Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition is an adventure simulation game for the Nintendo Switch. Based on the popular film franchise, this title allows you to build and run your own dinosaur park. After millions of years in the making, has it been worth the wait? It’s certainly not perfect, so it really depends on your penchant for simulation games.
Like many Switch titles, Jurassic World Evolution started life on other consoles. It comes packed with all available DLC, including three separate campaigns to explore: Jurassic World Evolution, Claire’s Factory, and Return to Jurassic Park. These will keep you busy, with separate stories, missions, and characters in each one.
If that’s not enough for you, there’s also Challenge and Sandbox modes to sink your teeth into. These provide an alternate way to play. In Challenge mode, you can choose your island and difficulty settings to unlock rewards, such as new dinosaur skins. Sandbox is exactly what it sounds like – a creative mode where you can build to your heart’s desire.
Needless to say, there is a LOT of content on offer here. And a lot of settings to go with it. Taking a peek into the options, you can change your preference for basically anything, from controlling vehicles to how the camera operates. It’s perfect for those who like to tweak these things to the nth degree. For me, it was somewhat overwhelming, and I just left it alone.
The tasks in the campaigns reflect this granular level of detail. You’re not just making buildings; you need to make paths. And connect the electricity. And keep your dinosaurs healthy. And the visitors. And the scientists. There’s a lot going on in Jurassic World Evolution.
My time with this game resulted in mixed feelings. On the one hand, the game does a great job of capturing the spirit of Jurassic Park. It starts off promisingly, with a Universal Studios logo that makes you feel like you’re entering the world made famous by the films.
The voice acting is a nice addition, too. The entire narrative is voiced with accompanying screen text. There’s no way to speed up or pause (or replay/reread) the text, though, which is frustrating if you missed it the first time around. There is some great voice talent on offer. For example, Dr. Ian Malcom features prominently – as do other main characters from the franchise – each voiced by the original actors who played them. This adds to that feeling of being a part of the actual movie.
The animals are another fun highlight. You can recreate all sorts of extinct dinosaurs; you can even mess with their genomes. Each dino has stats on offer, allowing you to read about the species and find out how healthy, hungry or social it is in your park. All of this dino tinkering is definitely going to keep dinosaur enthusiasts busy.
The controls are fine, once you know how to use them. I felt a little lost at first. The game begins quite abruptly, asking you to build things but not telling you how to do so. I was able to work it out eventually, but for someone who never plays management-sim games, it made it a slightly bumpy beginning for me.
Touch screen controls are lacking, which seems baffling for this type of game. It’s all about clicking on buildings and other objects as you manage the park. A touchscreen interface would have felt much more intuitive in handheld mode.
The graphics also leave a lot to be desired. I haven’t played this game on other platforms, but Jurassic World Evolution – especially on the smaller screen – looks less than impressive, giving a grainy and unpolished feel. I also noticed items like trees popping up in the background as you zoomed in. It’s not a great look in 2020.
The deciding factor for players is going to be whether you enjoy management titles. There’s so much content on offer, I think genre enthusiasts will have a blast. The cost reflects all this content, though. It’s priced at almost $60 on the Nintendo eShop. This full-priced game is no indie title that you’ll finish in a few hours. The intention is that you’ll play for days on end.
Overall, Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition is a fun little simulation game. You’ll have to enjoy simulation games, and you’ll want to be a fan of the movie, too. If you check both those boxes, I think you’ll have a pretty fun time, especially given the sheer amount of content on offer. If not, give it a hard pass.
Review: Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition (Nintendo Switch)
Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition is packed with content and should appeal to anyone who loves the Jurassic Park franchise and enjoys management-simulation games. There are presentation and interface flaws, but given the sheer amount of content on offer, fans should still check this one out.