With such a name, you'd be forgiven for thinking Dinox wanted to recapture the magic of past dinosaur shooters such as Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Sadly, this is not the case. Developed by Codix Games and published by Engine Software, Dinox is actually an educational quiz title for the Wii U eShop including clips from the most expensive animated BBC series ever, “Walking with Dinosaurs".
In Dinox, one to four players compete against each other to earn the best high score by answering a series of multiple choice questions about dinosaurs. There are more than 900 audio recorded questions in the game, divided between sight and sound categories and supported by footage directly from the 1999 television miniseries, Walking with Dinosaurs. The overall goal of Dinox is to collect four different 3D dinosaur skeletons (each skeleton consists of ten parts) so you can display and view them in the museum section of the game. From here, you can admire these skeletons and discover more information about each dinosaur's history including its height, weight and the period it lived in.
Disappointingly, this is the full extent of the game's offerings. You either play the game alone and compete against preset high scores, or test yourself against three people with the choice of up to three control options including the GamePad, Pro Controller and Wii Remote. With or without company on the couch, Dinox is an extremely underwhelming experience. There is a severe lack of effort in terms of overall production values, and although the title was made with the help of real palaeontologists, it is just not fun like a traditional quiz game. This has nothing to do with the subject itself, but rather the content it is supported by – there really is no sense of reward. In saying that, one mildly impressive feature of this educational quiz game is the fact more bonus points are awarded depending on a player's response time to a question – provided it is correctly answered.
The gameplay featured in Dinox is very much a reflection of the low quality graphics, with bland menu design and a museum section that is far from inspiring. This is topped off with the now dated animations courtesy of Walking with Dinosaurs, a BBC series. On the upside, this footage is compacted into one downloadable Wii U eShop game which could be considered as one enticing feature of the title. The audio isn't much better, in the scheme of things; although the quiz master voiceover is crisp and clear, it does little to enhance the dull package it is working with. Much like the game's visuals, the dinosaur sounds are all dependant on the aged Walking with Dinosaurs animations – which aren't exactly easy listening compared to modern standards.
With poor production values reliant on a dated 3D animated series, combined with what is ultimately a bland and uninspired dinosaur quiz game, unless you're a huge fan of dinosaurs or the original BBC television miniseries released in 1999, Dinox is hard to recommend. Even as an educational title the overall quality is seemingly likely to deter players from learning about the subject rather than making them eager to discover more about what is still considered a fascinating period.