Three wide-eyed, baby dinosaurs stare at you, lovingly pleading for a bit of nurturing. Having no children or pets, the idea of raising a Jurassic family on my iPad was too tempting to ignore. After all, sans any mortgage payment or school zoning concerns, raising a few kids of my own and receiving unconditional love, albeit it through a digital manner, was just what the doctor ordered. But apart from my own paternal passions, is Happy Dinos enticing enough to lure the more mentally balanced gamer?

To create your own clan, one should start from a place of love, and when two like minded dinosaurs find each other across a grassy field, nature eventually takes its course. One of the more important aspects of Happy Dinos is breeding all these lovebirds as much as possible. Since many of them have their own different colors, their offspring should also turn out with a distinct look. But remember, before we can even talk about conception, foreplay must be involved. With this title, a kiss is still a kiss, but the results are pretty epic.

After the breeding phase, the baby dinosaurs are ready to explore the land and grow into their environment. Since they are wild and rambunctious little critters from the get go, each tyke needs to be trained, and you must choose from several, easy as pie mini-games to properly train them. These lightning quick ditties will have dinosaurs jumping or flying through the land, as they pick up goodies along the way while trying to avoid various impediments, such as obtrusive mushrooms and fences. Since I had way too much fun with the mating section, there are several babies in need of attention.

My favorite mini-game, Flying Dinos, has a slew of dinosaurs randomly thrown in the air amidst a collection of crates. The key is to tap as many dinos as possible without having your finger touch the crates. If you're looking for any kind of gaming challenge, Flying Dinos or any of the other adventures won't scratch that itch. But as far as guilt free, innocuous fun, these minis won't disappoint.

The goal of the title is to transform these babies into functioning adults, and then have them eventually breed a new generation. As your population grows, you can expand and also decorate your territory to suit their needs. Keeping these dinosaurs happy is also important, and although your first step is to raise a family, Happy Dinos grows into its own compelling world.

Although I'm pretty sure Happy Dinos should be taken at face value, I do get wistful at the thought of sending my young ones out into the great unknown. Growing up is a part of life, and letting them fend for themselves is necessary. Since I have separation issues, I still haven't made that big leap, so my land is completely congested with unhappy family members. Some day I will definitely have to let go.

Happy Dinos gives you a lush and compelling world at your disposal. How your raise your clan is entirely up to you, and since you will have so many tasks to accomplish, the title rarely ever gets boring. It's funny how so much responsibility begins with a silly little kiss. But love is a funny thing, and sometimes even dinosaurs need to laugh.


App Store Link: Happy Dinos for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.1 | 42.0 MB | Rating: 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating