Jurassic World Evolution
By Chad Sapieha,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Deep theme park simulation has deadly exhibits.
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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Products & Purchases
Based on the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World film franchise and features many familiar characters from the movies.
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.
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Jurassic World Evolution
Based on 5 parent reviews
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What’s It About?
JURASSIC WORLD EVOLUTION puts players in control of a chain of islands off the coast of Costa Rica that are being developed into a dinosaur theme park, just like in the films the game is based on. Players' primary goal is to create dinosaur attractions to drive attendee interest and earn more money. This requires researching dinosaur DNA, which means sending research teams to dig sites to analyze the fossils they collect in order to create a viable genome and start growing dinosaurs. While these tasks are being completed, players must also work on creating proper enclosures for their animals, providing typical money-making attractions for guests (toy stores, restaurants, etc.), and making sure that everything in the park is properly powered and secured (dinos can escape their enclosures and eat park guests if you aren't careful). Park specialists will frequently provide contracts and missions -- such as creating a dinosaur with a specific genetic modification or keeping park attendance at a certain level for a set amount of time -- that lead to monetary rewards and help guide your growth. Additional islands, along with new facilities and more dangerous dinosaurs, are gradually unlocked as the game progresses, with research progress from previous islands carried forward.
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.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about screen time. With its overlapping objectives, it's easy to just keep playing Jurassic World Evolution for long stretches and lose track of time. So how do you decide when to stop playing?
What's so appealing about amusement parks? Is it the entertainment? The thrills from the rides? The food?
Should we try to clone long dead dinosaurs from discovered DNA? What sort of dangers -- both ethical and physical -- might be involved?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension, Science: animals, biology, Social Studies: the economy, Hobbies: building
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, spatial reasoning, thinking critically, Creativity: making new creations, Self-Direction: work to achieve goals, Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Frontier Developments
- Release date: June 12, 2018
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: STEM, Dinosaurs, History, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Blood, Violence
- Last updated: December 14, 2021
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