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Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis
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Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis
Published by: Jeff McCloy on 2004-05-07
Page Views: 3125
Rating: 7/10

It’s been a while since the big lizards hit the big screen, but that hasn’t slowed down the number of spin off games and merchandising of the Jurassic Park name. The latest release, Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, puts you in control of an island. You control the technology research priorities, the deployment of fossil hunting teams across the world, the decisions regarding which species to clone, as well as all the mundane operational decisions regarding the park. Make the right decisions and your park will earn a 5-star rating. Make unwise choices and you will end up in chaos, with INGEN’s investor coming to look for you. Nothing draws people to theme parks like extinct, oversized reptiles, but is the excitement of running a dinosaur filled theme park enough to warrant purchasing the game?

Playing a simulation on a console poses its own unique challenges. No keyboard, no hot keys. Without hot keys you are forced to scroll through several menu and sub-menu screens each time you need to accomplish a specific task. While this is bothersome, there really isn’t any alternative and JPOG makes the best of it. While the controls take a bit of getting used to, the game itself was surprisingly decent. It’s a bit complex, but for you micromanagers, you will enjoy the thrill of dictating decisions from the incredibly important to the mundane tasks, like deciding what food to serve at your kiosks and how far apart you should place your park benches. You even get to charge a per usage fee on the restrooms. Due to the general complexity, you would do well to take advantage of the comprehensive tutorial levels.

The island itself is beautifully re-created and of course, the stars of the show (the dinosaurs) look almost as good as they did on the big screen. I did experience some clipping from time to time, but generally, it wasn’t enough to distract from the game play. There is good depth to the game itself. The primary goal is to just keep your customers happy. This means give them great entertainment, a clean park, places to purchase food, drink and souvenirs and restrooms. Sounds easy, but at the same time you need to allocate money to research, hire staff, collect fossils, etc. Just when you think you have everything under control, a storm will break over the island and drop fences, freeing your dinos to mingle with your customers, or worse yet, a prize exhibit might develop a disease, which you will need to allocate money to research a cure.

For the action fans, there is something here for you as well. I was surprised how many ‘missions’ actually take you out of God-mode and put you in the seat of a safari land cruiser or even in a helicopter where you must ‘retire’ many of your creations. While there were portions of this game that I really liked, the bottom line is that it’s a niche game that will only appeal to fans of this genre. So if you are ready for DinoSims or if you enjoyed Zoo Tycoon, you are sure to like JPOR. All others who are interested should rent first.



  

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