Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is a theme park creator similar to Roller Coaster Tycoon, but rather than building rides you put together a park and fill it with dinosaurs. The best part is that not only do you get to build and maintain the park, but you can also zoom in on the dinosaurs and watch them. Dinosaur nuts will have an absolute blast with this one.
If You Build It, They Will Come
The main mode in the game is the Operation Genesis mode, but there are also mission and exercise modes that teach you how to play the game as well as give you specific objectives to achieve. In Operation Genesis mode you choose the shape, size, and geography of your island and then jump right into park building. You have to build fences to keep your visitors safe from the dinosaurs as well as paths around all of the enclosures so that people can actually walk around and see your critters. You also have to build attractions such as raised viewing platforms, safari rides so people can get into a land cruiser and see the dinos up close and personal, and hot air balloon rides so guests can get an aerial view. Keeping your park clean is also important, so you have to hire cleaners. Taking care of the dinosaurs and making sure they don't get sick requires a ranger station so you have to have one or two of those as well. On top of all of this, you also have to build bathrooms, rest areas, benches and garbage cans, and souvenir stands and restaurants. Finally, you have to set the prices for your park admission, food, souvenirs, and rides.
Can't Have A Jurassic Park Without Dinosaurs
Setting up your park is only half of the work, though, and actually creating dinosaurs is a big part of the game. First, you have to find the genetic material of the dinosaurs. You assign dig teams to various points around the world and they will dig up fossils and amber that you can use. You can also buy items in a marketplace. When you have some material, you hand it off to your scientists and they work on completing the DNA sequence for that particular creature. You can only create a dinosaur if you have at least 50% DNA, but they won't live as long as dinosaurs that are closer to 100% so you have to weigh the extra cost of research against the price of having to create a bunch of new dinosaurs six months down the road. There are several different types of dinosaurs available including velociraptor, T-Rex, stegosaurus, triceratops, brachiosaurus, and many others. Once you actually make a dinosaur, you then have to keep it happy by providing it with food and water and keeping it vaccinated against disease.
It sounds like a lot of work, and I didn't even cover all of the little details in between you have to take care of, but the end result is worth it. The camera in the game allows you to zoom far out and get a wide shot while you are building, but you can also zoom in right down to ground level. This allows you to just sit back and watch and listen to your dinosaurs. The park building aspect is fun and all, but the real attraction behind Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is being able to really experience the dinosaurs. The dinosaur models look fantastic and they also all sound just like they did in the Jurassic Park movies. The animation is very well done and you can watch your dinosaurs eat, sleep, play, drink, and even do their, um, business. It is a joy to just watch your dinosaurs, but you can also do some twisted things such as unleashing a carnivore into your herbivore pen or "accidentally" destroying your fences to that the dinosaurs attack your guests. You have absolute control over everything that happens in your park, and the freedom to goof off and kill a few visitors or play it straight and actually do your best is very much appreciated here.