As a mile high wall of dust and moldering flame devours mountains behind me, frenzied stamped stumbling at my feet, meteors knocking out a stegosaurus, boulders crushing eggs and trees, I take the instant to thrash the neck of a small lizard, consuming it whole, and gallop toward the distant call of salvation. The meteor has hit. I have a window of seconds, no mistakes. I am a velociraptor, an agile predator. As I attempt to beat Dino Run on Insane difficulty I'm listening to footage from the latest World Economic Forum, discussing the role of private equity and hedge funds. The irony is not lost.
Dino Run is the kind of game that reminds you why you started playing games for the first time (assuming you belong to this blog's primary audience demographic). It's pure, simple, its premise has that certain geektastic wetness that games used to have before they sold out for every shade of brown and two flavors of protagonist (grizzled dude and power armor). You're a velociraptor trying to outrun the infamous extinction event. The aim of the game is focused on streamlined bio-survival consciousness. Go forward. Escape your doom. Do not let anything deter you, not the environment, not other life forms. Smaller animals are food that boost your speed. Eggs somehow magically go to a DNA clearinghouse that allows you to invest in stat improvements. Pterodactyls give you lifts. Everything can be turned to your advantage, all to that simple, inescapable reinforcement -- forward, faster.
This game is also a great psychological consolation for the troubles of our times. If you think surviving global fuel and food shortages, inflation and a looming panopticon are difficult, just think of what our reptilian masters had to go through. They outran an impact wave. Note the alien egg on level 5. It's clear that this game, like Raptor Safari, is yet another subtle exploration of the plain fact that raptors evolved into Quetzalcoatl-like avians who then cross-bred with hominids to create the shape-shifting master race currently ruling this planet. And now, I have total sympathy for them.