Jurassic World Alive is an Alternate Reality (AR) that is Free to Play for both the iOS and Android smartphones. Similar to other games within this genre, Jurassic World uses GPS and Google Map technology to create a game that requires the player to get out and about in the real world in order to capture the DNA of various dinosaurs dotting the map. That’s right, in this game you are tasked with collecting dino DNA in order to clone your own version of that dino.
In terms of game story, players must avert a second dinosaur extinction by becoming a member of the Dinosaur Protection Group. The dinosaurs appearing in towns and cities is explained by a mass exodus from their native island of Isla Nublar due to unexplained reasons.
Gameplay has basically six pillars: explore, collect, create, battle, earn, and share. As players roam around they can discover and collect DNA of up to 144 different dinosaurs. While most can be found anywhere around the globe, certain dinosaurs will be location-specific and confined to exact locations. Using the in-game map, players will touch the dinosaur to pull up the mini-game. The mini-game comes up to show a top down perspective of the dino. The object is to use your finger to steer the drone and launch the DNA collection darts at highlighted areas of the dino’s body. The drone will have limited battery depending on the distance the dino is from your exact location.
The UI and graphics of the game are on par with similar titles of the same genre with the exception of the dinosaurs which are decently rendered 3D representations of the dinos. One of the fun uses of the graphics is using the AR (Alternate Reality) mode to allow photos and videos of your captured dinosaurs in the real world. Players can bask in the glory of their accomplishments by sharing the media showing them accompanied by life-sized dinosaurs.
Game sound is limited to Jurassic Park theatrical opening song and minor sounds from the dinosaurs when viewing them in game or during NPC or Player battles. This does not add to or detract from the gameplay. After all, most often a player is out and about with little need for sound effects.
THINGS NEW PLAYERS SHOULD KNOW:
Playability is definitely restricted to a player’s activity and willingness to travel around to various real world locations in order to find and collect DNA from the dinosaurs in game. Other items that are shown on the game map are supply drops that provide the player with coins, darts, and occasionally in-game money. There are event drops that provide a chance at better drops or allow you to battle NPC dinos to win better items and prizes including DNA from rare or epic dinosaurs. Players can level up their dinosaur creations by collecting more DNA from the same type of dino. There are also options to mutate certain dinosaurs into variants at higher levels. This makes the long term objective of the game become a grind which can become tedious and boring.
I have not experienced any major issues with the game as long as there was a source of data for my phone and the GPS was unobstructed, but I quickly became bored and have since only opened the game on few occasions. This is the type of game that I would go back to if I were traveling and had nothing better to play.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE DEVELOPERS:
As a developer I would remove any location-specific dinosaurs to allow opportunities for all players to be able capture the DNA of all dinosaurs in the game currently. I would also work on increasing replay value by implementing special events. Also I would introduce water based or more amphibian type dinosaurs into the game.