Dino Wars is set (approximately) in the year 160,000,000 B.C. concerning itself with two particular groups of dinosaurs who happened to be around at the time, the plot enlightening its reader to the fact that each group has just kidnapped an important eggs from the opposing side.
As can be imagined, both parties are more than a little miffed and hence decide to get their own back on each other by, yep you guessed it, having a game of chess. And here's where you, and possibly a friend, come in.
The actual gameplay takes place chess-like on a chequered board, but with a number of notable differences from the traditional game. And here they are (in a long list). In preference to moving tacky wooden pieces around (where you have to use a piece of Lego because you've lost one of the Knights), little animated dinosaurs are played with instead, naturally, with the obligatory restrictions on movement patterns.
The game can be won in either of two ways - by killing off all the opponents (when two pieces meet, an arcade-style beat-'em-up takes place putting you in the hot seat), or alternatively (and far more strategically) by recapturing your egg from the opposite side of the playing area.
Additionally the game can be played in 'turns mode', where each player takes it in turns, or the somewhat less polite 'simultaneous mode' when the other player doesn't have to wait for you to move, and therefore the game is far more frantic.
And finally it is possible to alter the board so that rivers, mountains, volcanoes, mud and so forth appear on the playing area which only certain pieces can cross.
Well, that's the facts down on paper, but how will you know if it's any good? Hmmm, a bit of a tricky one that! I know - you can ask me. Well, firstly a word about the beat-'em-up part. It's not very good as lack of moves (each dinosaur has an unique three) means that little skill is needed at all. More moves would in all likelyhood have been too confusing perhaps, but ust three make things far too boring - it's a bit of a no win situation I'm afraid. Nice graphics, though.
Basically, once you've played one game in each of the different modes available, glanced through the enlightening encyclopedia screens and fiddled around with the box for a while you'll probably have discovered all the game has to offer, and will be severely disappointed it's no fault of the programming, just the fault of the over-simplistic game design which fails to be simplistic AND addictive. Call it a cliche, but at budget, perhaps, it might be alright. At full price? Not on your nelly.