As someone who grew up completely fascinated by dinosaurs, the Jurassic Park franchise has always been something I’ve held very dearly. Since owning my own triceratops was out of the question despite my desperate pleas, Jurassic World evolution has come along and soothed my needs.
The concept is simple, make a park, get some money, hatch dinosaurs. But with Jurassic World evolution, there’s not a quiet moment. From the moment you start the game there is a stream of tasks to complete with several paths to take. You learn quickly that expedition teams need to be sent out to find new fossils, and you need new fossils to increase customer satisfaction. But to increase the number of customers to satisfy, you need to fulfill their amusement park needs. For such a simple concept you will not find yourself short of tasks to complete and suddenly half your day has passed. There is always something to do, and no time to turn a blind eye. With such ferocious beasts at your fingertips, you also have to consider the protection of your guests.
Left to your own devices
Although you are given a wide variety of things to complete, the help menus are minimal. On more than one occasion a task will be lost and you’ll suddenly have no power to one of your key assets. With constant narration from team leaders you’re also required to have the sound on constantly since the notifications are so small and disappear so fast. Some tasks are so poorly explained and leave you unable to complete until later in the game but this isn’t specified at any point. I mostly felt guilty when I couldn’t complete something because I felt like an awful dinosaur mother.
Each species has its own personality too. Whilst some immediately want to start fights, others can become lonely and seek a friend. It’s unpredictable and no two dinosaurs are the same. Which is what you’d expect from a realistic dinosaur theme park simulator. You learn to not only please your guests but also your own creations since they are, if anything, more important. Don’t make the mistake I did of releasing a carnivore into a herbivore enclosure though. My ACU team couldn’t move quick enough to prevent the massacre of my Triceratops and I’m pretty sure I’m still a bit traumatized.
Never a quiet moment
Once you have a grasp on the basic necessities of the game, you begin cooking on gas. Before you know it you’re dashing about in your 4×4 to cure infected Brachiosaurus and refilling the feeders for your Ceratosaurus’ enclosure. Then your funds come pouring in by the bucketful and your park is looking absolutely beautiful. Surely by this point you begin to feel as though there is no more you could possibly ring out of this game?
Well guess what? You would be wrong.
There’s enough content within the story to keep you going at a good pace for hours on end. Each task completed impacts your reputation amongst three categories, security, entertainment and science. Completing these tasks will also open up new islands for your park to expand to. The story helps give this game a little structure even though the majority is in your hands from the moment you start. The tasks presented by the three categories expose you to any possible outcome your park might face. From keeping you guests safe from a storm to the escaped dinosaurs, you are responsible for dealing with all of it. As you slowly make your way through different contracts you will notice your own strengths and weaknesses as a park manager and learn that one small mistake could put all your guests in jeopardy.
A truly beautiful game
Of course this can cause panic, but as a whole the game is remarkably zen. I have spent hours on this game without realizing. Following a realistic weather cycle, it feels so genuine when it suddenly starts pouring down and guests run for shelter. Graphics and animations are smooth even when you have a large number of dinos running around. The sound design is also incredibly beautiful. Fearful strings accompany large, carnivorous dinosaurs, and gentle piano accompanies the calmer parts of game play. Each species has its own roars, and the guests scream in terror if one of your scaly showstoppers escapes.
I struggled with the power element of my park though. Due to minimal guidance my understanding of power supply lacked. I had to resort to Google in order to understand why my gift shop wasn’t operating. There is no tutorial when it comes to power supply and it is definitely something I got very frustrated at. To ensure it’s fully powered, a network of pylons will disregard any aesthetic you have in place. I very quickly fell out of love with this element (as you can imagine).
Despite all that, Jurassic World Evolution is a magnificently created dinosaur park simulator. To any fellow dino fanatic I cannot recommend this game enough. If, like me, you would do anything to live in a world full of these breathtaking beauties then play this game. You will not regret it.