After living through (so far) a pandemic, I’ll never question why people are trying to re-open Jurassic Park despite what happened before. It turns out that humans have concise memories and will insist on repeating mistakes they have already made, even if those blunders weigh several tons and have enormous fangs. You can play as yet another moron focused on turning dinosaurs into a tourist attraction in Jurassic World: Evolution, but you’re doing it for the best possible reason: science money.
Customers. I’m referring to customers. The goal of this tycoon-style game is to construct the best park possible to attract paying customers. This entails creating a network of paths lined with eateries, product stores, and other attractions to entice people to pull out their wallets and purses. This isn’t the most complex strategy game, with only the most basic economic systems and principles. Still, it’s a good thing in some ways because it might appeal to a casual player who doesn’t want to navigate a UI that looks like a science textbook.
Naturally, you construct your display around your major attraction: the dinosaurs themselves. It’s a lot of fun to create enclosures and then watch as your first dinosaurs are introduced to their new habitat. With the camera zooming down to allow you to manage your monster’s first steps into the paddock, the game wants to let you enjoy the moment. You must evaluate the types of surroundings they prefer, the amount of space they require, their feeding habits, and if they can coexist with other dinosaurs. After all, while putting a T-rex in with a few peaceful herbivores may appear to be an excellent way to conserve space, the ultimate result is evident, and replacing eaten dinosaurs is expensive, man.
Because plain old dinosaurs are plain old boring these days, the campaign walks you through obtaining more and more species of dinosaurs, even delving into the realms of genetic manipulation. Brachiosaurus? Isn’t it more like Boringsaurus?
The highlight, of course, is when one or more of your dinosaurs becomes bored with humans staring at them and decides to spice up their daily routine by bursting through a wall and causing havoc. It’s entertaining to see a swarm of Raptors dashing down roads or a T-Rex devouring consumers. Is it immoral to look at the carnage instead of pressing the button that sends consumers scurrying to secret bunkers? Is it wrong to hold off on sending jeeps and helicopters after the rampaging carnivores for a while? Yes. Obviously. Who cares, though? It’s entertaining, and while having half of your visitors devoured in front of the other half may hurt your reputation, it won’t be long before dumb morons return to your death park, eager to spend money.
Jurassic World: Evolution is a fantastic game for anyone who likes the notion of creating and managing a Jurassic Park without having to deal with the details. A solid campaign walks you through the process and pushes you with challenging island layouts, with just enough strategy to keep you interested. But, in the end, it’s all about the dinosaurs, and I still get a kick out of releasing a new beast into an enclosure and watching it stomp around, testing to see if this crib is up to snuff. It’s a shame that the Game Pass edition doesn’t include the extensive DLC list, but that’s understandable; the producers will hope that the basic game will delight you enough to entice you to purchase the additions. I’m unsure if the DLC is worth buying, so do your homework before committing to anything. But, in any case, I think you’ll have plenty of fun with the primary game.