Dino Shift 2
Don't let it fool you... behind its cuddly wuddly exterior and bumbling sweetness, JWolfGames' platformer Dino Shift 2 has some teeth... clever girl. Oh, it's not that there's anything sinister happening, it's that it has difficulty that slowly creeps up on you. Like the original, you play a pudgy dino who moves and jumps with the [arrow] keys, jumping higher and farther the longer the [arrow] is pressed, and who has a hunger for blocks. Your goal is to devour a certain number of blocks on each stage, but the catch is that you can only chow down on the ones that match your colour, which you can swap from green, blue, and red with [Z], [X], and [C] respectively. Stuffing your face isn't going to be that simple, however, with objects and obstacles you can only interact with when you're the proper colour, which can take some careful timing, and even enemies that will become dangerous to you when you match their hue!
There are a lot of little changes here from the first game, from the way the colours are bound to different keys to the way the dino controls feel more responsive and the design even more colourful, but for many people the most glaring will be the timed scoring system, which doles out between one to three stars depending on how fast you complete a level. While you can ignore it, it is a little obnoxious with the way an unseen audience loudly groans if you don't perform well, though it does at least add another layer of challenge for those who wish it. Not that it necessarily needs it, since Dino Shift 2 is both more complex in level design, but also more action-oriented. You'll need to be a lot quicker and more accurate in this installment, and some of those jumps and the timing restrictions are really precise. It's actually something I enjoyed, since each stage felt like a unique and carefully designed challenge, but it's also something that might throw more casual platform fans off. Still, Dino Shift 2 is an absolutely gorgeous and well designed little game with a bit of bite that might make you rage quit temporarily... but at least you'll do it with a smile!