I’m not normally a fan of free-to-play games; they are too often shoddy games that encourage you to spend real money within a short amount of time playing it with in-app purchases. A farming simulator that encourages you to grow your own crops only gives you a handful of seeds…you earn more in-game but the wait can be a few hours or you can buy 20 seeds right now for £1.49….
It’s a cheeky tactic & one that relies on the player’s lack of patience.
Jurassic Park Builder is no different in that it encourages in-app purchases but unlike many others they are not shoved in your face. In fact I have poured more then 30 hours into my Park to date & have not paid any real money for the privilege.
Would I have more money, be a higher level & be further along in the game if I did use the in-app purchases? Of course but I’m not going to do that & either should you. This review is based on me playing the game for free…
So Jurassic Park Builder…build your own dinosaur theme park, pretty exciting huh? Well no, not really…this is not Theme Park.
Your task is to run a successful & safe Jurassic Park by spending cash on creating dinosaurs, feeding them depending on their tastes (herbivore or carnivore) & making the park an exciting place to visit. At first the area you can build in is very small, you have to pay to demolish trees & create new land to build on. This is also the way to find new dinosaurs as hidden amongst the debris may be new dinosaur species trapped in amber. Find one of these & pay for the research to uncover a new species that can then be hatched.
Everything costs money in Jurassic Park & there are 2 types of currency. There are gold coins that almost everything is paid for with & then there are green dollars. These are the premium stuff & hard to come by especially if you are unwilling to pay real money for more. £1.49 will get you 20 dollars while £69.99 will get 1,500, it can very tempting as dollars are used to speed up building/hatching & can pay for things normally out of your levels reach.
The other way to get dollars is to level up & complete tasks set by characters from the movies. They will often pop in with some helpful advice & a task. Things like feed 5 herbivores & buy a new building, completing the task will reward you with XP, coin & dollars. Spend them wisely as you will always be scrapping around for more.
Your dinosaurs will provide you with income by the hour as will your buildings depending on what they are. As the dinosaurs level up they will attract more visitors & more money. Collecting it is a matter of touching the relevant dinosaur or building.
Once you have several dinosaur enclosures set up you will start attracting visitors so make sure you set up roads, build some interesting plants & rocks for them to look at as they drive around (they don’t walk – they are driven in the Jurassic Park vehicles) & keep the dinosaur food flowing. This is done by spending (see what I mean?) for supplies to be shipped in. There are 2 types, greens & meat – you pay for a set time for food to be brought in constantly & as you upgrade the building this time extends & the food supplies become more generous.
Feeding only has 1 real purpose…to upgrade your dinosaurs. They level up just like you except when they reach multiples of 10 they can evolve. Doing so will take them out of action for a period & the evolution period can be very expensive so make sure you think it through before you do so (remember an out of action dinosaur brings in no income).
Once you have 5 carnivore enclosures the code red action becomes available. Once every 8 hours (unless you willing to spend dollars on it to speed it up – see?) a storm will hit & you need to manage your dinosaurs. It’s a mini-game of sorts with a minute long timer & every circle timers above the carnivore dinosaurs. You need to touch the circle timers as quick as possible to stop the dinosaurs escaping & as the main timer counts down the circle timer get faster & faster becoming harder to manage.
Depending on your speed you will be rewarded with a cash sum upon completion. It’s not too tough & a great way to earn a little extra cash.
Once you reach level 10 the aquatic section of Jurassic Park opens which allows you to expand under the sea. It works exactly the same as the above ground section expect you can send out expeditions to find dinosaur DNA. It makes a nice change & I half-expected to be charged to play this section…I wasn’t but was struggling for money so couldn’t really do much to the park for a while.
At level 20 a glacier park becomes available…I’m a long way off that at the moment but it’s nice to have a target in mind.
The thing about Jurassic Park builder is that is crazy addictive, I’m constantly jumping in (max loading time of around 5 seconds) & grabbing money or supplies in anticipation for when they are needed. I’m just waiting constantly for something to upgrade or funds to become available so I can move on. I’ve always been a fan of theme style games & this just hits a lot of the right notes.
A free game that is you can easily avoid the in-app purchases provided you have the patience to play. The parks are limited but feel completely under your control. I would have liked more dealings with the dinosaurs as feeding seems irrelevant beyond levelling up. With plenty to unlock I can easily see 60+ hours being sunk into this game & all for the grand price of zero.
Jurassic Park Builder