It’s safe to say that Steven Spielberg‘s 1993 hit movie Jurassic Park instilled a love of dinosaurs into many generations that followed after. On a personal level, I’m a grandfather of soon to be six grandsons, with nary a granddaughter insight. This “reptilian love” has found its way into the hearts of all five of the oldest grandsons whose ages range from two to eight. Frontier Developments’ dinosaur park management sim, Jurassic World Evolution, has already seen releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam PC. Now Frontier Developments takes a stab at going portable by releasing on the Nintendo Switch. Welcome to our Nintendo Switch review of Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition where we find out if the game ends up falling into the category of my favorite quote by Dr. Ian Malcolm: “Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.”
Plain, If Not Simple
To put it into layman’s terms Jurassic World Evolution is a theme park management sim game, think Rollercoaster Tycoon-ish. The big difference is you’re not building rollercoasters but you’re creating dinosaurs and putting them on display. Hopefully, along the way you’re earning a profit to keep your theme park afloat.
Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition includes all three DLC expansions as well as four dinosaur packs and the Raptor Squad Skin Collection. All this goodness is packed into roughly 6 GB on your Nintendo Switch.
The basic campaign includes an exceptional tutorial that includes some wonderful voice acting that includes Jeff Goldblum. Thankfully, the voice acting is enjoyable as there is a lot of text to digest in this game. Unfortunately, all of it is a bit small in handheld mode so prepare to use the Switch’s zoom function!
Besides the story campaign, you have a few other play modes including Challenges and Sandbox modes. Challenges are a race against the clock to create a five star rated park. On the other hand, the Sandbox mode is where you can build your ultimate park and control every aspect of it in a freeform style. This is the part where my oldest grandson likes to let his dinosaurs loose on his park visitors, imagine that.
Fun And Learning
From the opening of the Universal Studio’s iconic trademark to the beautiful soundtrack, Jurassic World Evolution is just a fun time in general. Some of that of course is heightened due to the looming sense of impending doom that dinosaurs will get loose, and they will. The game also incorporates helicopters and jeeps used to remove and rescue dinosaurs, etc. as the need arises. If you’re up for a big challenge you can even control said jeeps and helicopters or you can simply deploy a team if your driving skills are iffy, like mine.
For aspiring paleontologists, there’s a lot to learn here as you play. Considering you’re in charge of tasks like the excavation of dinosaur genes and creating life in your laboratory. These opportunities provide a lot of detailed historical information in the game to inhale. The dinosaur pictorials are lovely as well. Within the game itself, it feels like an encyclopedia exists! For the sake of a better word let’s call it a “Dinopedia”!
Being In Charge Keeps One Busy
Of course, you’ll also need to attend to more mundane tasks like building restrooms, concession stands, and gift shops. And you’ll have to juggle relationships between you and all the park’s departments by fulfilling “contracts”, akin to quests. You also need to pay attention to the inhabitants, the dinosaurs’ needs. They need plenty of food, water, and disease prevention, and in some cases, medical attention.
While there’s a lot to attend to it didn’t seem as much “micromanagement” but more like dwindling down a duty list. The information is given to you fast but not overbearingly, more like you need to pay attention.
The Screaming Part
The controls to scroll through the park from a bird’s eye view and zooming in were intuitive and surprisingly quite responsive. I’ve seen how this game looks on an Xbox One so it would be naive of anyone to think that visually the Nintendo Switch could compete. In the undocked mode, the graphics suffer from being a bit blurry. To many, this might be an acceptable trade-off for gaining portability. In docked mode, things look much better graphically especially when you uncage those new creations on a big screen!
Note: Our copy was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch with a code provided by PR.
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