Jurassic World Evolution Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Jurassic World Evolution RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Jurassic World: Evolution Review https://www.gameskinny.com/6uv5h/jurassic-world-evolution-review https://www.gameskinny.com/6uv5h/jurassic-world-evolution-review Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:43:21 -0400 Fox Doucette

With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom coming to a theater near you on June 22, Universal Pictures decided, as you do, that a video game tie-in, Jurassic World: Evolution, should be part and parcel with the film's release.

Curiously, it's clear they made distinct two decisions. One, make it a tycoon game and farm it out to Frontier Developments, who made 2016's excellent Planet Coaster.

And two, base it mainly on the previous film in the franchise: 2015's Jurassic World.

That movie featured a theme park that had been operating fairly successfully since the events of the older Jurassic Park films where scientists, entertainment types, and paramilitary interests had their worlds collide, some dinosaurs got loose, and the studio made a billion on the worldwide gross.

This is ... actually pretty fertile ground for a video game. Trying to make a profit, keeping factions happy while playing their interests against each other, quickly responding when everything goes downhill in a hurry after a disaster? That's pretty much Tropico with dinosaurs, isn't it?


The "Wow" Factor

The primary positive of this game: The dinosaurs look pretty cool.

It's clear that the developer put a lot of love capturing the spirit of the movies, which were always ultimately about putting cool-looking dinosaurs on the silver screen.

The in-game models are very pretty, especially in the official footage, which is either pre-rendered or else captured by a top-end computer. But even on something relatively potato-like, the dinosaurs are well-modeled and have a definite gee-whiz factor to them.

Indeed, the cutscene you get when you finish cloning a dinosaur and release it into an enclosure is the single niftiest part of the game.

The rest, is... well, it just is.

Paint By Numbers Gameplay

There is simply not a lot of meat on the bones of this game.

Regardless of the circumstances, it's obvious this game was rushed out the door. Jurassic World: Evolution is seriously bare-bones -- even when compared to Frontier's other entry into this same genre.

There are precious few shop types, buildings, and other actual park things to unlock. Everything other than the dinosaurs is massively simplified to the point where even tycoon games from the 1990s had more depth to them (Rollercoaster Tycoon, looking at you.) It's all just window dressing.

Furthermore, the actual dinosaur research, fossil digs, upgrades, and other stuff that power actual player progress? Click on a location where the game tells you exactly what you will find, wait for a timer, then go to the fossil section, wait for a timer, go to the research building, choose a line of research, wait for a timer...

If I wanted to click on something and wait for a timer like a Skinner box, I'd play FarmVille. The most fascinating part of the entire Jurassic universe, the stuff that made Michael Crichton's original book such a great read and carried the exposition in the early movies? It's reduced to “click spot on screen, wait a couple of minutes, receive reward.”

At least give me a bit of dialogue or a short, skippable cutscene from Mr. DNA or something.

But the Mayhem is Fun, Right?

Settle in and prepare to be disappointed again.

Every dinosaur is governed by a set of meters that also govern whether it will live a long and healthy life or run amok.

Translation: you're constantly playing a way-too-easy balancing act with an instant get-out-of-jail free card whenever a dinosaur is unhappy. Just tranquilize and sell it. Problem solved. Or if a dinosaur is a plant-eater, clone a meat-eater and cull the herd ... in one of the most underwhelming displays of dinosaur combat it's possible to have in a game.

And when the meat-eater starts getting too many ideas about killing all the other dinosaurs? Tranquilize it, then either move it to its own carnivore enclosure or sell it.

And when dinosaurs bust through the fence, there is none of the tension from the movies. Remember the very first film, when the velociraptors were probing around in the visitor center, actually learning and doing (sci-fi) intelligent monster things?

There is none of that in the game. The dinosaur gets loose, it starts killing guests until you sound the alarm, it can't get into the emergency shelter, so you either tranquilize it or wait for it to wander back to its feeder in its pen then dispatch a repair crew behind it to fix the fence.

It's the least impressive jailbreak you can imagine.

