A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jurassic Park: The Game is a teen-rated, violent and bloody adventure game based on the movie of the same name. The characters are animated and not actors. That said, there are scenes that show bloody corpses and dinosaurs eating humans. Some terrifying sequences might upset younger players. The game also has some mild profanity, sexual references, and images of smoking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Based on the book and movie of the same name, JURASSIC PARK: THE GAME is an action-adventure hybrid that brings players back to Isla Nublar, the island that houses Jurassic Park, during the events of the original 1993 film. The game picks up on the rainy night when Dennis Nedry (played by Wayne Knight of Seinfeld fame) meets his fate while trying to steal invaluable dinosaur embryos hidden inside a can of shaving cream. You'll play as a half-dozen characters in this four-episode game. Each has his or her own reasons for being on the island and wanting to get off, but all must fight to stave off the vicious dinosaurs. While there's plenty of atmosphere and action in this game, you don't directly control the characters or the camera. Rather, you're presented with button prompts on the screen -- icons such as A, B, X, LT, and RB -- and have only a second or two to press the corresponding button to perform the desired action. In some cases, you're tapping a button rapidly, rotating the right analog stick or pushing forward on the sticks for a closer look at an object.
Is it any good?
Passersby who glance at Jurassic Park: The Game will no doubt be impressed with the game's graphics, strong writing, and sound effects. But those holding the controller will likely tell you it lacks in the interactivity department, ultimately leaving players unfulfilled. This is especially disappointing for fans of the film franchise hoping for a deep and immersive dinosaur experience. Players might feel the game reminds them of Heavy Rain or Dragon's Lair, where you're nudged along a pre-written path instead of feeling like you're at the heart of the adventure.
Gameplay is broken up into action, puzzle-solving, and exploration. In the game's first chapter, for example, you'll press various buttons to run from escaped dinosaurs by sliding under (or hopping over) various objects in your way and figure out how to open the gate of a fence by unlocking it elsewhere. It could be that the developers wanted to create a more accessible experience, something for those who simply want to push buttons and see things happen, but it's so dumbed-down that even casual players might feel it's simply a "choose your own adventure" game with little bite.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether Telltale Games chose the right kind of gameplay for this franchise. Does this sort of game feel like an interactive movie? Or do you want to do more than just tap buttons on cue?
Families can also discuss scariness in games. Does the interactive nature of games make them more or less scary than movies? Do you like to be in control of the action? Are you distressed when game characters suffer because you failed to perform the right actions?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $19.99 - $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Release date: November 17, 2011
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Dinosaurs, Magic and Fantasy
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence
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