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This is the article about the PC game. For the DOS game see DinoPark Tycoon
Dino Island is a theme park simulator not unlike Theme park, Roller Coaster Tycoon, or even Zoo Tycoon. However, it is rendered in full 3D - players can rotate, pan and zoom at will. Dinosaurs, staff and visitors are fully animated. The game uses a typical point and click and menu interface.
What's most unusual about Dino Island is dinosaurs and the ability to create brand new species. In Dino Island, there are 20 pure, historical Dinosaur species, ranging from the classic Tyrannosaurus Rex to the lesser-known Troodon or the Giganotosaurus. Those dinosaurs are classified in 6 families: large carnivorous, armored quadrupeds, light bipeds, etc.
Each dinosaur is made of many parts: legs, arms, head, etc. Each part of the resulting dinosaur will also be a mix between that of its parents. This is different from the game Impossible Creatures: in that game, while it is possible to cross animals to create new ones, the resulting creatures are just assemblies of original parts. For instance, the mix of a tiger and a pig would have the head of a tiger or that of a pig. In Dino Island, the mix of a Diplodocus and a Triceratops will have a head in between that of its parents.
On top of that, some mutations can occur, either accidentally or, when the player masters the technology, voluntarily. Mutations include feathers, extra horns, weird scales, and the like.
Dinosaurs are also defined by a set of attributes: for instance, they are more or less strong, agile, aggressive or intelligent. The player can design attractions which are like mini-games in which dinosaurs participate for the amusement of visitors. Those games include, among others, racing events or dinosaur combat. The player can have complete control by creating each attraction using special tiles. The outcome of the event depends on the dinosaurs' attributes.
Visitors also come in several categories, which all have likes and dislikes. For instance, kids like cute dinosaurs but don't like big ones, hooligans like to see dinosaur fights from up close but don't like peaceful dinosaurs, pensioners like diverse dinosaurs but not too much action, etc. Every item in the game, dinosaurs, attraction or park installation, radiates several attributes like comfort, fear or cuteness, which will attract or repel different visitor types. Visitors will move in the park according to their needs. For instance, if your park has many older visitors, it's not a good idea to put all the shops next to the most violent dinosaurs, as they will hesitate to go that way.
The game also has a light park management aspect. The player can build facilities that sell stuff, enclosures to put the dinosaurs in and has to manage staff that will feed the dinosaurs, among other things. As this was not the focus of the game, there are very few options in that department, compared to other games in that category.