The Game Has No Soul

In essence, they made a Jurassic Park game that has absolutely none of what made the movies so compelling. It's a barebones management game with minimal gameplay variety where the voice cast, playing characters from the movie, deliver canned lines that have none of the quality those same actors brought to their live-action roles. 

And except for the cool release-the-dino cutscene, which gets old after the second or third time, there's nothing to differentiate this from any generic game in the style of something like Zoo Tycoon.

The Verdict

Now, I'm not going to sink so far as to call this “shovelware.” Frontier Developments deserves better than that label.

But this game is a content-light, fulfill-the-license, a-movie-is-coming-out cash grab all the same. When I sat down to play the review copy I was sent by the publisher, it was Saturday afternoon. I had the whole day in front of me ... and I got bored, exited the game, and went out to dinner to clear my head knowing I'd have to play it more for a review and guide, spending an uninspired Sunday giving it the fairest shake that professionalism allows.

Total time elapsed on Saturday, according to Steam, before I got bored: 88 minutes. That's within the window for a refund, and if I'd paid the full $54.99 for the regular or $59.99 for the deluxe edition, that's exactly what I would have done.

I love building and management games. I have dozens to hundreds of hours in Rollercoaster Tycoon, the old SimCity games, Cities: Skylines, Railway Empire, Banished...

Jurassic World: Evolution couldn't even hold my interest. This isn't even a genre-fans or movie-fans only recommendation. The game is just ... underwhelming.

And that's unfortunate. 

Jurassic World: Evolution Getting Started Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/ln975/jurassic-world-evolution-getting-started-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/ln975/jurassic-world-evolution-getting-started-guide Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:45:28 -0400 Fox Doucette

Jurassic World: Evolution is upon us, and as you load up the game, you may sensibly wonder to yourself where to begin.

The short answer is "see the movie"; a measure of familiarity with 2015's Jurassic World isn't required, but it will smooth out the learning curve big-time.

But after that, follow these simple guidelines and you'll be working your way from Isla Matanceros to Isla Nublar in no time, satisfying all the factions at InGen and building better dinos along the way.

Step 1: Remember the Laws of Nature

You will save yourself a lot of grief if you remember a simple principle; lions do not lie down with lambs.

Meaning there are two types of dinosaurs in Jurassic World: the ones that eat meat and the ones that ARE meat. Put them in the same enclosure and you're gonna have a bad time.

Or at least the herbivores are.

There's a fairly simple reason for this. Herbivore dinosaurs won't fight each other. They will peacefully coexist in an enclosure, and as long as you watch both the overall population size and the food supply while monitoring the amount of grassland and forest in the enclosure, the dinosaurs will stay happy.

Every dinosaur has a series of meters that can be accessed simply by clicking on it in the game world; this will tell you about the dinosaur's overall health, including whether it is hungry or thirsty, and will show all of its comfort factors.

A dinosaur needs a certain amount of grassland to roam around in, forest to provide cover, others of its own kind to socialize with, and not too much overcrowding from its own or other species.

On the other hand, there is the simple fact that meat-eating dinosaurs are hunters. They will try to kill and eat anything that is not of their kind. Like in nature in the real, non-dinosaur-populated world, there are predators and prey, and all mixing them accomplishes is to get the prey animals eaten.

This is complicated just a bit by the fact that a carnosaur will make decisions based on whether it thinks it has a chance against its foe. Furthermore, eusocial carnivores, like Velociraptor, will hunt in packs in herbivore enclosures and band together to keep other meat-eaters at bay. It makes for a bit of a metagame in their enclosures.

Just remember that as long as you keep the meat side hot and the veggie side cool like an old-school McDLT hamburger, you'll have most of this battle won.

Step 2: A Contract Is A Contract Is A Contract, But Only Between Ferengi

The 17th Rule of Acquisition governs the faction system in this game. In order to make progress through the missions that unlock everything in the game's world, you need to do contracts for the three factions, Science, Entertainment, and Security.

Trouble is, as Dr. Ian Malcolm would no doubt remind you, actions have consequences. Specifically, what pleases one faction is sure to anger the other two.

