Spare NO Expense!


Watching any of the Jurassic Park movies as an adult just isn’t the same as watching it while young and innocent. Suddenly the idea of a Dinosaur-filled theme park is downright ridiculous! It can be very difficult to enjoy a stampede of  Gallimimus when all you see are flaws in the Park’s management. Maybe you think you can do better? Well, now you can!

Enter JURASSIC PARK BUILDER by Ludia, a cool little building game available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Facebook. Normally I don’t bother with games like this but being a fan of dinosaurs I could not resist giving it a shot. The game as described as follows:
“Build your Jurassic Park from A to Z, on land and out at sea! You are the first owner of the park: grow various dinosaur species once you’ve extracted their DNA from amber fragments. Then, transform this DNA with your friends’ help. Put your dinosaurs in your land, aquatic or glacial park then help them develop to full adult size. Depending on the diet for each species, dinosaurs will need plants, meat, fish or seafood to grow. Make sure you always have enough food by monitoring the supply arrivals at the harbor. Finally, develop tourist activities by building roads so that visitors can come to your parks and explore your beautiful creations.”


So I have no experience with games like this, I was never a fan of The Sims, Roller Coaster Tycoon and games of the sort. I’ve always been more of a PokeMon or Mario guy, for whatever reason these building games always came off as intimidating and overly time-consuming…I  had a pretty short-attention span as a kid…

I haven’t been playing it for too long but just enough to get an idea of how the game works and to give you a quick rambling review on whether its worth your time and data.
The game starts you off with a Triceratops and not much else. For some reason I expected this to be crazy complex but really its very straightforward, you are practically told what to do every step of the way, you can’t really mess up.

After a few hours of clicking around I have a couple other dinos and have upgraded a few things here and there. I’m not sure if my park is officially open just yet or if its just special inspectors and such that are being led around the park. Either way I am totally on the way to success!

Where are all the Rollercoasters?!

New dinosaurs are gained by first finding some amber with DNA when you excavate land when expanding your park (which costs money), you then have to go through some DNA research stuff to go from amber to egg (which costs money), after you get the egg you will know what dino you have discovered… they then become available for you to buy. -_-


Maybe if I work real hard I can one day get me a new Pteranodon!

After you buy them you get the eggs… which take forever to hatch, or you can speed it up… yea that costs money.


Remember kids, research ain’t cheap!

The game is pretty much composed of either waiting or spending money. Whether you are installing a new building or hatching a new dinosaur it really comes down to how patient you are or how deep your wallet is. Far as I can tell thats the full extent of the STRATEGY involved.


Invisible workers are clearing these rocks away…. they aren’t fast or cheap!

Money itself is gained by shaking down the dinosaurs or building for how much profit they have brought to the park (really you click on them and cha-ching) or by successfully completing missions that get thrown your way. The missions are neat just because you get some nice cameos from the original JP cast.


I wonder if Goldlum got paid for this…

The game, much like many other games of this kind, are pretty social. You are able to harass your friends for help and gifts, as well as send them some. You can also visit your peeps to either steal ideas or just to feel bad about how much better they are than you. Its pretty exciting to see how far the game can go… if you can afford it.


So much better than mine!! >_<

One element that I really like… and at the same time don’t like about the game is that you can BATTLE. The weird reasoning behind is that the dinosaurs need to let off some steam now and then and its important to study how they fight.


At what level does a Triceratops learn Vine Whip?

Its very much the same as Pokemon in that you take turns and have limited attacks. I’m not gonna lie, it bothers me a bit to see dinosaurs fighting each other haha, I don’t have the same sympathies for Pokemon though, I guess they are just to fictional looking for me to really care.


Perhaps his evolution is a metaphor?

Another Pokemon-ish element in play is that the dinosaurs EVOLVE (which costs money), after you evolve them they revert to an egg, and hatch into… what so far looks like a regular triceratops. Judging by the stars he will evolve 3 times total? Based on the new Jurassic World toys I have seen I’m assuming he will sprout spikes or something and become one of the hybridized creatures that JW seems to have a bunch of. Which is kinda cool I guess.


On the bottom left of the screen is this big red JP button. Of course its one of the first buttons I clicked on when the game came on. Unfortunately its not doing anything for me just yet.


Code Red Mode?! Just when I was growing weary of this game that just reminds me of how bad I am with $$$ I now have a new mission. I must get enough Carnivores to unleash this Code Red Mode, which I hope involves killer dinosaurs running rampant in the park.
According to the internet this isn’t the first time fans have gotten the chance to build their own JP park. Such a game existed for the GBA many years ago. Personally I think it looked better… it had people!!


The original game probably didn’t have to load as much, not to mention the fact that it won’t spam your friends with invites or share your progress. Its fair to say that new isn’t always better.

What I learned after playing the game for a bit is that its exactly like the movie!! How? Well, many things take time to happen; the hatching of the eggs, erecting a new security tower, harvesting crops, but all that waiting can be skipped if you have $$$$$$!
Isn’t that just like the movie? Crazy Hammond kept going on about how he spent mad cash on every aspect of the park but clearly put little actually time or real thought into all the things that eventually went wrong and killed everyone.
Much like Goldblum’s eccentric Dr. Ian Malcolm said: “If I may… Um, I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox…. ” 

Not to say that your Park is inferior or doomed just because you rushed everything with coinage but where is the fun in buying progress? Unfortunately this is the way so many new games are going, and not just the simple FB/iOS/android ones but the ‘real’ games that already cost an arm and a leg to begin with. So many add-ons, DLCs, and upgrades that are not achieved by skill but by your CC’s spending limit. It’s really quite a bummer. How are kids supposed to learn about dedication and hard-work when they can just buy their trophies?!

The game is neat I guess. Just wish there was more to it. Maybe I should dig up my old GameBoy Advance to get the real experience!
Or I will just buy a new GBA, y’know, spare no expense!


Except for when it came to paying Newman. Worst decision.

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