Parkasaurus scratches an itch JurassicWorld couldn’t reach.
After the slide into tedium that was the Jurassic World Evolution experience, Early Access dino theme park management project Parkasaurus is a welcome sight. I’ve just finished cooing over a flock of oviraptors so tiny they can hide under flowers in their pen, and am now working to improve my visitor experience. This involves plonking down banana stands and upgrading toilets while I fret over the daily glut of three-star reviews.
The Early Access nature of the beast is making itself known, although not as aggressively as some other projects I’ve played. One update increased my daily order of food plants from a dozen or so to 300, for some reason, and another time my park suddenly had zero visitors until I reloaded a save file.
But he core loops are there – build a park, then research upgrades with science points or happiness points from dinos. For more dinos you can unlock and create species by sending scientists to dig for fossils. Thus it is that you build out your sandbox-a-saurus.
Some elements haven’t been implemented yet so scenarios are not yet available and there are a lot of systems which could do with polish or expansion. One of the latter is the idea of giving your dinos toys. There’s
only one toy right now (a ball) and it’s quite far down the tech tree. I felt terrible not being able to let my adorable creatures have playtime!
Each dinosaur has specific habitat and diet requirements. My park mainly consists of herbivores at the moment hence that daily plant delivery, but the triceratops and stegosaurus like the rainforest biome while the styracosaurus needs me to fiddle with the elevation of muddy terrain to create an alpine area. They all need privacy, too. That means you’ll be placing grass for them to hide in and using different types of fence to balance security and visitor curiosity with dino comfort.
Currently, I’m trying to balance crowd-pleasing upgrades and decorations with my cashflow. I’m assuming that if the situation gets dire there is always money in those banana stands, but if pop culture references betray me I’ll need to rely on the donation boxes and my concession stands for my financing.
Some of the food and merch you sell has an impact on other stats, which might prove useful if I can wrangle it. For example, if a guest drinks a martini from my adults-only Tikki Hut their desire for funnel cake (from the funnel cake stand I’ve relocated nearby) increases by 500%. Meanwhile, balloons covered in magic dust seem to reduce the amount those guests bring down the dinosaurs’ privacy.
For a sense of the scope of the game as it currently stands, after about four or five hours I’ve maxed out my science and heart research trees. I could definitely keep working on my park, adding more exhibits, but this is the point where I’ll take a break and come back with the full release, currently set for around six to eight months’ time.
There are a lot of systems which could do with polish or expansion
Brimming with personality and sporting a solid core, Parkasaurus has made a promising impression.
CONE OF SHAME!
I upped the fence security for my tyrannosaurs.
He’s just a hatchling so he’ll grow over time.