Tag Archives: Dinora

REVIEW: 2D World Creator

When Dinora released on XBLIG last year, it found a comfortable niche between two groups of people; those that wanted a cheaper, indie-er Terraria, and those that liked the idea of Terraria combined with more NPC interaction, including creating your own family in-game. Now developer NeuronVexx is returning to its roots, of sorts, with plainly-titled 2D World Creator ($1.00).

To be clear, 2D World Creator is not Dinora. If Dinora was meant to evoke the ‘hardcore-ness’ of survival mixed with creativity, of hard work paired with incremental progress, then 2D World Creator is the Casual Friday of crafters; zero pressure, zero responsibilities, and zero crafting. Hey, if you want to drop a toilet in a cave and call your ‘house’ completed, so be it. No judgement.

The game allows you— and up to three others, locally— to choose from a handful of avatar types, then drops you into a pristine world ripe for construction. The avatars correspond to the block sets you can build with, like a Farmer, a medieval Knight, or a futuristic Robot. I chose to play my robot ill-tempered, to make scenes like this:

And those block sets are unlocked fully from the start, no hassle required, cutting out a lot of the lead-in and busywork that traditional crafting games entail. The typical components apply, including fencing, walls, chairs, beds, dressers, and a ton of accessories. Mix and match from across the four tilesets.

Visually, 2D World Creator is an upgrade from Dinora. Structures and components look better in this game, though the idea remains the same. Stack blocks as you will, using the foreground and background to add flair and variety, set up wiring to attach switches and lamps, or interact with a radio1, TV, portal, etc. Your ‘home’ is what you make it. Build a massive brick castle or mansion with futuristic furnishings, or keep it dirt simple, and underground:

Short of having local friends to build with you, though, this world will feel cold and empty compared to other games of its type. No animals (aww man, no pets!) or NPCs of any kind exist here. There are no enemies to fight, no pockets of rare minerals / items to discover. Just you and your pickaxe.

The rest, as they say, is up to you. 2D World Creator cuts out all the boring stuff like, you know… Challenge, Progression, and a sense of Purpose, and hands you the controls to the entire thing from the start. Creativity takes the place of all that ‘rest’, and if you’ve got an idea in your head, the game gives you some means to realize it.


  1. You can sample from the game’s limited soundtrack, turn it off completely, or use your own from the hard drive. I totally forgot I had an old My Chemical Romance album on mine, which made for ‘interesting’ construction music. 
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‘Dinora’, Now With Friends

Dinora - Splitscreen

While some may grumble it’s not online co-op, Update #2 for Terraria-like world-builder Dinora (original review here) does bring friends into the mix via split-screen play. You and up to three(!) of your pals can now brave the dangers / experience the highs of molding a world in your image… together. Perhaps even better news, you now have access to four save slots, meaning you’re no longer confined to just one character or vision of said molded world.

Weather in Dinora takes a turn for the random, as well, with new dynamic rain / snow systems to account for. Also addressed in this update are some performance quirks and bug fixes. It introduces some new ones, too, apparently, though a game this massive is going to constantly evolve (and improve) with each new patch. If you’ve been sitting on the proverbial fence until now, it’s time to hop off. The game is good fun.

REVIEW: Dinora

A million years ago, in a land very unlike the one I currently reside in, I had a wife. Children. A modest house, a valued trade. I was making a living. I was living, well, sort of. The truth was a barely-passable life on a rock I’d chose to call home for no other reason than it had plenty of trees to chop down when I first arrived. Between that first chop and my final breath in the land of Dinora (80 MSP), I was witness to a great many things, several highs and lows, the laughs and frustrations. I know my life, as I refer to that digital existence, the temporary abandonment of my mortal coil, was not in vain. I was, at varying times, a miner, blacksmith, wizard, fairy, knight, a shepherd, farmer, alien hunter, a rescuer, a doctor—  such are the possibilities (and then some) present in the game.

