Fun Fact: Dino Storm Is Still Alive

There are still people playing this game.

At the risk of sounding like a jerk, it’s been a long time since anyone in the gaming press gave a rat’s ass about Dino Storm. For me it was May 13, 2013 when the service got hit with a DDOS attack. I couldn’t find a single article on MassivelyOP which tells me that they haven’t covered the game once since going independent from AOL in 2015(ish). last covered the game in March 2013, and who cares about any of those other MMO websites? I have my doubts the general gaming press ever picked up on this title outside of a Kotaku article or two. Am I pointing this out to guilt my fellow writers? The world may never know.

Dino Storm is impressive to see online after all this time, since I like many of my viewers kind of assumed it had shut down so quietly that nobody noticed. Also I forgot the title. But the game is still online, still has players, and still has people maintaining the servers. It routinely gets updates in the sense of bug fixes and seemingly not new content. I have to imagine the overhead on this game is just about negligible as far as the gaming industry goes with a couple of people actively fixing bugs and a server you could run on a shared webhosting service. Enough money to keep it alive but nowhere near enough to do anything ambitious.

None of that of course is to demean the game or the developer. Dino Storm was always a low budget venture on very simple legs probably produced for very young children, and I’m not expecting massive things out of this obscure browser MMO from ten years ago. You can’t think Toaster Strudel budget when talking about Dino Storm. More like Great Value Fruity Doodlers. Now with 1% real fruit juice.

It was interesting going back seeing how much of a dingus 2013-era Connor was. I particularly enjoyed my comparisons to a bunch of other higher budget browser games that this one incidentally has outlasted in the intervening years. I did say that Dino Storm felt like an indication of where browser-based MMOs were going and well…both of them just kinda stagnated and faded into obscurity after that point so I technically wasn’t wrong. I also stand by my 2013 interpretation that this game was birthed from a child’s dream; an MMO where you are cowboys riding dinosaurs centered around a town called Dinoville where everyone trades in Dino Dollars. All it’s missing is a branded cereal with dino-shaped marshmallows and a cheap Saturday morning tie-in cartoon.

I got to a point really early on where I decided to throw the game back in the trash, and that’s when the free “violent damage booster” item I got ran out, after which the game stuck a big fat notification pestering me about buying more boosters from the cash shop. And every time I dismissed the message it came right back up again the moment I initiated combat with something. It took me a little while before I figured out how to unload the booster so it would stop annoying me, and then I realized why the game gave it to me. So I’d see how slow combat really was without it and buy more.

I came out of the experience with full memories on why nobody has talked about Dino Storm since 2013, its combat loop having the energy of watching a Droopy Dog cartoon on 1/10 speed with no audio. On the plus side if terrorists ever invade the bank I’m in and threaten to blow everyone up unless someone can show them a game where a cowboy rides a dinosaur, I’ll be completely safe.

If someone asks me what the point of this article is, I’ll probably tell them it’s to remind my viewers that Dino Storm is in fact still alive. It’s a game I still think about from time to time, but haven’t had the urge to write about other than the occasional Twitter missive. It’s cute. I look forward to remembering this exists in 2031. I also got the name Blondie being available after the game has been online for nine years, meaning it’s either possible to have duplicate character names, or not a single person playing this has seen The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

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