In game designer Eitan Glinert’s mind peanut butter must be tower defence and jelly must be Tetris, because for the second game in a row, the young creator has smushed the two great gaming styles together. He’s just done it radically different this time, as if switching from making PB&J sandwiches to — I don’t know — PB&J tacos.
Good news: I think the new combo is better.
Glinert and his team at Fire Hose Games have merged their two favourite gameplay styles into Go Home, Dinosaurs, which plays nothing like their prior title, the fun but convoluted Slam Bolt Scrappers. (That one was sort of also like Puzzle Fighter, if that helps).
As you’ll see in the video I shot of the game with Glinert at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Go Home looks like a standard top-down tower-defence game. Like most of the rest of them, Glinert’s game requires you to stop an advancing enemy — dinosaurs, this time — from reaching a goal — a barbecue — by placing towers along the way that can shoot and slow the enemy. Towers cost money. Money is earned by collecting coconuts with a controllable gopher who will pop up at any spot on the level grid that you click. The Tetris twist is that each tower has a specific shape that restricts where you can place it along the patch vis a vis the rest of the towers you’ve placed. (As always, watch the video to best understand this.)
Glinert wants to get the game out for computers, mobile and consoles. This one seems adaptable enough for all of those platforms. It’s a good new twist that seems smart at first glance. Let’s see more levels before we can assess if it has the depth a well-designed tower defence game needs.