Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
Since being big, being strong, and having control is an elemental childhood fantasy, Roar Rampage should appeal to the kid in all of us. It is, after all, about a giant, boxing-glove-wearing dinosaur who punches buildings and gets tattoos. There’s a powerful draw to that, even for a grown-up.
The game starts off promisingly, as you’re bouncing helicopters off each other and pummeling corporate headquarters with monorail nunchucks. Its brash, colorful visuals, plainly inspired by the arcade games of the early ’90s, also work in its favor, but in fairly short order, you run out of things to do. Aren’t you a heavyweight boxing dino? You should be able to do anything.
The primary issue is the way you box—by touching the glove and dragging it into whatever stands in your way. It’s a weightless, frustrating form of pugilism. Between that and the overwhelming strength of your dinosaur, it’s too easy to defeat enemies via constant flailing. There are methods to combine attacks and make things a little more interesting, but that doesn’t stop Roar Rampage from feeling less like a power fantasy and more like kicking over sandcastles at the beach—which is also fun, you know, for a while.