Jurassic Park Builder Review

Posted 8 years ago by Games

I’ve been such a bad gamer the past few months. I let my Xbox Live subscription expire, I haven’t even turned on a game console in four or five months, and now I rarely ever even play a game on my iPhone. I think I’ve been to preoccupied with work, blogging, and trolling ebay or something, but I need to get back into gaming.

Seeing the Jurassic Park logo pop up in the iOS App Store for a free game that has thousands of positive reviews was just the boost I needed. I’m a hardcore Jurassic Park fan, and I’ve at least tried almost ever JP video game that has ever been released, so I couldn’t pass this up. The game is called Jurassic Park Builder, and unsurprisingly it’s a game where you build your own Jurassic Park.

So is the game fun? Hold on to your butts and lets find out.

Jurassic Park Builder

I really wanted to like this game. The graphics were cool, and the prospect of building my own Jurassic Park in a causal mobile game sounded like a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the game is just a money grab by the developers; another ‘free’ game that is damn near pointless unless you sink real money into upgrades.

Jurassic Park Builder is the latest example in this new genre of casual games that are meant to get you to drop money on in-app purchases to make the game more fun. For example, placing a new building in your park can take thirty minutes to an hour of real time to complete, unless you pay a game-dollar to speed up the process. Coins are easy to come by in the game, but game-dollars take a long time to accumulate. Dollars in this game are only there to encourage you to buy them with real money. Take out that component altogether, make all transactions based on coins, and it would be pretty decent game.

That is One Big Pile of Shit

I fell for this with Tiny Tower last year. When it came out I got really addicted to it, building up my skyscraper, but I quickly realized that the only way you could do anything without it taking hours in real time was to buy coins, and I stopped playing it.

I love casual games, but when big corporations put out free games in an attempt to get you to buy pointless upgrades it pisses me off. Look at how successful Angry Birds is, how often they release free updates full of new levels, and how few in-app purchases there are in that game. Sure, you can buy some special birds, but the game is just as fun if you never do that. Jurassic Park Builder, Tiny Tower, and countless other games in the same vein are engineered to get you to spend money.

Jurassic Park Builder

That being said, if you don’t mind waiting hours for the tasks in the game to finish, how does the game hold up? The graphics are decent, but when zoomed all the way in the dinosaurs look a little blocky. The game ends up feeling like you’re babysitting after you get plenty of buildings and dinosaurs in place. You constantly have to feed them, collect your coins, upgrade your buildings, collect shipments of meat and grain, and research new species.

It brings back horrible memories of that awful ding sound in Tiny Tower whenever the game needed your attention.

I grew up playing Age of Empires and I was hoping for something more along the lines of that, but besides the top-down view there aren’t a lot of similarities. There’s no payoff for building things, you don’t get to play with the dinosaurs or make them fight each other, or really even get to see people enjoying the park. Everything just sits there, wanting more money or food.

Jurassic Park Builder

There are missions you can accomplish and at first they teach you how to play the game, and then progress into teaching you how to spend more money. Each mission is associated with a character from the films. Most of them are from the first Jurassic Park, but they threw in Ian Malcolm’s daughter Kelly from The Lost World too.

I’ve played worse iOS games, and Jurassic Park Builder doesn’t piss me off as much as Tiny Tower, but it will probably get deleted from my phone in a week or two. I’ve got folders full of games I need to finish that don’t require any in-app purchases, and I have a short attention span. I can’t have the logo of my favorite movie ever distracting me with the unfulfilled promise of a good iPhone game, it’ll just depress me.

I hope someone makes a really good (and fun) Jurassic Park game sometime soon. I want to say it will never happen, but you know, life finds a way.

You can pick up Jurassic Park Builder on the App Store.

  • I love Jurassic Park, but I really can’t stand sims or anything resembling FarmVille. I’ll definitely pass on this one, especially now that I’ve seen that above GIF of Malcolm, which is clearly the best thing from this game, lol. 😉

    Have you played TellTale’s Jurassic Park (http://www.telltalegames.com/jurassicpark/)? It’s pretty fun; certainly one of the better ones in the franchise, which is full of shit-tastic games. You’d probably dig it.

    My personal favorite JP game is an unpopular one: Jurassic Park Sega CD (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gucxiF3PYDU). I love first-person adventure games, especially scary ones. The premise of this one is that you return to the abandoned island to collect the valuable eggs, but of course all the dinosaurs are loose so you have to read carefully. It feels tense and isolated. The good old Sega Genesis Jurassic Park is still fun, too. Dr. Grant yelling “Aaaaaagh!” is one of the best video game soundbytes ever. And it had the most kickass “SEGA” intro of all time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAYh2-ZQRrk

    • Actually no I never played that one. For some reason I’ve never been able to get into those point-and-click games. It’s probably the ADD in me.

      And I never had a Sega CD but that game looks awesome! I might need to try and emulate that sometime. I always played Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_Park:_Rampage_Edition) on Sega Genesis, and then I was an early adopter of that PC game Trespasser, which was super ambitious but really buggy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_Park:_Trespasser.

      And yeah, that’s one of the best Sega screens I’ve ever seen!

    • Scott

      Yes, the Sega CD game was awesome. Just hearing the music again made me tense up . Its crazy how intense it was for a point and click problem solver.