Have you ever wanted to create your own Jurassic Park? Well, Frontier Developments has you covered. Find out how they did in our Jurassic World Evolution Review!
|Release Date||June 12, 2018|
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Frontier Developments for review purposes*
If you’re a Jurassic Park/Jurassic World fan, you’ve probably waited years for a game to allow you to create your very own park. Up until now, there haven’t been many good Jurassic Park games and there haven’t been any that have recreated the park experience. If you’re not familiar with Frontier Developments, they’re the ones who developed the original Roller Coaster Tycoon games as well as the more recent Planet Coaster so Jurassic World Evolution was put in good hands.
The game kicks of with Dr. Ian Malcolm (voiced by Jeff Goldblum) warning you about the inevitability of disaster. You then get plopped onto the first of the game’s five islands. If you’ve played a business simulation game before then you have a general idea of what you’ll be doing here. You’ll need to obtain new dinosaurs and maintain them while protecting and entertaining your guests at the same time. You’ll do this by adding new facilities and ways to interact with the dinosaurs that you have on your island. If you perform well enough, you’ll unlock additional islands to expand your park. Each new island has some type of issue that you need to work around like storms, financial constraints, and limited construction options.
Jurassic World Evolution starts you off pretty slow by teaching you the ins and outs of the game before letting you sink or swim. I liked that it introduced everything fairly quickly as this isn’t a tough game to get the hang of. I never felt like I was wasting my time with the quick tutorials. After learning the basics of the game, you’re introduced to the three divisions of park staff: Security, Entertainment, and Science. Each division offers contracts with tasks for you to complete that raise your reputation with that division and gain you some cash. The more you complete, the more items and building for research are available to you. These contracts give you a steady cash flow, but they do reduce your reputation with the other two divisions. This means that you’re constantly trying to balance your divisions as if they’re competing with each other which is quite frankly stupid. Your park should be a cohesive unit, not three competing entities.
Like most business simulation games out there, this game has fantastic controls and a great UI that shows you all the information you need in a timely manner. Research and item progression are shared across all islands. Your cash does not carry over to the other islands, but you can move freely between the items and buy something at a previous island that you can’t afford at a newer one. The good thing about being able to go back to an old park is that it never feels like a step backward. You always unlock the next park before unlocking all the items for the old one, so there is always something to do. I will note that you can’t speed up time like other management simulation games which was a bummer. There is a ton to do so you likely won’t want to speed up time, but it would be nice for the option.
The biggest part of managing your park in Jurassic World Evolution is knowing the differences in your dinosaurs and how to place them. I stupidly put a carnivore dinosaur with an herbivore and gave neither of them food in the beginning. Suffice to say, only the carnivore survived. It goes beyond that, though. You need to make sure certain dinosaurs have forest areas, secluded areas, food, water, etc. Each one has a distinct personality and you have to be able to manage it accordingly. If you put two aggressive carnivores together, they’ll likely fight to the death. If something like that does happen, you can call in your rangers to tranquilize a dinosaur and move them to another area.
Dinosaurs aren’t the only things that can create issues in your parks. Things like tropical storms and somebody sabotaging something are every bit as prevalent. It gets annoying after a while to deal with these dynamic events. I mean, how many times do you have to deal with a rampaging dinosaur. If a dinosaur does attack one of your guests, it can get pretty costly. While those events do get tiring after playing them over and over again, it’s still cool to see your creations living their lives.
If there is one thing I really dislike about the game, it’s that there aren’t really that many facilities to put in your park. Sure, there are tons of dinosaurs to plop in there, but there needs to be more for the guests to do when they’re not in a viewing area. Sure, there are little shops, arcades, and hotels, but what about museums and things of that nature. I also feel like there could be more scenery items and functional items like garbage cans, security cameras, queue lines and things like that. This is still a park after all and you need those types of things to keep your guests happy. I would have also appreciated the ability to hire different types of staff as well, I feel like it would have made it feel like a much more complete experience. You can, however, control your ranger jeep, so at least you can get a close-up view of your dinos in their habitat.
|Great use of the Jurassic World license||Divisions are unnecessary|
|Personality system of dinos is robust||Can get repetitive|
|Dinos look awesome, especially up-close||Facilities and scenery are lacking in content|