Who doesn’t love a good top-down business simulation title?
We’ve been lapping up this kind of title for years, from Sim City to Zoo Tycoon, and with Jurassic World Evolution out now out on PC and consoles, the gaming industry has just added another to the list. Jurassic World is essentially a remake of a classic released on PS2, Xbox and Windows back in 2003, called Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. It’s a construction and management simulation which has you build and maintain your own dino-themed park.
This isn’t the first game of its type to be released around the Jurassic World franchise. The ‘game’ Jurassic Park Builder has been out on mobile app stores for ages, but as you might have guessed being a mobile app, is a freemium nightmare of endless wait times and microtransactions.
This is the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from world-builder games in recent years. Whether it’s Farmville or Simpsons Tapped Out, we face excruciating waiting periods and the constant reminder that we could be having more fun if we paid a little more.
As a fully-price game triple-A title, you’ll certainly expect Jurassic World Evolution to steer clear of this kind of park builder model, but we’ve been fooled before. While it doesn’t have the wait times or microtransactions, anyone who played Zoo Tycoon on the consoles will know the gameplay is exactly the same as a standard zoo-style app on your iPhone.
So, does this Jurassic game follow in the footsteps of Zoo Tycoon or not? How much does it differ from the current flock of garbage being thrown onto app stores? Should I get Jurassic World Evolution, or is it just a jumped up, better graphics version of the app store version?
Why Should I Get Jurassic World Evolution?
It’s Not Just a Scaled-Up Mobile App
We won’t keep your waiting.
Stuff takes time to build, but we’re talking minutes not days. You need resources but you can only get them by doing in-game actions in real-time. You have options to change the environment; not just place pens with pre-filled animals. This is nothing like the mobile apps we’ve become accustomed to. This is the Jurassic Park equivalent of the original Zoo Tycoon games. A fairly faithful reimagining of Operation Genesis that gives players much more in the way of engaging content than a click and drag app.
Follow Mission Style Narratives
The problem with a lot of free-style simulations, mobile apps or otherwise, is that they follow a system that gets old pretty fast. You place your items to get more coins to place more items to upgrade and get more coins. The only challenge is often making people happy with whatever environment you are building or making more money. This is fun for a while, but eventually it dries up and you’ve lost play value. It gets stale, you get bored and you taper off.
Jurassic World Evolution though, is a bit different. Yes, you have objectives to make people happy and make money, but you also have a variety of other challenges assigned by the three sectors of park management: research, security and entertainment. This gives you a constant focus and something to aim for. There is always a mission to do and something driving you forward. This can vary from building new attractions to squabbles between rival sectors and even experiments like letting dinosaurs escape.
Whatever the mission, it gives you a reason to progress.
And that progression isn’t just about completing missions. By achieving success in the parks, you unlock new islands, which in themselves have been missions and challenges, pushing you to continue with the game and experience the surprises and developments to gameplay each island offers.
Experience Natural Progression
In management simulation games, you often hit a plateau. You get to a point where you’ve got all the best stuff and the game becomes too easy. That, or with the case of mobile apps, everything takes a week to build and it becomes too hard to go on without the help of cryogenics.
Jurassic World Evolution, though, has something a little different for you.
After completing an island’s mission objectives, you are given a choice: carry on managing it as you would a normal simulation or move to another island. Now you start again on a new island, but these new islands have new challenges, from tough terrain and financial limitations to storms that batter parks and even employee sabotage.
Each island gets tougher, with bigger and badder surprises. This very much works like a level system, in that you progress and have to fend off new challenges. Unlike your fairly static, typical, simulation game, you’ll always be stretched.
You need to think about what you are doing. The game doesn’t get too easy or too monotonous. There is always something to catch you off your guard.
Customise Your Park
This game is rich with customisation. You can do everything from sculpting the landscape to change the colour of dinosaur skin. As this is Jurassic World we are talking about, there are also lots of ways to customise dinosaurs with genetic ‘enhancements’.
Now, we know a lot of business simulation games have plenty in the way of customisation, it is kind of the point of them. However, there is something to be said for the variety offered in Jurassic World Evolution. It means playthroughs are always a bit different. You’d have to play this game a lot to not find a new way of customizing how you design and operate your park; breeding different dinos, giving them different traits and placing them in unique situations.
Create a Jurassic World
When you’re asking yourself: should I buy Jurassic World Evolution? You’re probably thinking about picking the game up because you are a fan of the Jurassic franchise.
This game is an excellent addition to said franchise.
It enables you to basically become John Hammond, except you can manage the park in your pants. Although I’m sure he may have done that occasionally as well. He did seem like the eccentric type…
If like us at FinalBoss, you loved Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, or you just love the idea of making your own Jurassic World, this game is the game for you. There are no two ways about it, this game was made primarily for Jurassic Park fans, and it delivers on that front without a doubt.
The man, the myth, the legend. He’s back, and with a few more lines than in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Dr Ian Malcolm is there, giving you sass right from the word go to the final whistle.
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James is THG’s technophobic TV nut, movie addict and theorist crackpot. He’ll be bringing you features, insights and incoherent ramblings on all your favourite and least favourite shows and movies.