Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis Review

When I first saw Jurassic Park in the theater I have to admit that I thought the idea of having a theme park full of dinosaurs was…well, kind of stupid. I enjoyed the movies and had a lot of fun with them. But, gee, come on here…a theme park with dinos? Just never seemed like what would really happen if we did start to create little the little dudes. I mean can you just imagine the lawsuits and insurance required for such a park? Yet, Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is going to let you do just that on your XBox. So, does it follow more in line with a South Florida vacation spot or does it prove the Chaos Theory? Hop in the Land Cruiser and let’s find out…

Welcome ... to Jurassic Park.

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (JP:OP) is a simulation type of game in the same genre as Roller Coaster Tycoon, Theme Park or even a little SimCity. If you haven’t played this type of game, and there’s a good chance of that if you only play console games, the basic idea is that you manage practically everything about the creation and running of a theme park. In this case you have been hired by John Hammond, CEO of INGEN, to take charge of all park operations. This includes building the park, researching dino DNA to clone dinosaurs, and making sure that the park visitors are happy, entertained and safe.

If you’re worried that this sounds like too much to keep track of, there’s no need to fret. JP:OP has a series of exercises that serve as a tutorial to guide you into one lean-mean-park-managing machine. These range from simple tasks like taking a picture of a couple of dinosaurs for a magazine while cruising around in your ride, to trying to take out a dino or two with a tranquilizer gun while in a helicopter. These exercises help you understand different aspects of the game so that once you jump into “Operation Genesis”, the full-blown park building mode, you won’t feel like a fish out of water.

Your main goal in Operation Genesis is to create a five-star theme park; there’s even a handy on-screen star rating so you know how you’re doing. So now that you are operating a dino theme park, you best be getting some dinosaurs. As you may remember from the movie, in order to clone a dinosaur you need some dinosaur DNA. There are a couple of ways to get the DNA: either have your own team of fossil-hunters go and search for it or buy some off the Internet. OK, that last part about the Internet isn’t exactly true, but there is a market where you can buy and sell dino DNA. While it isn’t cheap to buy the DNA it is sometimes the easiest way to get that elusive dinosaur you’re hunting for. However you go about getting some you need at least 50% of a specific dinosaur’s DNA to clone it. The more you have the healthier your dinosaur will be. I would really recommend getting as close to 100% because anything much less than that is really just asking for trouble. You can also spend some of your time and money researching vaccines for your dinosaur that will make them healthier, and since they are the star attractions that might not be such a bad idea either.