Thu, 14 Feb 2013 Jurassic Park Builder for iPad & iPhone review: a wasted opportunity?
Jurassic Park Licence + Freemium Gameplay = A Total Dinosnore
- Manufacturer: Ludia
- Pros: Satisfying gradual construction, Features characters from the films, Sharp graphics and presentation
- Cons: Slow moving unless you pay; Flimsy plot for simple missions; Insultingly simple gameplay
- Price: £Freemium
- Star rating:
I was 9 when Jurassic Park hit cinemas in 1993. I'm 28 now, and maybe a park full of dinosaurs doesn't hold quite the same appeal as it did 19 years ago, or maybe it's just that Jurassic Park Builder doesn't really offer any of the charm of the cinema. Sure, you place down dinosaurs in cages, and grinning cartoon versions of the characters from the film pop up with a paper thin justification for doing simple tasks (“you should move that cage twice for some more XP”), but in lazy freemium style the gameplay simple involves tapping objects to get money to buy more objects to tap. The fact that these objects growl scarily when touched and are green and scaly is immaterial: they may as well be smurfs, farm animals or whatever other freemium window dressing you're used to.
Why do these games keep popping up? Because they are weirdly compulsive. Developers learned long ago that we like building up environments from nothing and watching them come to life. They also learned that we don't like to wait, and that we don't like to pay. So freemium was born: you can either wait while something as simple as a restaurant takes an entire geologic era to appear, or you can open your wallet and have it instantly.