Even so, it is plainly obvious that Dinora is a $1 Terraria. One look at the visuals, which, while simple, have an understated charm to them, and you’ll reach the same conclusion. Playing it, a 2D crafter that sees you from such humble wood-chopping beginnings all the way up to the ruler-God of a great city, if you so choose, will be immediately familiar to those that have played Terraria. There is no getting around it. Both games, with the exception of some interface upgrades / downgrades and options, play the same. The opening is the same, battles are the same, mundane tasks are the same, everything is saaaammmme. For the sake of keeping the review manageable, I’ll skip some of the finer details of the setup, as if you’ve played Terraria or have an interest in it, you’ll know the routine. Basically, the world of Dinora is yours to mold and craft as you wish, with plenty of optional quests and events if your own creativity starts to stall.

The original angle that Dinora takes is in its ‘relationships’, your interactions with the various NPCs across the land. After building a Bar (alcohol is the genesis of human interaction, of course) and several furnished homes / rooms, you can befriend and enlist the services of the men and women you meet, setting them up in various professions and teaching them skills, which will pay dividends to you once they start producing goods. You can also find (and woo) a husband or wife, and start a family of your own (they’ll even be dependent on you for food / shelter), watching them take on your features and age accordingly. There’s several options in how you can converse, and each denizen in Dinora has changing moods / needs that you must pay attention to if you want to foster a relationship. It’s surprisingly well-done, and stacks even more hours on top of the hours you’ll spend building / tearing down / fighting / casting spells / leveling up, etc.

Dinora - Screen

Building scenes like this requires a massive amount of time, resources, and dedication.

There’s some nitpicks here and there. Despite some well-handled tutorials and reminders, building / crafting can be a pain to figure out, and the controller can’t match a keyboard & mouse setup. Inventory can be tough to manage, and most enemies are too strong for your initially weak character, though all of these things should be expected in a game where you can literally be doing a dozen different things at any given time. And as a crafter, you should know that the game will be lengthy, though it bears repeating: Dinora is NOT pick-up-and-play, it is a MAJOR time-sink. Expect to put in several hours before you’re anywhere near a stable existence, and triple that time if you want to see some of the more fun aspects of the game, or reach its ‘Darkness is coming’ endgame.

Dinora may be a carbon-copy of Terraria in most ways, though it’s hard to argue its worth when you can get every bit of enjoyment out of it as you would playing the original. All of that game’s tally, and even a little more here, due to the relationships you can forge, essentially unlimited playtime, for 80 MSP. How you choose to live your life on Dinora is entirely up to you, and the game provides an excellent template from which to draw ideas. Original or not, quirks and nagging issues considered, a game with this amount of choice and variety can’t be ignored or dismissed.

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Review on Indie Gamer Chick

‘Dinora’ Looks to Mine Familiar Terraria

Much like how Milkstone Studios has successfully aped both The Binding of Issac and Slender (Sushi Castle and White Noise, respectively) for console audiences, UK developer Neuron Vexx looks to do the same with its first title, Dinora. It really doesn’t don much of a disguise, presenting itself exactly like a cheaper homage to Terraria (which is itself a very fun 2D homage to Minecraft).

Players can expect the requisite combat, boss battles, endless crafting and resource mining, though Dinora puts extra emphasis on the NPCs in its game world, allowing you to foster relationships with them. Get married, have children, watch them all age and then leave behind a boatload of loot. The developer hits all the major bullet points below.

  • Randomly generated world   
  • Dynamic systems: NPC aging, relationships, day/night, plant growth, hunger 
  • Variety of ecosystems: area specific friendly/aggressive creatures
  • 6 bosses    
  • Combat: Melee, Ranged and Magic   
  • Elemental Combat System: Fire, Ice, Venom and Shock   
  • NPC Development: Relationships, Occupations, Marriage, Children, Inheritance    
  • Resource Collection: Farming, Mining, and Treasure Hunting   
  • Crafting: Basic and Advanced (unique elemental weapons and armour)      
  • Building: Shelter, Properties to Rent   
  • Open world game play with underlying story arc

While it remains to be seen how original the game will end up being, it should at the very least offer up the same ‘massive time sink’ gameplay that other crafters excel at, for a very low price.

Dinora is currently slated for a late April / early May release, and will cost you 80 MSP. You can follow the developer here.

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