Are you up for managing an island amusement park full of huge, terrible lizards, aka dinosaurs? If so then step right up and let Jeff Goldblum tell you all about it in this fun game from Frontier Developments, the makers of Planet Zoo and Planet Coaster. There is a lot to cover so hold onto your butts!
The gameplay is familiar with a few enhancements like the ability to choose from a variety of animal species. One notable difference to this game is how you choose the park's patrons, as well as how you raise your dinosaurs. The mechanics of a dinosaur park are pretty much standard stuff. Once your park is up and running you can explore your island, harvest resources, build structures, improve facilities, customize the park and more. There are a few twists to the gameplay, such as how you raise your dinosaurs. You don't want your dinos to escape and cause havoc around the park. As you unlock dinosaurs you will also be able to train them to carry items for you on their backs.
Watching Jurassic World Evolution play, it's amazing how much detail was put into the game's back story and how surprisingly big the park really is. It's also important to remember that this is being released in a market with LEGO games, but even in that crowded field, Jurassic World Evolution has a lot going for it. It has stunning visuals, a lot of variety in the park's attractions, well thought out management and rules, and one heck of a unique dinosaur (or two). But what's cool about this particular theme is that some of the dinos in this game are nothing like the one's we've seen in the movies. They're mean, mean, mean. If you get on the bad side of them, your park will likely go belly up in short order. With all that in mind, what you see in the game is pretty darn impressive.
The developer's experience in Planet Coaster is evident, as you can instantly tell how easy it is to balance the park. Getting food sources to be attractive to the dinosaurs is just a matter of picking up food crates and hiding them behind bushes. Evolution has fully destructible environments which makes for some fun combat. You can add anything to an obstacle course you create, and even dinosaur eggs to make climbing through the trees and over the fences a little more dangerous. The level I played took place on a tropical island, so there was a nice selection of deciduous foliage.
Here is where Jurassic World Evolution could win you over. Evolution is one of the many modern games that has mastered the art of polish. Everything looks fantastic, the environments, the dinosaurs and the much-maligned crafting aspect of the game look like they could be straight out of a Pixar film.
Jurassic World Evolution was fun for the most part. I liked that it has real-world settings and put some more thought into how the players will interact with each other and with the animals. This is a quality game to pick up if you are an adventure game fan and you are interested in learning about how people build and manage theme parks. While the sim aspect could benefit by being a bit deeper don't be scared to jump in and give this dinosaur management sim a whirl.