatem Games, and I played through version 1.01 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $0.99.


Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Review: Hungry, hungry Dinos

Tatem Games released a PC port of Carnivores to the iPhone, a game that pits you on locations brewing with dinosaurs.  You are equipped with a variety of weapons that you chose depending on how many points you have earned.  Points are earned through killing dinosaurs, although the Gallimimus, Dimetrodon, and the Moschops do not count as “dinosaurs”.

There are also a total of 5 locations to hunt in, and each one varies with what type of dinosaurs there are and how big the hunting grounds are.  You also have the choice to pick between day, dawn, and night; the night bringing more of the carnivorous dinosaurs into play, while the dawn brings in the more herbivorous.  And of course, the day mode brings both in at the same time, although there seems to be more herbivorous during the day than the carnivorous.

You have the choice to pick between 9 different types of dinosaurs, ranging from Parasaurolophus to the mighty T-Rex.  The herbivorous dinosaurs are a great place to start before starting to hunt the meat-eaters, since the meat-eaters can pounce and kill you, leading to a no-point round, even if you killed other dinosaurs.

Along with the Hunt mode, Tatem Games included a Survive mode for a short, quick session of gameplay.  You have a wave of dinosaurs coming at you, and you must shoot all of them before they reach you.  If you happen to miss and the dinosaurs reach you, it’s game over.  You can then post your survival score to Facebook, and it will be uploaded to the Plus+ online leaderboards.

And with the Plus+ leaderboards comes a variety of achievements to achieve, so the game won’t feel as repetitious as it could be.  They range anywhere from killing your first dino to killing the T-Rex with the X-Bow, and the only way to kill a T-Rex is by shooting it straight in the eye.

But enough with the explanations, let’s get to the chase.

Likes

Controls: The first-person shooter genre has finally, somewhat taken off on the App Store.  And with that, controls for a first-person shooter have also been somewhat perfected, which in this case happens to be Carnivores.  Controls seem to be one of the most important aspects of the game, and Tatem Games did a solid job of getting the sensitivity of the controls perfect, and although it would have been nice to have the ability to customize them, the current ones accomplish the job well.  I would be surprised if someone didn’t like the controls; to me, they’re perfect.

Variety: The arsenal of weapons each have their own, unique identity.  The X-Bow is powerful and accurate, but it’s distance is limited.  The double-barreled shotgun has great power, but distance isn’t one of its strengths.  The rifle is quite average across the board in terms of power and distance, while the sniper rifle has great distance and power.  The different locations are also very different in terms of size and what type of dinos dwell there.  The dawn, day, and night mode varies this game even more, making this experience a new on every time you play it.

Go at your own pace: One thing I like about this game is that it doesn’t progress in difficulty; you chose how difficult it’s going to be.  You can hunt for herbivores as long as you want until you decide you’re good enough, as the carnivores are quite difficult.  Going at your own choice and giving you freedom to go easy or hard makes this game quite appealing to both hardcore and casual gamers.

Replay value: There’s a ton of replay value to be had in this game, whether it be to try and unlock the next weapon or the next dino.  To hunt the T-Rex, it’ll take a few hours of good hunting to reach, and you also have Plus+ achievements to help out in this area.

Dislikes

It’s a lot of walking: I’m not a huge fan of virtual walking… it just takes away time to actually get into the action.  But I guess it tries to augment a dinosaur hunting experience, or any hunting experience for that matter, as all hunting requires walking.  But it is virtual, and it just seems to be a waste of time to me.

Last second kills: It’s impossible to get a “last second kill” on a carnivore.  If they jump in the air to eventually pounce on you, and you shoot them in mid-air point blank, they won’t die.  It’s just impossible, and it won’t happen.

I’m stuck: There are some areas on the maps in which you get stuck and cannot get out.  Some areas include between rocks and in a valley, and you’ll have to escape and restart to get out of it.  And no, this isn’t a problem with my hunting skills, as I’ve spent almost 15 minutes trying to get out of an area only to be denied.

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is the premier hunting experience on the iPhone, and it’s just the perfect game for a wide variety of people.  Sure, dinosaur hunting doesn’t sound too appealing to the more feminine race, but once you get into it, you’ll put your cooking and other girly things aside and wield your double-barreled shotgun with pride.  And because of this unique gameplay and awesome experience, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter easily takes home the Must Have award.

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter was developed by Tatem Games, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $2.99 for a weekend sale, and it will then go back up to $4.99.


‘Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter’ Stomps into the App Store

When I was little, dinosaurs were my favorite things.  I thought they were the coolest thing ever, with their sharp claws and ferocious attitudes.  But of course, there are the omnivorous (or plant-eating) dinosaurs that are quite peaceful, just like it is in this new dinosaur-killing game Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter.

The game can best be described as you going on a hunt killing dinosaurs.  There are a variety of weapons and locations, and each will cost you a certain amount of points.  Points are gathered up after every time you hunt down a dinosaur, whether it be a Velociraptor or a Stegosaurus.

It’s a great game that has launched quite lower than expect at $4.99, and we’ll have a review up soon.  Be sure to check out our hands-on preview also for more information regarding the game.

Hands-on Preview with ‘Carnivores’ for iPhone

You may be familiar with the PC version, which is more than a decade old now, but it’s surprisingly being revived on the iPhone.  In collaboration with Tatem Games and Action Forms, Carnivores has been successfully ported over to the iPhone, and I was able to get the inside scoop and receive a preview build for this once great and stil great game.

If you’re not familiar with Carnivores, the whole point of the game is to hunt dinosaurs.  You have many different maps to chose from, a list of dinosaurs you want to hunt, and a couple of weapons to chose from.  The weapons include the X-Bow, Pistol, Shotgun, Double-barreled shotgun, Rifle, and Sniper Rifle.

Carnivores also includes a survival mode in which you’re equipped with some sort of rifle and must shoot at the incoming dinosaurs.  You can’t move around, and you have to shoot all the dinosaurs before they reach you… and eventually pummel you to the ground or eat your flesh.

Carnivores will also implement the Plus+ network, a good measure for replay value and such.  The game does start to get difficult as you progress, and the bigger dinosaurs you hunt, the harder they become.  The T-Rex seems to be one of the most difficult dinosaurs to kill (obviously), and it can only die by shooting it in the eye.

I had a lot of fun with the preview build, and it’s definitely something that should be on everyone’s wish list.  Even if you haven’t played the PC game (that’s me), you’ll have a blast playing Carnivores.  It does start off a bit slow, and the maps are quite large, but I guarantee atleast 4 hours of solid fun.

Carnivores will be launching on the iPhone soon for $5.99, and a lite version will shortly follow.