More specifically than that, the game will tell you before you take a contract exactly what effect each contract will have on faction reputation.

Some contracts are a win-win; they raise the reputation with the faction giving the quest and sometimes one or both of the other factions as well. You'll want to take contracts that satisfy more than one faction every time and prioritize them because they are downside-free progress boosters.

Other contracts pit one faction's interest against the others. In the movie, the science and entertainment divisions were at odds with each other; it was one of the central themes that drove a lot of the conflict. Science wants pure-strain dinosaurs, paleontological accuracy, and healthy, thriving dinosaurs.

Entertainment, meanwhile, wants to do genetic modification that would make Monsanto blush. Complicating matters, these GMO dinosaurs, with DNA from frogs and sharks and any other animal under the sun clogging up their genomes, tend to have better stats for the park at the expense of being in poorer health and far more dangerous if they break out of their pens.

Most of Entertainment's missions, then, will annoy both Science (who want pure-strain dinosaurs) and Security (who don't like it when park guests get eaten like the lawyer in the porta-potty from the original 1993 Jurassic Park film.)

Security, meanwhile, represents the faction in Jurassic World that had a stake in militarizing the dinosaurs and using them as weapons. Most of their missions involve dinosaur combat. You'll be asked to find carnosaur fossils, and when dinosaurs fight each other (but not the guests) it tends to make Security very happy.

So you can't just go taking jobs willy-nilly or all you'll end up with is everyone mad at you. And when factions get mad at you, they start doing things like sabotaging the power grid, causing merry mayhem just like way back in the first movie.

The best strategy is to avoid whenever possible playing one faction against another. It's unavoidable on some level; as your reputation with factions rise, you get both monetary rewards and extra missions, so sometimes it's worth risking the wrath of the other two factions to prop up your preferred faction's interests.

Plus, there's nothing in the game rules explicitly stopping you from picking a side. If you agree with a faction's ideology, adopting a ride-or-die mentality or even just role-playing a little is a perfectly viable way to play the game. Min-maxing your reputation and being hyper-selective with which missions you take just makes the game a whole lot easier at the expense of rapid, directed progress.

You will need to eventually please everyone, but trying to do it by just doing everything you're asked is a recipe for constant infighting. Learn how to say no.

Step 3: Guests Are Easy to Please

There is no particularly choice-based strategy to guest satisfaction. Click on the star rating in the main HUD and it will tell you exactly what your guests want. Specifically, the guest needs are divided into food, drink, fun, and shopping, and every guest building in the tab marked with a little burger icon will tell you exactly what needs that building fulfills. The star rating display will then spit out a result that tells you on a scale of 100% how well the need is being fulfilled.

You can decide what is being sold, how much it's being sold for, and how many staff, from one to five, operate the stall.

Choosing a low-price item attracts more guests, but the per-item profit on each sale is fairly low. A higher-priced, higher-margin item sells fewer units, but generally the margins are high enough to offset the lack of brute force sales volume.

And the game gives instant feedback when you change the price to let you know almost to the moment when you've edged the prices just a tick too high. There's a hidden pricing curve that's fairly easy to tease out through trial and error.

Staff size governs the number of guests who can use each facility; as your park gains more guests, you'll have to hire more staff. When your building is maxed out at capacity, build a new shop.

There's also a hidden-at-first attribute for overcrowding; when you build your first hotel, clicking on it will let you know how much of a drag crowds are placing on happiness.

In other words, it's a paint-by-numbers tycoon game with plenty of hand-holding.

Step 4: Dig, Research, Do Science

No matter which faction you're favoring, it always helps to send your expedition teams out to dig for fossils. The degree of completion of any given dino's genome governs its base viability (50% fossils is minimum to be able to clone one, 100% is as "accurate" as the game and the film universe allow. There aren't any feathered dinosaurs here; the film franchise has decided to go with "classic" dinosaurs and the game follows its license here.)

