The Streets Are Alive with DINOSAURS
I’m not really a big mobile game player. I find that the big games are all clones of a particular type of core gameplay. I pre-registered into the hype anyway though when Jurassic World Alive was announced. I was excited for the movie, and hopeful that this game might be something. I never played the Pokemon Go game, so I didn’t know what to expect exactly. The time finally came and I was able to download it. The tutorial was great, explaining the core game mechanics very well. Overall, Jurassic World Alive was a pleasant surprise.
The initial game loading is really slow. Really slow. This was doubly obnoxious because I don’t usually take my phone when I walk the dog. I found myself ready to go, but stopping at the street because I was still waiting for the app to fully load. Afterwards, I was held up longer because I had to turn on the GPS. It’s not something I leave on due to the drain on battery. Needless to say, it takes a bit of a routine to get into starting Jurassic World Alive if you’re taking it on your exercise journey. Eventually I got it all down pat, and it became less of an issue. I just started everything up before I was actually ready to go.
Probably the best thing about the game are its visuals. The dinosaurs in Jurassic World Alive look outstanding. There is a great variety, and even more were added once the movie launched (understandably). Some even have feathers! Seeing my walking route virtualized was interestingly odd, although I did keep having to re-orient the screen. It always seemed to be facing an awkward direction. Once I learned the center button oriented the screen in the direction I was headed, it became less of a hassle. I found the 150 meter distance to reach your target quite fair.
Shooting the little darts was fun, although I still have to wonder how the dart got through those armored scutes on the ankylosaurus family? Also, as I mentioned in my spoiler-filled movie review, Jurassic World Alive invalidates the whole Fallen Kingdom movie! If we could just shoot the dinosaurs with darts to collect DNA, why would we need to worry about them going extinct again? I digress though. The DJI drone product placement was fun for me because I actually own that exact model! Not to brag, but I am pretty good at the dart shooting. Lots of bulls-eyes were had! The supply crates were a nice addition, because the longer you play this game in one sitting, the more you drain your dart supply. Tip: Buy darts in bulk, you’ll save some gold. Speaking of gold, the tutorial didn’t really explain what the currencies were for. Eventually I learned gold is for buying darts, and money for store items. I also still don’t get what the option to watch ads was for?
In an approximately 2 mile walk, I felt myself wanting a little more interaction with the game. That is, until I noticed it really increased my walk time. I decided it was plenty of interaction. The idea is to get exercise, not play a game! Not to mention I needed to focus more on the road for safety reasons. I eventually decided to check my phone for new dinos every two blocks, and this seemed just right. In total, I came across 4 – 5 dinosaurs, 1 of them rare, and a supply crate.
The dinosaur battles, or the player versus player portion, was moderately fun. I’ve seen this ‘battles’ gameplay repeated in several popular mobile games so this particular part of the game isn’t very innovative. Still, it was fresh enough for me because I don’t play any of those other mobile games. The dinosaurs were colorful, the animations were nice, and so far I’ve won all of my handful of battles. Being the dinosaur elitist I am, I made sure all my combatants were actual dinosaurs. None of those synapsid or crocodilian imposters! I feel like the different abilities for the dinosaurs are nice, but there needs to be a better way to learn what each one does.
I think this game serves more as marketing for Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom than it does as a standalone game offering. I know there are some die-hard Pokemon Go fans out there to this day, so who knows how strongly the Jurassic fandom will cling to this game. Even the paid features weren’t too obtrusive. It truly is a good game though, as mobile games go. I’ve played a lot of different mobile games with dinosaurs, and I can confidently tell you this is one of the best. The game is a bit of a draw on data and power, so make sure you have plenty of those when venturing out. I’m still waiting for the one dinosaur mobile game to rule them all, but until I do, Jurassic World Alive will do quite nicely.