My Jurassic Farm Review
Posted by Jake Shapiro
Different skin, exact same game
My Jurassic Farm is an exciting concept. Everyone loved Jurassic Park back in the day, right?! It would make a great video game! Sadly, the dino-management genre has been left relatively barren since the wondrous days of DinoPark Tycoon back in 1993. Is BiP Media's My Jurassic Farm the answer?
No. No it's not. My Jurassic Farm is a shameless skin-swap of My Exotic Farm from this past April, which is in turn an unabashed palette-swapping of My Farm from back in February. No wonder BiP Media is able to churn out these farm simulators so quickly: they're essentially the exact same game with different 3D models for the animals and a re-skinning of the farm itself to match the new animal type.
The core gameplay is identical – you purchase animals, feed them, clean them, and sell their eggs for money. We could copy/paste our review for My Exotic Farm here and virtually all of it would apply to My Jurassic Farm; even the sound effects are recycled from previous entries in the "My ____ Farm" series. The menus are identical, the text-based tutorial is nearly the same, and the graphics in general share that low-budget last-gen aesthetic. The soundtrack is new, but the generic upbeat kid-friendly songs are instantly forgettable.
That's not to say My Jurassic Farm is downright terrible. If you've never played any of its predecessors, it's a competent (but very repetitive) pet management simulator. You begin with an empty farm and only one dinosaur, and you must harvest its eggs to make money so you can purchase new dinos and additions to the farm. Each type of dinosaur requires its own type of food and its own type of medicine, and you must balance their hunger and happiness without letting the farm or its residents get too dirty.
The series deserves credit for taking advantage of the Wii U's dual screen set-up — though ultimately that's likely to be simple port of the 3DS equivalent — as most indie games on the eShop tend to simply display the same content on both screens. In My Jurassic Park (as in the previous My Farms), the farm itself is displayed on the TV screen, while most of the interface and menus are on the GamePad screen. Feeding and cleaning the animals requires frequent stylus use, but the feeding could've been accomplished with a simple button press and the cleaning feels like busywork. The game world runs on a clock that you can speed up and slow down at will; you'll get impatient and want to skip through entire days, but there's so much micromanagement required that you'll constantly have to slow down and tend to your dinos one by one.
Which member of the My Farm family you'll prefer boils down to what sort of animals you like best, because aside from that there's really no difference at all. This could be fun for small children who love animals and aren't mature enough to deduce that they're being swindled into the same game over and over, but for everyone else, this is one we'll be happy to see extinct.
There's nothing we can say about My Jurassic Farm that we haven't already said about My Farm and My Exotic Farm: they're indistinguishable from one another aside from a new coat of jagged-polygon paint. This could be exciting for young kids who are diehard dinosaur fanatics and haven't played anything else in the series, but for the rest of us this is textbook shovelware.