Actually digging and prepping the fossils is paint-by-numbers. Go to the expedition center and choose a dig site that contains the dinosaur fossils you want, then go to the fossil center and extract the DNA, and finally use that DNA in the cloning center both to make more viable dinosaurs and to unlock more slots for genetic modification.

Meanwhile, in the Research Center, there are a variety of visual tech trees; spend the money you earn here to unlock both dinosaur modifications and building upgrades. Time and patience are all that is required to know everything, and choosing what to prioritize depends largely on your mission or game goals.

Step 5: Disaster Preparedness

From the second island on, you'll get storms that temporarily knock out the park and break stuff. The game gives you a storm tutorial at the beginning of the second mission; as long as you follow it, you'll have the nuts and bolts of it.

What the tutorial doesn't tell you is that you should always be watchful. Press R to bring up the Ranger Station and you can either go into a third-person driving mode for the ranger jeep or otherwise simply automate it by using the task selector.

It also doesn't tell you that in order to have your island protected from storms, you need to complete the Entertainment division's mission in the first level.

This mission unlocks the storm-warning building, which casts an area-of-effect that prevents the worst damage to anything that building covers. You'll need those on islands with regular storms, and you will especially need them near power plants as an insurance policy against the worst-case scenario of having the power go out and knock out things like electric fences to keep the dinosaurs at bay and all your guest facilities in the park itself.

So to summarize; Do the first level's entertainment mission before leaving the first island, follow the tutorial in the second level, and stay vigilant by occasionally using the view offered by the ranger station to make sure the park stays in good repair and the dinos' feeders are supplied.

Step 6: Win the Levels

Keeping the guests happy is half the battle. Getting the dino rating up is the hard part.

Besides following all the rules in Step 1 of this guide, the keys to getting a good dino rating are as follows.

First, make sure your dinosaurs are healthy, well-fed, and have access to water. This will keep them both from dropping dead and from trying to break out and kill your guests.

Second, strike a balance between authenticity and genetic modification; more DNA accumulated through fossil research gives your dinosaurs a higher base rating, while genetic modification applies modifiers to that base rating to in some cases goose it quite high.

Third, give your carnosaurs something to kill from time to time. Every carnosaur that wins a fight gains "combat infamy" equal to half the rating of the dinosaur it killed. This can get expensive—dinosaur cloning is not free—but can, over time, lead to great champion dinosaurs that drive people to want to watch them fight.

Fourth, build viewing areas into the fences and, if you can, put feeders and water sources within the radius of the viewing area. That will increase the value of the dinos to your park's rating and also satisfy the guests' "dinosaur visibility" rating.

And fifth, there's a "variety penalty"; the more different species of dinosaur you have in your park, the more this penalty is mitigated until it reaches zero. Every island has different rules governing this, so click on the star rating and it will tell you how you're doing.

Of course, you'll also have to remember that some dinosaurs are social while others hate crowded enclosures; a dinosaur that feels packed in will try to bust out, while one that doesn't have enough friends around will also break fences in hopes of finding others of its kind beyond the walls.

Once you've got the basics down, the game will move you on to bigger things, and you can also come back to those old islands with new knowledge and unlocks to get secondary objectives for each island that bring their own additional unlocks and new horizons.

In Summary

Jurassic World: Evolution is, in its heart of hearts, a relatively simple resource management game. As such, once you learn how to manage your resources, there is nothing the game can throw at you that you won't be able to master.

Jurassic World: Evolution Roars to Life With New Gameplay Footage https://www.gameskinny.com/d7o3c/jurassic-world-evolution-roars-to-life-with-new-gameplay-footage https://www.gameskinny.com/d7o3c/jurassic-world-evolution-roars-to-life-with-new-gameplay-footage Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:10:11 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Having developed games such as Rollercoaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, and Planet Coaster, Frontier Developments is well versed in the nuances of management sims and park builders. But now, they're bringing their years of expertise in those strategy sub-genres to Isla Nubar and the Muertes Archipelago with Jurassic World: Evolution

In a recent, 20-minute hands-on demo (which you can see above), Evolution's Lead Designer, Andy Fletcher, and Executive Producer Rich Newbold showed players what they can expect from the dino park sim when it releases digitally on June 12 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. 

