Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom hit cinemas on 6th June and following up on the movie’s release came Jurassic World Evolution on 12th June. Created by Rollercoaster Tycoon and Elite Dangerous devs Frontier Development, the title has you manage your own dinosaur park set in the Jurassic Park world.
The park includes basic simulation management mechanics seen in previous titles such as Planet Coaster, but skinned for the Jurassic Park franchise. It does however look to add interesting features such as scouring the world for rare dino fossils and grants players the chance to pilot a helicopter around your park with a tranquiliser rifle, you can control and put troublesome dinosaurs to sleep. In turn, for the pricetag some may deem a reskin at £50 more than enough, so it’s good to see Frontier haven’t taken the easy route of a cash and grab Jurassic title.
Normally for movie tie in games, getting hold of relevant voice actors is difficult due to their busy schedules and price to hire, however Jurassic World Evolution has teamed up with Jeff Goldblum, Bryce Dallas Howard and B. D. Wong to reprise their movie roles. Sorry guys there’s no Chris Pratt, but the three that do feature do a fantastic job to set challenges and help walk you through tutorials. My personal favourite was Dr Ian Malcolm played by Jeff Goldblum in the Jurassic Park films. The voice acting felt natural and perfectly suited to their roles within the game.
Think of Evolution as Rollercoaster Tycoon but with dinosaurs. The game offers a range of buildings from tourist attractions like hotels and fast food restaurants to facilities such as the Expedition center, used for sending your paleontologists to fossil dig sites to obtain dinosaur DNA. DNA sequencing in return unlocks new dinosaurs and updates their statistics, such as lifespan and resilience. Once you have enough DNA content, players can use the Hammond Research Center to incubate the dinosaurs and release them into the park.
Be careful though as releasing carnivores with herbivores is a recipe for instant disaster, with the meat eaters automatically programmed to attack and eat the green eaters. It’s always worth setting up multiple fenced areas connected to an incubation building, that way you can better control your new dinosaurs created. It’s worth noting that different types of carnivore dinosaurs will fight one another as well, so always check their hostile status.
Managing dinosaurs can be quite a fun experience as there’s always the option of tranquilising them and airlifting them to a new area if they’re causing trouble. Dinosaur management can also present a challenge, as experimenting with DNA and dinosaurs in the same penned area can go one of two ways. One they get on really well and mind one another’s business or two, fighting and death will occur frequently.
Equally to run a successful park, you’ll need to pay close attention to your finances. Building more tourism friendly buildings and housing a grand selection of dinosaurs will aid in a healthy profit to be made. There are also challenges to complete which grant a nice pot of money as a reward usually in the region of one million. Building too much in one go can cause you to go bankrupt and your dinosaurs to die if you can’ afford to feed them. Although the balance of challenges help to keep your finances in check if I’m honest, so try to complete every one set.
Also tied into the movie was a new update that launched this week, adding a selection of new dinosaurs from the latest movie – adding to the existing 40 dinos. It would have been nice to have some water-based dinosaurs, but as the game is still relatively new, hopefully Frontier have plans to add a few at some stage. Modifying their DNA just doesn’t seem enough to keep the game going in terms of longevity. So new content is going to be key here.
Jurassic World Evolution is fantastically linked to Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. It was great to see 3 movie franchise actors lend their voices to their in-game counterparts. In terms of gameplay, it offers a fun to play dinosaur park management experience, although future updates will control it’s success as new dinosaurs are the only fresh element currently from last week’s update so far.