Brian Greenstone’s Pangea Software has been producing high-quality, high polish family-friendly 2D and 3D games for the Mac for over a decade. From 2D scrollers to kart racers to enigmatic puzzle games to psychedelic rollercoaster simulators, Pangea’s games have run the gamut of gaming styles, yet every title always manages to feature the fun and creative gameplay that studio’s fans have grown to know and love.
Over four years ago, Pangea released Nanosaur, a third person shooter in which players controlled a lonely dinosaur assigned with the daunting responsibility of saving the species. The Nanosaur was tasked with the job of running around pre-historic Earth, securing un-hatched dinosaur eggs from the untamed landscape, all the while avoiding the attacks of the ferocious Pteranodons, Triceratops, and T-Rexes out to thwart the sprinting dinosaur in the completion of his task.
Similar in concept to the original game, Pangea Software’s upcoming Nanosaur 2: Hatchling sends players back in the throes of chaos in order to save even more dinosaur eggs than in the series’ previous incarnation. However, while many of the gameplay elements will seem familiar to fans of the original game, the new sequel differs greatly from the original in one respect – rather than running around the alien landscapes on foot, this time around, the new protagonist takes his task to the skies.
Set several millennia in the future, Nanosaur 2: Hatchling puts players in the skin of a high-tech, flying Pterodactyl who’s been sent to an alien planet, by way of space wormhole, in order to rescue Nanosaur eggs stolen from Earth millions of years ago. Players are charged with controlling the winged hero as he soars, dives and swirls his way through wooded pastures, murky marshes, and arid deserts in his never-ending quest to pluck the fledgling dino eggs from the evil alien landscapes.
In their mounting efforts to thwart the attempts of our hero, the alien species have secured the services of the Rebel Nanosaurs - Diplodocus and Allosaurs that roam the landscape, ready to pounce on our fearless hero and tear him to shreds. And if the prehistoric threats weren’t enough, the bad guys have also resorted to the use of diabolical alien weapon technology, in the form of, among others, revolving gun towers, floating mines, and Dalek-inspired roaming robots equipped with powerful laser guns.
Our heroic Pterodactyl hasn’t embarked upon his quest unprepared, however. Versed in the latest high tech gadgetry, the flying dinosaur comes equipped with protective shields and a fuel-powered jetpack designed for getting him out of tight spots quickly. Players can also rely on the use of the various weapons and shield power-ups that have been scattered throughout the inhospitable landscape. High-impact energy blasters, fragment grenades, ‘dumb’ bombs and heat-seaking missiles all come handy in completing the game’s tasks.
As mentioned earlier, Pangea Software titles are typically rich in visual and aural quality, and Nanosaur 2 is no exception. The game’s 3D landscape features a wide and detailed mix of natural elements - water, rocks, crystal outcroppings, and hundreds of fully 3D-rendered trees, grasses, and marshes define the landscape. The alien, Paleozoic, and just plain weird enemies are rendered in evil hues and tones. The most impressive aspect of the game’s visuals, however, are the special effects. Playing the game is a virtual fireworks display, with multi-coloured particle systems exploding all around the hero as the battles intensify.