Frontier Games has recently released Jurassic World Evolution allowing you to run your own dinosaur park and bring back some of the most well-known giants in a let’s say, a somewhat safe setting.
You begin the game on Isla Mantaceros which is one of the “Five Deaths” islands you are tasked with managing. The first several tasks introduce you to the buildings required as well as how to navigate the island. There are various components to a successful island park including concessions for park visitors and a wide variety of dinosaurs. The latter are added as you send explorers across the globe in search of fossils. Once retrieved, DNA is extracted to help create the dinosaurs for your park. The more DNA for a given dinosaur you extract, the more successful you are in getting an incubated egg to successfully hatch.
The graphics in the game bear a similar resemblance to those found in Planet Coaster also from Frontier Games with the dinosaurs being the star around this time instead of roller coasters. The dinosaurs are beautifully detailed including water glistening on their backs after a tropical rain has passed through. Buildings are also well detailed as is the rain from tropical storms passing through the islands. Overall, Jurassic World Evolution is a visual treat to behold.
Park management is the crux of the game and there are several tools included to help you operate a successful park. Dinosaurs are not immune to disease or battles with other dinosaurs in the same enclosure. I made that mistake a couple times and ended up with a dead dino. Fortunately, you can build a Ranger Station and the rangers can treat dinos and also do repairs to fences should that be necessary. If you accidentally let a dinosaur expire, the Transportation team from the Asset Containment Unit (ACU) can remove it from the location. The Transportation team can also relocate dinosaurs should you want to move one to another location. Shelters can also be built to house guests during a tropical monsoon or loose dinosaur in the park.
As with most tycoon games, you need to make sure you have enough money to sustain your park. Throughout the game, you are given tasks to complete for the various Entertainment, Science and Security wings of your park. These tasks help you gain income which adds “star” value to your progress. Each island has a 5-star scale and you need to reach a certain star level to unlock additional islands to manage.
I had a lot of fun playing Jurassic World Evolution but there were a couple issues that I found a little frustrating. Buildings require electricity so power stations need to be built to generate power for these buildings. Once the power plant is constructed, connections to the buildings need to be made. It wasn’t clear to me where to place the building to connect to the available electricity. There are highlighted areas displayed, but it seemed like I received messages numerous times stating power was required for the building. Building placement was also tricky. I found myself moving slowly over the area where I was supposed to place a building looking for a spot that wasn’t blocked. I didn’t need an exact location to place the building, but I would think to place the building anywhere in the highlighted area is sufficient.
Jurassic World Evolution Review Final Thoughts:
Fans of Jurassic Park or Tycoon games, in general, will enjoy building and maintaining a dinosaur theme park in Jurassic World Evolution. Keep an eye out for broken fences so the dinosaurs don’t get out and attack…or let them if you so desire. Jurassic World Evolution is available for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam.