Gaming On-The-Go is a weekly series that explores the mobile gaming industry, as well as uncovering the current trends, with hands-on guides for the latest smartphone and tablet games.
Jurassic World remained the champion of the box office this past weekend. The movie holds the title for the second-largest non-debut weekend of all time and it continues to slash records. As the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide, we expect the fourth installment of the dinosaur franchise will see more success to come.
And while the film will go on to battle other blockbusters this summer, fans of the action-packed movie can get their hands on some of the action for themselves in Jurassic World: The Game. It has received over 2 million downloads since being released for iOS on April 30 and for Android two weeks ago.
Jurassic World: The Game was developed by the mobile game company Ludia in partnership with Universal Partnerships & Licensing and Amblin Entertainment. Having already created Jurassic Park Builder, the developers at Ludia were no strangers to dinos when they got started on the official mobile game for Jurassic World a year and a half ago.
"We flew to Kauai – where they made the movie – to go on the set and talk to Colin [Trevorrow] about the movie, and we also met in Santa Monica with all the producers to ask questions," said lead game designer Jean-François Dugas in an interview with Tech Times.
"You get to see behind the scenes of how they made the movie — and for the game itself, it helps because you learn a lot of background stories about the characters that you don't see in the movie."
While the developers used the movie set as inspiration for the characters, the storyline and virtual creation on Isla Nublar, the real stars of the game – the dinosaurs – were inspired by the Internet. After finding ones they liked, the developers began trading the skeletons, using Zebra to graphically design them, and sent the final looks to Universal for approval.
How To Play
There are two main aspects to the game: build and battle.
The builder function lets the gamer create the theme park on Isla Nublar. Players get to collect more than 50 species of dinosaurs, feeding them in order to reach the next level. When two dinosaurs of the same kind reach their max level, they can evolve into a stronger dinosaur. Once you reach level 40, the dinosaurs can be further modified, genetically, to create hybrids.
This gameplay experience mirrors that of card games, in which players can combine cards to "evolve" into a stronger card.
"Even though it looks like playing cards, for us, it's a DNA sheet — and when you merge two DNA sheets together, you get the stronger dinosaurs. We thought this kind of gameplay was interesting, and so we can create hybrids after that, so there's lots of possibilities," Dugas explained.
While a builder game worked for the developers with Jurassic Park Builder, they decided to enhance gameplay this time around by adding a battle feature. You can pit your dinosaurs in turn-based battles against players around the world in the Battle Arena.
You can use points to attack or defend, but the strategy must go toward creating stronger actions. Once a dinosaur is victorious in battle, it must rest before being used again.
"The gameplay itself never ends; you can make tons of new dinosaurs and hybrids and there's unlimited fights," Dugas said.
For further unique gaming experience, gamers can also scan Hasbro's Brawlasaurs interactive toys into battles.
Tips And Tricks
Feed your dinosaurs — it's the only way to make them stronger.
"Whenever you have time, start your food production because you are going to need a lot of food for the later parts," Dugas advised, adding that it will take A LOT of food to get to level 40, and even more to continue to the hybrid stage.
Feeding your beasts is not only good for battle, but it's also good for the park, as it will increase your funds. That money can then be used to build more and feed more — and thus the cycle continues. Another way to get more money is by placing buildings next to the dinosaur attractions.
When it comes the Battle Arena, choose carnivores to compete against weaker herbivores. Herbivores have an advantage over pterosaurs, pterosaurs over amphibians, and amphibians over carnivores. You can also switch out a dinosaur while battling to prevent defeat — but it will cost a battle point.
"The best way [to defeat an opponent dinosaur] is to charge or reserve from the start, to make sure both dinosaurs can hit a three-gem attack. The sooner it can do that, it's harder for the opponents to block it, so usually it's a one-shot kill," Dugas said. "And reserve your best dinosaur for the end so he can make a big blow."
There are daily rewards to keep you coming back to the game, including money, missions and food — so check in every day. Jurassic World: The Game also provides one-day-only offers for rare dinosaurs, but these will cost you more than $10.
Legendary card packs cost a hefty $49.99; however, there are more affordable in-app purchases like $1.99 Dino bucks, or a rare card pack for $4.99. Food production and building production do take some time, so if you don't want to spend money on speeding the process along, you'll need to have some patience.
Overall, the battles are quick, with easy transitions between the Arena and park. Some of the game's music comes from the movie, along with appearances from characters like Owen and Claire — so fans of the film will certainly enjoy the game. Graphically, this game doesn't disappoint. In both gameplay features, the dinosaurs come to life with crystal-clear images and great attention to detail.