Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition
Developer: Frontier Developments plc
Publisher: Frontier Developments plc
Genre: Simulation, World Building
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 03/11/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
No, You Can’t Pet The Dinosaurs
Ever wanted to build, manage and run your own dinosaur laden park? Well, now is the time. I had heard many good things about Jurassic World Evolution but for some weird reason, I’ve never got round to playing it. Since then it has had a vast amount of DLC, different editions and now, a portable Nintendo Switch version. This suits me down to the ground, I can now breed T-Rex while on the loo or build new dinosaur-related attractions while out and about. Show me the dinos!
At its core, Jurassic Park Evolution is a light version of Sim City or City Skylines with the added bonus of being able to breed, crossbreed and research your own lizards of destruction. In the campaign mode, you work your way through three islands, unlocking more dinos, buildings, missions and upgrades as you go. The learning curve is brilliantly designed. The game starts simple, has great tutorials and new features are introduced to you at a nice pace.
These missions you undertake fall into three different categories, security, science and entertainment and each has a person representing that field vying for your attention. The missions start out easy enough and build you up slowly, dragging you through everything this title has to offer, which is a hefty amount. For such a small package, on such a small system, I was surprised by how much content and how much actual game was squeezed into Nintendo’s very successful portable home console hybrid. With all this though, a few sacrifices were made, especially in portable mode but more on that later.
Dinosaur Breeding Is What Everyone Wants To Do
Let’s talk about what everyone playing this game wants to know: the dinosaurs. You start off with a small number of creatures you can incubate. To get more you will need to set up an expedition station and go and do some exploring. When your team gets back, hopefully heaving with fossils you can try to extract genomes from said fossils, eventually leading to new species for you to incubate. You also get fossils just for selling too, you have to watch the pennies as well you know, it’s not all just fun and dinosaurs.
From here you can incubate any of your researched dinosaurs with the probability of them surviving increased by how much of the genome you have discovered. It is always amazing to see new dinosaurs run out into the enclosures. It’s something you have created and you always have a feeling of satisfaction and love for each new addition to your park. I am a dino daddy and I love it! I just wish some of them would not squabble so much, damn dino kids!
Looking after your creations is everything you would expect, food, water and even sometimes fixing their ailments. An unhappy dinosaur is a dangerous dinosaur and you definitely do not want that. That’s when they try to escape, end up endangering the park visitors and once again may affect your parks ability to make money. So you have to look after them, keep them healthy and keep things safe. The more I talk about this game, the more it feels like a parent dinosaur simulator. I have three kids already, do I need to add loads of dinosaurs too?
A Jurassic Sized Sandbox
As well as your campaign mode, if you want something a bit less restrictive you can try sandbox mode. Here you a free to build to your heart’s content and do whatever you please. This is where most players will spend a lot of their time after finishing the main campaign. It’s where you can really go to town, mess about and create weird parks and do things you may not want to in the campaign. I wonder how many people a T-Rex would eat if I just let it run loose? Anyway, here you can live out all your wildest fantasies of running Jurassic Park.
What really did surprise me was the amount of detail this game goes into. I was not expecting fully driveable vehicles, I was not expecting for me to actually be aiming the tranquillizer guns and I was not expecting to be driving out to take photos of my many dinosaur children. This title is deep, rewarding and has a load of content. It will keep most players engaged for a long time and the fact it is portable is all the better. Just be prepared for your eyes to suffer in portable mode.
Dino Sized Sacrifices
As I stated earlier, some serious sacrifices have been made, especially in portable mode for this intensive title to run on the Nintendo Switch. In docked mode, the game looks, at times, great but the FPS can suffer here and there. This is, however, definitely the best way to play the game. In portable mode, the resolution is bordering on terrible. The framerate is more stable in portable mode but the whole presentation looks like it is being viewed while wearing someone else’s glasses. In most cases, I would favour FPS over resolution but in this case, it’s so bad in portable mode, I would definitely prefer to play docked.
The sound work is fantastic, from the main theme tune from the films to most of the original voice cast returning to lend their vocal talents. It really does feel like you are part of the Jurassic Park universe and really gives the game an immersive feel. From the realistic roars of the dinosaurs to the soothing tones of Jeff Goldblum, it really is a treat on the ears, especially if you are a fan of the movies. For this, the development team need to be applauded. It would have been very easy to scrimp on this part of the game.
Jurassic World Is Worth Its Entry Fee
Overall I loved Jurassic World Evolution. It has a bucket load of content, it has great rewarding gameplay and you can take it everywhere with you. It’s a shame the resolution is so poor when in portable mode but it is still playable. Yes, it is an expensive game but the fact you have a full-fat version of this title on a handheld system is an achievement in itself and it works well enough. Right, I am off to care for my dino children. Jimmy, put down that human please, you have already eaten today!
If you’re interested in seeing how the game performs on PC, then check another Rapid Review.
If you want to buy this great portable title, you can buy Jurassic World Evolution here.