After living through (Well, so far) a pandemic I will never again question why people would insist on trying to re-open Jurassic Park multiple times despite what happened previously. Humans, as it turns out, have amazingly short memories and will insist in repeating mistakes they just made, even if those mistakes happen to weigh several tonnes and have huge teeth. Jurassic World: Evolution lets you take on the role of yet another idiot intent on turning dinosaurs into a tourist attraction, but you’re doing it for the best possible reasons:
As a tycoon-style game the goal is to build the best park possible in order to draw in paying suckers. Customers. I mean customers. That means laying down a network of paths adorned with restaurants and merchandise stores and all manner of other stuff designed to get people to bring out their wallets and purses. This is far from the deepest strategy game, using fairly basic economic systems and mechanics, but it’s some ways that’s a good thing because it might be more appealing to a casual player who doesn’t fancy trying to navigate a UI that looks more like a science text-book.
Naturally, you build around your main exhibit: the dinosaurs themselves. It’s a pleasure to build enclosures and then watch as you introduce your first dinosaurs into their new home. The game likes to let you revel in the moment with the camera zooming down to let you witness your monster’s first steps into the paddock. You need to consider the types of environments they like, the space they need, their feeding habits and whether or not they can co-habitat with other dinosaurs. After all, sticking a T-rex in with a few placid herbivores might seem like an excellent way to save space, but the inevitable outcome is obvious and replacing eaten dinosaurs gets expensive, man.
The campaign guides you through acquiring more and more types of dinosaurs and even gets into the realms of genetic manipulation, because apparently plain old dinosaurs are just plain old boring these days. Brachiosaurus? More like Boringsaurus, amiright?
Of course, the highlight is when one or more of your dinosaurs gets bored of humans staring at them and decides to spice up their daily routine by smashing through a wall and going on a rampage. It’s fun to watch a herd of Raptors charging down paths or a T-Rex gobbling up some customers. Is it morally wrong to admire the carnage rather than hit the button that sends customers scurrying to special bunkers? Is it wrong to wait for a while before sending jeeps and helicopters after the rampaging carnivores? Yes. Obviously. But who cares? It’s entertaining, and while having half of your visitors get eaten in front of the other half might damage your reputation, it won’t be long before hapless morons are flocking back to your death park, eager to spend money.
Jurassic World: Evolution is great for anyone who loves the idea of building and managing a Jurassic Park without actually having to deal with headaches of the minutia. A solid campaign guides you through the process and challenges you with tricky island layouts and the level of strategy involved is just enough to keep you invested. Ultimately, it’s all about the dinosaurs, though, and I still find myself getting a little thrill each time I release a new beast into an enclosure and it stomps around, checking to see if this crib is up to snuff. It’s just a shame the Game Pass version doesn’t include the extensive list of DLC, but that’s understandable; the developers will hope that the main game will entertain you enough to potentially draw you toward so addons. Personally, I have no idea if the DLC is worth it, so be sure to do some research before committing to any of it. But I reckon you’ll have more than enough fun with the core game, anyway.