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Escape from a Jurassic Park knock-off, October 21, 2020
With a parody title that signals wackiness from the start, Big Trouble in Little Dino Park is a choice-based game heavily inspired by the classic Choose Your Own Adventure style, which follows a disaffected teen as they try to escape from, well, you can guess where this is going.
The setting and writing are hilarious, with very strong world building and snappy dialogue. Also, the amusing deaths and twists feel like loving throwbacks to CYOA, although I also like that there appears to be thought put into creating a puzzle that can potentially be solved to actually escape.
Unfortunately, the CYOA influence is a double-edged sword for me, because the experience can be frustrating. There’s a lot of branching leading to dead ends with trial and error required, and many choice points have that CYOA feeling of choosing between “go right” vs. “go left” with random-feeling consequences and little sense of agency. One other note is that while I appreciate the large sense of scale to the park, in some sections like the boat hopping scene it’s difficult to spatially follow what’s happening.