A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids will learn about dinosaurs, paleontology, and business management. Encyclopedic entries describe physical traits, behaviors of dinosaurs. Research missions and fossil analysis activities provide a high-level look at how scientists can potentially re-create parts of ancient genomes. Park management tasks force players to consider how large enterprises are financed and what it takes to grow at a sustainable rate by choosing when to build and upgrade facilities and attractions.
Encourages kids to think about the ethics of keeping animals in zoos, including how best to handle and care for them, and how to deal with hard problems, such as appeasing carnivorous animals' bloodthirsty nature. Could foster an interest in business management.
Positive Role Models
Non-playable characters -- scientists, park officials, businesspeople -- tend to be obsessed with their specific areas of expertise, sometimes to the detriment of the park's animals and patrons. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum's character) often acts as the voice of reason, predicting what will happen while also showing concern over potential consequences.
Ease of Play
Tutorials guide players through the game's management controls but stop short of guaranteeing success. Players will occasionally find themselves in such a deep economic hole that they'll be forced to restart some islands, though their progress in research and dinosaur discovery always carries over, making things a bit easier.
Violence & Scariness
Dinosaurs can attack and eat park guests, biting and swallowing them whole. Dinosaurs also attack each other and animals such as goats. Tiny mists of red blood sometimes accompany animal victims, but not humans.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jurassic World Evolution is a theme park simulation and management game based on the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World film franchises. Players develop facilities and grow the business of a dinosaur park that stretches across several tropical islands. While some dinosaurs may escape from their exhibits and eat park visitors, no blood is shown during these incidents. On the other hand, fights between dinosaurs do result in small red mist clouds of blood; the same thing occurs when carnivores are fed goats. While there are tutorials to help you learn how to play the game, there are also plenty of challenging moments in which you'll run out of funding and will have to restart. Fortunately, some progress made in one session carries over to future ones, which helps reduce frustration.
Is It Any Good?
Many movie-based games feel like quick cash grabs, but this park management simulation is surprisingly nuanced -- and even a bit funny. Jurassic World Evolution captures the essence of the films, not just in the details of what it takes to create a dinosaur clone, but also the ethical problems. How do you contain and keep an animal happy when its nature makes it want to be free and hunt? How do you teach animals whose genetic makeup is that of a confident alpha predator that humans are equal alpha predators and not to be trifled with? The strategies suggested by some of the park's officials are iffy at best. But thanks to warm, authentic performances from actors like Jeff Goldblum as franchise favorite Dr. Ian Malcolm, players are able to get sage, witty commentary on what's going on at the park, predicting without fail how things are bound to go awry.
Under all of this is a competent -- and surprisingly straightforward -- park simulator. It's not too hard to understand the effects of each upgrade you research and building you construct, and adding facilities like monorails, hotels, and viewing towers to create an appealing resort is satisfying. You can even get down and experience the park at ground level, taking on the role of a jeep ranger or helicopter pilot to tranquilize sick dinosaurs and photograph animals engaged in curious behaviors for a little extra cash. Park finances sometimes teeter-totter a little too much: You may have more money than you know what to do with one moment, then dive deep into the red the next as angry patrons sue you over dino-related injuries. And a couple of tweaks here and there -- like the ability to replace fences as you build stronger ones, rather than build around old fences before demolishing them -- would have streamlined some of the more tedious mechanics. But Jurassic World Evolution is, overall, a surprisingly robust theme park simulation that accurately channels the blockbuster films' familiar atmosphere.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.