Based on the footage shown at the event, Jurassic World: Evolution won't just see players plopping down ranger stations or designing Tyranasaur enclosures (although it will have its fair share of that). Both Fletcher and Newbold confirmed that Evolution will feature dinosaur breeding, fossil excavation, story-driven sub-missions, rich technology and research trees, and deep Jurassic Park lore. On top of that, players can also take control of in-game events, such as tranquilizing triceratops, adding an interesting bit of agency to a genre that's often strictly point-and-click. 

You can pre-order Jurassic World: Evolution on Steam, as well as the PlayStation Store and Microsoft Store. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and info on the newest dino park simulator from Frontier Developments.

10 Upcoming Strategy Games We're Excited About https://www.gameskinny.com/34pr3/10-upcoming-strategy-games-were-excited-about https://www.gameskinny.com/34pr3/10-upcoming-strategy-games-were-excited-about Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:19:38 -0500 Lewis Parsons


RIOT: Civil Unrest


Release Date: Early Access - December 2017; Full Release TBA
Publisher: Merge Games
Developer: IV Productions


Gorgeous pixel art merges with a truly unique setting in RIOT: Civil Unrest. Take control of the riot itself, or suppress it as the police in scenarios from Spain to Cairo. The game has gotten some positive reviews during the early-access process, with unique, challenging gameplay and a fantastic art direction that really magnifies the chaos going on as things escalate on screen. Grab the game now in early access, as the full version should be launching soon.




There are also more great tiles that didn't quite make the list. Anno 1800, Xenonauts 2, and without a doubt, a surprise or two. Strategy gaming may have been in a bit of a lull in the 2000s, but with 2020 on the horizion, it looks like it's back and more diverse and exciting than ever.


Jurassic World Evolution


Release Date: Summer 2018
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Developer: Frontier Developments


Releasing to coincide with the next film in the Jurassic World series, Jurassic World Evolution could be a huge hit. Behind the game are the same developers that brought us such park building gems as Zoo Tycoon, Planet Coaster, and Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 and 3. Jurassic World Evolution looks to be a spiritual successor to 2003's Jurassic Park:Operation Genesis.


Details are limited, but you likely take on the role of a builder and manager of your very own dinosaur-themed the park, featuring ... real dinosaurs! In line with the film, expect some ability to ratchet up the excitement with genetic engineering of new creatures, and hope things don't go horribly wrong -- or make them go wrong, you are in charge!


Age of Empires IV


Release Date: TBA 2018
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Relic Entertainment


Yes, AOE is coming back with a fourth installment. Age of Empires IV is helmed by Relic, the creators of the Company of Heroes series, and published by Microsoft. There isn't a whole lot known yet about the game itself, but it looks to follow the franchise's classic sequence of building bases, gathering resources, and building armies. The trailer appears to show the game span a wide variety of eras and factions.


Relic Entertainment has a strong pedigree of making classic RTS-style action, and we are excited to see what they do with such a classic, strong IP as Age of Empires.


Civilization VI: Rise and Fall


Release Date: February 8, 2018
Publisher: Firaxis
Developer: 2K


Civilization 6 took some bold new steps in the franchise when it came out in October 2016 (namely the district system, spreading your cities across multiple tiles), while at the same time including much-desired features in the base game, such as religion and great works. This leaves room for expansion packs like Rise and Fall to take the game into new territory.


As befits its name, Rise and Fall is about the ups and downs civilizations go through. Accomplish enough goals during the medieval era? Congratulations, the Renaissance will be your civilization's golden age! Fall behind? Welcome to the Dark Ages, where you will be fighting to keep your cities loyal, but also have the opportunity to come back even stronger for your trouble.


In addition to new gameplay features such as city loyalty, dark and golden ages, and governors, Rise and Fall is introducing new civilizations, leaders, wonders, natural wonders, and districts.




