Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination – and lots of dinosaurs.
Nobody ever forgets the first time they watched Jurassic Park, and saw their very first dinosaur. There’s just so much wonder about that moment, and it’s only intensified when you’re later introduced to the way the dinosaurs’ DNA is harvested and the eggs incubated.
With that said, it should come as no surprise that Jurassic World Evolution is one of the most addictive games in recent memory. Its gameplay loop is such that you never run out of things to do, and ‘I’ll just hatch one more egg’ turns into two and a half more hours.
The premise at the core of JWE is simple. Despite the best warnings of everyone in the universe, you have once again taken it upon yourself to create a bustling dinosaur theme park. Run over six islands, it’s your job to build and maintain the parks, keeping both the guests and the dinosaurs happy.
Jurassic World Evolution is so incredibly involved it’s hard to know where to start. Though you have six islands to work through, the first acts as a kind of tutorial, showing you the ropes and telling you what aspects of the park do what. Don’t worry about being thrown in the deep end – the game is very helpful in that regard.
In order to release dinosaurs into your park, you’ll first need to find fossils to extract DNA from. Expedition teams can be sent out to mostly geographically-accurate dig sites around the world to retrieve dinosaur fossils, that can then have dinosaur DNA extracted from them to complete different dinosaur genomes. Once you have enough fossils for 50 per cent of a genome, you can incubate dino eggs and release them into the wild. There is a chance that an incubation may fail, however, so the higher percentage your genome is the higher chance of success you have.
Dinosaur eggs need to be incubated in Hammond Creation Labs to be released, and need to have habitable enclosures to live in. You need to make sure there’s enough area for your animals to roam around in, that they are well fed, and that there is plenty of water and plantlife for them around. It’s also nice for them to have other dinosaurs to interact with. Different species have different ways that they like to interact in the wild, so be sure to check individual stats to see how well each species is doing in its enclosure. Word of advice – carnivores will kill smaller dinosaurs, so be careful where you house them.
In JWE, there are three different areas of specialisation that are vying for your attention within the park; security, research, and entertainment. The heads of these departments will offer you contracts that will help progress your island, but can be at a cost to your reputation within rival departments, so think carefully about who you want to align yourself with; it’s a bit of a juggling act.
As much attention as you may pay to your park, something is always bound to go wrong. Storms can affect areas of some islands, meaning power outages – or worse. It’s always good to have a storm or emergency shelter at your disposal in the case of bad weather – or if dinos get out. If dinosaurs escape their habitats, you’ll have to a) patch the break in the fence using a ranger team, and b) use the asset containment unit to tranquillise it and get it back to base. Both of these tasks you can take over from the AI and perform yourself, and there’s something particularly satisfying about landing a tranq dart on a stegosaurus, let me tell you.
Not only will you need to keep the dinosaurs fed and watered in their enclosures, but the guests also need things to do. Building things like hotels and gift shops – and even a monorail – will attract more guests to your park, increasing your revenue and keeping the division leaders off your back. Most buildings are also upgradeable, so don’t think you’re done just because you’ve built everything there is to be built.
Everything about Jurassic World Evolution is built to keep you there for hours. The dig-research-incubate cycle. The appeal of drawing more guests to your island. The chance of finishing one last contract before you jump off. If you love dinosaurs, this is the game for you. Whether you’re a fan of simulation games or not, Jurassic World Evolution is something everyone should put at least an hour into – help life find a way.