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By SNK Arcade 1989


For years before Steven Speilberg climaxed his blockbuster 'Jurassic Park' with a showdown with a marauding T-Rex, SNK's nifty little shooter did pretty much the same thing, albeit without the expensive CG.. This is a game for all you Dino-loving shooter fans!

From Brachiosaurus to Pteranodon, Stegosaurus to Allosaurus, and not to mention the occasional caveman, and the mighty T-Rex, Prehistoric Isle plays host to a whole bestiary of Jurassic upstarts, many of which would like nothing better than a good munch on your plane..

Prehistoric Isle is a highly entertaining slice of horizontal shooter action..a welcome change from the 'Zap-the-alien-scum' theme of most arcade shooters of the period (and today). What makes it more interesting than your average horizontal shooter from this time is the weapon system - picking up a 'P' icon (earned by shooting little floating 'dino-eggs') equips your plane with a nifty little pod device that can be rotated, with a dab of a button, 360 degrees around your ship, firing in sync with your main guns in a pattern depending on wherabouts you have positioned it. For instance, align the pod with your main gun directly in front of your plane's nose and your main firepower is increased, align it straight below your plane and it will fire bouncing lasers downwards. Bombs can be dropped by aligning the pod just to the below-right of your bi-plane, little mines can be ejected backwards if the pod is set behind your tailplane. In total there are eight different types of firepower available to your weapon pod specific to the positioning of the device in relation to your plane. It's an idea that works a treat in practice, and allows much scope for experimentation during the game's many levels. The rotating pod idea is such an enduring one that Capcom later used it in their excellent CPS2 shooter Eco Fighters five years later.

The highlight of the game though must be the excellent Dino-bosses.. most of which are very cleverly and effectively animated using multiple sprites for moving parts such as legs, extending necks (see the Brachiosaurus), and other appendages (tentacles etc!!). Quite a stand-out when this game was released. Also of note are the great SFX, which include some very nicely done dino growls and screeches, the little cavemen guys who jump up and grab hold of your plane, sending it out of control, plus the very funny explosion effects with dino baddies bursting into pieces when shot like ripe water-melons.. hehe! No wonder they went extinct.. ;)

SNK returned to the Lost World featured in this game ten years later with a 1999 arcade sequel Prehistoric Isle 2..

'Unknown Dinosaur' boss four.. big 'orrible green scaly monster. Surprisingly this one does not try to eat you. Unfortunately it spits deadly fireballs. Hmm.. out of the frying pan into the fire..

On level six you swap your bi-pane for a sub to
do a spot of Jacques Cousteau type stuff. Heck...
it just as hairy down here than on the land!!

Here's another aquatic boss.. an oversized squid.. er..
Ammonite. Likes to grab you with its tentacles a munch you.
Lot's of well fed dino-dudes around here anyways..

Just thought I'd show some giant prehistoric
wasps on the final 'volcano' level

Or 'Prehistoric Isle in 1930' to
give it it's full title - one of SNK's most fondly remembered eighties' arcade games.. call Doug Maclure!

o you've been called in to investigate a disturbance in the Bermuda Triangle, equipped with little more than a rickety bi-plane and a few bullets here and there. Little did you bargain on what you will find on the Prehistoric Isle!

The very first Dino-boss. Very fierce for a plant-eater eh? Maybe it's the fact that those planes are made of wood...

This Allosaurus is boss number two.. Aargh! Does everything around here have to keep on eating me??

A huge flying Rhamphorhynchus lies at the end of the cloud-strewn level three. Big and purple and nasty.
Likes firing tornadoes at you.

Boss five is an enormous flying bug that attempts to bring the ceiling down on you.. Yuck - I hate bugs.

See! This is Archelon - monstrous guardian of the deep. Nothing but a big turtle really. Watch out for all the baby turtles he spits out at you though.

Stego-saurus. Did he? Yes he did.. etc etc..

And here's Rex. What he's doing at the bottom of a Volcano is anyone's guess but you've got to kill him all the same - before he does the same to you. In a rather spectacular departure from realism this particular T-Rex can spit fireballs at you. Mind you maybe he just swallowed some lava or something..

One exploding Tyrannosaur later and you have completed
the game. So what's in store at the end of the adventure
for our two plucky pilots? Click
here to find out..

See the final ending animation here.
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