Release Date: TBA
Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
Developer: 11 Bit Studios


11 Bit Studios, the minds behind the fantastic This War of Mine, is back, and it looks like they have an interesting take on the strategy builder/survival genre to say the least.

Frostpunk is set in, well, a "frostpunk" world: think steampunk in the ice age. At its heart, it looks to have the gut-wrenching decisions from This War of Mine. Do you send children out to work? Do you treat the ill? And these decisions don't look to just be window dressing; they have long-lasting and wide-ranging effects on gameplay. They go beyond asking "how" you will survive and ask you "why" and "at what cost."

Beyond the gameplay, the art style looks sharp, and the production values look great as well.


Tropico 6


Release Date: 2018
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Limbic Entertainment


Tropico keeps on chugging along after 16 years and 6 games. The tongue-in cheek take on building and managing (or mismanaging) your own island paradise is back in 2018 for a sixth installment. While previous entries in the series have been strong, there haven't been the major changes between installments that might be expected in a series like this.


Tropico 6 looks to be possibly continuing this trend, with one major addition: the introduction of archipelagos, which look to offer a fresh gameplay challenge while not changing up the formula drastically. 




Release Date: January 18, 2018
Publisher: Fish Eagle
Developer: Picaresque Studio


Nantucket, a first release from Picaresque Studio, looks promising and unique. Set in the early 19th century after the events of literary classic Moby Dick, Nantucket is a strategy business sim where you work your way up through the booming oil/whaling industry. 


While the subject matter may draw controversy, it will be interesting to see where the developer takes this. They promise RPG elements, turn-based combat with pirates and whales, a thousand unique events, an original storyline based on the events of the novel, and an open world to explore. If nothing else, the fresh setting of one of the biggest economic booms in history is fertile ground for the genre.


Surviving Mars


Release Date: TBA
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Haemimont Games


Paradox Interactive, known for epic, almost niche strategy titles, has been making significant inroads in the publishing sphere as of late, bringing strategy, simulation, and city-building titles (e.g., 2015's spectacular Cities: Skylines) to us in greater numbers, reviving a once vanishing scene.


Bulgarian developer Haemimont, behind such games as Tropico 34, and 5, as well as Omerta : City of Gangsters, looks to be returning to the hybrid sim/strategy realm with this fresh IP. Surviving Mars looks promising, with an interesting "retro future" art style and a sense of humor about it. The game is also promising a "classic sci-fi" story, exploring the secrets of Mars as you build. This isn't overly dry and realistic, and it looks like a whole lot of Tropico has come along for the ride in both presentation and gameplay.


Ancestors Legacy 


Release Date: TBA
Publisher: 1C Company
Developer: Destructive Creations 
Ancestors Legacy is an upcoming squad-based RTS currently in beta, due to come out for both PC and consoles. Set in the early medieval era, the game features a strong, single-player-focused campaign as well as multiplayer. The game includes traditional base building and resource gathering but seems heavily focused on the tactical side of things, with a focus on combat. Early impressions are promising, and this might just be a new traditional RTS IP worth following.


Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 


Release Date: TBA 2018
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Creative Assembly 


Every Total War release is a big one, as the series is arguably the most visible "AAA" strategy game series on the market. While it has had it stumbles, Creative Assembly is riding high after the success of the well-received fantasy mashups Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer II.


Thrones of Britannia looks to be something different: a return to a historical setting, yes, but also a tighter, smaller Total War. The series has been getting bigger over the year -- more factions, more units, globe-spanning maps -- and it might be argued that this has led to bloat and excess. Thrones looks to be a return to the more intimate setting of Shogun Total War or the excellent Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion expansion pack from 2003.


If Creative Assembly can take the lessons learnt from Warhammer and bring the historical flavor and the early medieval atmosphere, they could have something very exciting in this new format.


2017 was a great year for strategy gamers, offering up a bevy of diverse titles from Tooth and Tail to Total War: Warhammer II. 2018 looks like it might be shaping up to be just as good, with a wide range of new IPs and continuations of beloved franchises on slate to release this year.  


Read on for the 10 upcoming strategy games we can't wait to get our hands on.