Jurassic World Evolution has always suffered from repetitive gameplay and shallow simulation mechanics, but the Switch version has poor graphics too.
When developer Frontier Developments originally released its simulation game Jurassic World Evolution back in 2018 the reception was decidedly mixed. This was for good reason, as the simulation aspects of the game are repetitive and shallow and Jurassic World Evolution doesn’t do enough to help players understand its mechanics. The experience has now made its way to Nintendo Switch and despite coming with all of Jurassic World‘s DLC, this version of the game might possibly be its worst iteration yet due to some truly shaky graphics.
The idea behind Jurassic World Evolution sees the player stepping in as the new park manager for Jurassic Park, managing all aspects of the experience. The player is tasked with dispatching research teams to discover new dinosaurs, ensuring that park-goers have an exciting time, and keeping the park as safe as possible for everyone involved. Jurassic World Evolution is similar to other park simulation games like Planet Coaster. Players must build different buildings that will either be tasked with completing research, housing dinosaurs, or keeping guests entertained.
The biggest attraction and money earner in Jurassic World Evolution are the dinosaurs, and they are by far the best aspect of the game. There are almost 70 different dinosaurs to unlock and add to the park and each one has specific needs like food, socialization, and entertainment that must be met to keep them healthy. One of the more interesting parts of the game is that players are able to acquire genetic traits to add to their dinosaurs in order to increase different stats. The player may want a dinosaur with a heartier constitution or maybe they want one that is much stronger than it should be. Interfering with dinosaur DNA helps make the player truly feel like they are running Jurassic Park in all of its movie glory.
While it may be fun to experiment with different dinosaurs in Jurassic World Evolution, acquiring them is a boring process. In order to get new dinosaurs the player has to first send a research team out to collect fossils, wait several minutes, select which fossils to process when they get back, wait a few more minutes, and then hope that those fossils give them something new. It’s a repetitive process, and most of the time there isn’t much to do while waiting for these fossils to be done processing.
This is actually an issue with most of the Jurassic World Evolution‘s mechanics. Everything that the player does has a short timer on it that is there for seemingly no other reason than to pad the length of Jurassic World Evolution. Building attractions, creating dinosaurs, processing fossils, and just about all other actions come with a two- or three-minute timer. This is so bad in fact that Jurassic World Evolution tends to feel like a mobile game port – just without the ability to pay to speed things up.
While all of these issues were present in the original release of Jurassic World Evolution, the Nintendo Switch port features another major problem. Jurassic World Evolution is ugly on Nintendo Switch when compared to other versions of the game. No matter how close the camera is to an object or dinosaur it is always blurry, which is a shame because one of the more fun points of Jurassic World Evolution is watching the dinosaurs interact with each other and their environment.
Jurassic World Evolution was never a perfect game, but there were some fans of the Jurassic Park franchise that felt it was worth their time. Despite the shallow simulation aspects and repetitive tasks forced on them, many players still enjoyed creating and admiring the various dinosaurs in their park. Because of the poor graphics on the Nintendo Switch version of Jurassic World Evolution, however, there is little here to keep players entertained – and those interested in the premise are better off revisiting its previous platforms instead.
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Jurassic World Evolution can be played on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. A Switch code was provided for the purposes of this review.
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