Welcome to Paleo Pines, a beautiful, cosy game where you tame dinosaurs to help you around your farmstead. Build your farm ranch from the ground-up, taming new dinosaurs and using their unique talents to assist you with tasks, such as watering plants, ploughing fields and breaking rocks.
Farming won't be back-breaking in Paleo Pines with the help of your gigantic pals, as you make friends with the locals, plant and grow vegetables to sell at market. You’ll also head into town to buy new seeds, feed for your new dino pals and build a community to be proud of!
Starting up Paleo Pines, you will have the ability to create an avatar with a few different skin tones, clothes and hair styles. It's not a hugely robust character editor, but you can create a fairly decent character for your adventures.
The story in Paleo Pines is that you're travelling around looking for any remaining dinosaur family members of your best pal; Lucky, your starter dinosaur in the game. The locals say there have been sightings in the area of other parasaurolophus, but they are very rarely seen in the region, and can be difficult to find. This is also where you encounter an old run-down ranch, it's where you begin your farming adventure.
On my first impressions, I thought this was going to be another traditional farming simulator, which, at the moment, is a genre that is oversaturated on the Nintendo Switch’s eshop. However, Paleo Pines isn't your typical farming experience, and featuring some really unique mechanics that change up the farming genre for the better.
The game throws dinosaurs into the mix. Each species have their own unique abilities and taming requirements before you can befriend them and take them home. Each of the 30+ dinosaur species can be tamed and here is just a snippet of some of them: the spiky stegosaurus, the quick oviraptor and the terrifying tyrannosaurus make an appearance (among many others). Some will live in harmony with one another and some will cause nothing but heartache, so pick your fellow dino pals carefully and decide their roles in your ranch.
The taming in the game is very unique as you locate a flute early on and must press colour-coded notes assigned to the triggers and bumpers on your controller. Holding them down produces a longer note and you have to copy the right sequence that mimics the dinosaur's calls, allowing you to get closer to them. At which point, you can feed them certain treats (each dinosaur prefers different types of fruits and vegetables) to befriend them. They will then follow you back to your ranch. Once they’ve arrived, you must make them a home with the right bedding and surrounding plants, and only then they will join you.
Each dinosaur provides new ways to care for your plants, crops and the surrounding area, such as drinking water and spraying it over your crops, saving you time in the process. You can also speed up ploughing the fields and destroying rocks and other debris littered around your run-down ranch. While you can do this the old fashion way by watering and ploughing your fields by hand with your many tools, this new mechanic of allowing dinosaurs to do the heavy lifting takes the hard work out of manual labour and off your hands, making this farming game a lot more enjoyable.
Paleo Pines is a really cosy, relaxed title on the switch, and you're not forced to do anything quickly. While there are many objectives to complete in the beginning of the game, it's your choice on how you tackle your everyday tasks. You’ll be focused on completing side quests, main quests, taming dinosaurs or simple foraging for materials and food at your own pace. Time can be consumed by the smallest activity like in most farming sims, so if you're invested in the title, you will get your money's worth here.
- Not your traditional farming sim
- Multiple Dinosaur breeds to tame
- Dinosaurs provide news ways to farm
- Cosy experience
The graphics in Paleo Pines have a lovely pastel colour palette to them and the dinosaurs are quite detailed. However, I found some of the opening environments to be a little washed out, suffering from a lot of pop-up when you're travelling around.
In addition, I got a little annoyed with the manual saving system which required you to have to travel back to your ranch if you wanted to save. I also found the map to be pretty useless as there was no way to add way-points and I did get a little lost sometimes when travelling about.
- Washed out colours
- Pop-up when wandering about
- Manual saving
- No way points on the map
Final Score: 8/10
Paleo Pines is a very cosy farm sim in a sea of hundreds of other farming titles. The game stands apart from its competition thanks to its dinosaur taming and the unique abilities each creature brings to the table. This provides new ways to complete mundane tasks that other sims would make you do at nausea. While there’s still the standard farming, planting and growing crops to do, there are a wealth of quests and side quests on offer to complete and well over 30+ dinosaurs to find and tame, including some special rare breeds.
Take a trip to Paleo Pines; creating a dinosaur ranch where farming has never been so jurassic!
Thank you for checking out our Paleo Pines Switch review, thank you to Modus Games for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: