Jurassic World Alive Mobile Review

Hello everyone this is a game review on a title I just started playing for quite a bit (I think I clocked in around 30 hours by now). Quick intro about the game developers, Ludia is from Canada, who was acquired by JamCity in September 2021. They had quite a number of memorable titles I played a few years back that left quite an impression. I remember playing Jurassic Park Builder on my trusty iPad2 and it’s a thrill to be able to build your own park full of dinosaurs.

So when I heard that name again when I was looking for a new Dinosaur themed game to play on my Android Phone, I was wondering whether it would be another park building game just like the one I played before.

First Impressions

Well, let’s just say they did not disappoint as they managed to take the best and most interesting parts of the Jurassic Park Builder (discovering new creatures) and merged it with something more modern called “location-based game”.

Jurassic World Alive is a game based on Google Maps similar in the vein of “Pokemon Go”, where the player could catch dinosaurs as they move about in the physical world. This Genre is also technically known as an “augmented reality (AR) mobile game”.

Jurassic World Alive
Get It from Google Play

Story

The entire game is based on the ever-popular Jurassic Park franchise (which had 5 full-length movies so far and the next one is called “Jurassic World: Dominion” due to be released on 10 June 2022.

Basically, due to the miracle of science and technology, scientists are able to clone dinosaurs from DNA and create a theme park open to the public (i.e those who can afford to fly all the way to a very secluded remote island with superbly high security and surveillance). In previous Ludia games, you are the dinosaur theme park manager who decides which attraction to build first in your park to make a profit and which creatures that you want to discover or evolve to get you the best profit and main attraction of the park.

In “Jurassic World Alive”, you now play as one of the personnel who harvests dinosaur DNA. You see, in the real world as we know it there are pockets of dinosaur DNA left behind in the past, and with a time-travelling drone, you are on a mission of dinosaur preservation.

I have to say that I was truly impressed by how Ludia managed to meld the idea of “dinosaurs existing in our current space” with the idea of (virtual) time travelling. This premise sort of makes sense, since they do have a huge demographic of experienced players who are into dinosaurs, and probably have been through a fair share of cheesy dinosaur hunt origin stories as well due to the influence of movies. It’s science fiction at its best and jives in well in actual gameplay. Needless to say, it’s a win and a confirmed buy-in for me to play a little more without feeling too “out of this world” or expecting any weird out of the ordinary surprises.

Gameplay

So on to the game mechanics. “Jurassic World Alive” is basically a location-based game, and heavily reliant on a real-world map to “power the hunt” (so to speak). Just like Niantic’s Pokemon-Go game series, they used Google Maps as a mapping of choice and your phone’s GPS as a way to pinpoint your exact location as you play the game. One other game that uses this is also Spokko’s “The Witcher: Monster Slayer” where you play as Geralt hunting down monsters in a similar fashion which I played a bit as well.

So once you are in the game, you will be shown on a map as far as the virtual map can show you. You can basically rotate your screen to look around you with two-finger gestures and zoom in and out if you need to change or adjust your viewpoint (some people do prefer top-down as opposed to the standard 3D view). To move around, you need to physically move yourself a few meters and the GPS usually will update your latest location relatively quickly (close to real-time).

Jurassic World Alive
Gotta Get em Dinosaurs In the Map
Jurassic World Alive
Mini Hunting Game with Special Darts That Extracts Dino DNA

Once you find your ideal target creature, just tap on the dinosaur and you will start a “creature DNA hunt” mini-game, and the objective is to shoot darts at designated circular points on the creature’s silhouette as it tries to run away from you after your first shot. Although you start the game with limited darts, this will increase as you level up your player level. You can also look for orange boxes or green boxes in the map area where you can collect additional supplies that help you advance in the game.

Supplies other than darts (these are essential for a creature DNA hunt), you’ll get Scents and some tools that can help you grow your creatures. Coins and Cash are the two primary currencies in the game and there is a max daily limit on how much you can collect for all of them. You’ll have an easily accessible little bag that keeps all this stuff as and when you need to activate it for a successful hunt.

Jurassic World Alive
Replenish Supplies Wherever You Are
Jurassic World Alive
The game has limits on how many items you can keep, do use it often

So when you hunt enough of a specific DNA of a creature, you’ll get a chance to create it in the “creature” menu. At the beginning of the game (prior to player level 7) you’ll find many “common” creatures that are relatively easy to hunt (because they tend to move slower). You can also switch your drone mode (basically it works like a control preference) which has different advantages on different types of creature difficulty.

As you slowly build more confidence and explore more physical areas in the real world, sometimes you will discover new species of dinosaurs that you’d like to harvest DNA from to complete your personal collection. You can also use Scents (basically it works like a small can of pheromone gas) that attracts the creatures to you. Bigger Scents would trigger the effect longer, and there are some that have more possibility of attracting more Rare / Epic creatures.

Jurassic World Alive
Impressive List of Creatures To Hunt and Create
Jurassic World Alive
Animated Creature Screen, and comes with AR Too!
Jurassic World Alive
Wait Till You unlock the ability to create hybrids… totally mind-blowing

Slowly you will be introduced to your first Hybrid Creature, which makes the game open up a little more as you will be introduced to the Training Grounds (or they also call it the “Campaign Mode”). This is where you’ll be introduced to the idea of using your creatures to fight in battles with other players in the game world, and even join tournaments to win even more rare creature DNA.

On the map, you’ll see special locations that look like a building, a cylinder or an arrow marker. You can house the creatures you have captured in the building (they called it Sanctuary) which basically works like a mini zoo kind of place where you can “train up” your creature’s level.

Jurassic World Alive
Use the Sanctuary to get more creature DNA
Jurassic World Alive
Perfect Place to understand each creature’s advantage in combat
Jurassic World Alive
The Map is littered with opportunities to score some Dino DNA Incubators

Upgrading Creatures will require a lot of Coins, and when there is not enough of that, you can use Cash to convert them into Coins. Of course, the general rule is to save the Cash for Rare or Epic Level creature DNAs, because you might not be able to catch them on the map until you have created them first. It’s gonna be an interesting struggle between choosing to upgrade your creature or saving up for that special event.

The game has been continuously updated, and at the time of writing, we are on version 2.12.31. With the revamp of the campaign, they now have 2 tiers, Starter and Advanced and it proves to be quite an addition to current players to test their skills against higher AI enemies. The game was released on March 14, 2018, for those who played since Day 1 would already have unlocked plenty of Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary and Unique creatures, which is much the envy of many new players (like me) who’d love to be part of the fun.

So beware, although this game is free to play, you may want to spend some money if you don’t want to grind for the creatures, and I can easily tell you it will be quite a huge effort to grind for them as some only unlock after creature Level 20, plus the fact that we are not quite living in the same kind of world when the game was first launched… more on that at the end of my article.

Of course, in the spirit of sociability, there are always alliances you can set up (or join others if you prefer). I wouldn’t say it will be easy to get into the bigger alliances (since most of them would have had much “bigger” goals that they are pursuing, like high scores on tournaments etc), I’d say you can start building your own alliance of similar level players like you. Basically, when I play tournaments, I’d double back and invite them as friends or in cases where they are not with an alliance, invite them into my alliance.

The other benefit of being in an alliance is you can request creature DNA to complete your collection. And if you help someone out at their request, you get some coins in return. I’d say it’s a very healthy ecosystem of “help” and this is quite important as later you’ll encounter raid events that you will need 3 others to help you take down difficult creatures. In short, a little dedication and the idea of growing the team together would be ideal.

Plus, you can even share sanctuary with others and as you level up higher on your sanctuary needless to say you gain more creature DNA, plus you get a chance to see different creatures in action. This is especially true when you have certain creatures only available in certain countries or regions.

Jurassic World Alive
Fight Your Way Up in Tournaments
Jurassic World Alive
Play with friends in Alliances and grow together faster
Jurassic World Alive
Special Daily and Event Based Raids of different Creature Rarity

Graphics

This game runs on the mobile phone, so you shouldn’t really expect AAA quality graphics or 4K. However, I do have to say that graphically it is quite a joy to see your creatures “come to life” in the profile screen the moment you unlock them. The animation is crisp and realistic to a certain level. Not to mention with the AR mode, you can actually have the creature projected in your room for a fun photo mode or “virtual play”.

I also have to mention that when you play with the character in the Sanctuary, you can see the personalities of the creatures shine with various interactions, toys and food you throw at them, which kinda makes the “mini dino zoo” experience quite complete in my books.

Jurassic World Alive
Play Time With Creature AR
Jurassic World Alive
There is something very cute about playing with this giant tortoise in the sanctuary

Also note here that although you might come across some creatures sharing the same name (and possibly the same model at first glance), you can be assured that it doesn’t happen as often as they at least took the effort to add more creatures (they started with 100 dinosaurs at launch, there is now over 200 dinosaurs). The game has been rebalanced to fit the veteran gamers a little more (and they did throw out a “return player” reward if you stopped playing for a few months), but generally, if you are a new casual player, the small bits are still satisfactory for a quick break.

Sound

Initially, I don’t quite remember whether there is any background music in the game, and I guess it was a conscious decision to do so because it’s a location-based game, either the developers would wanna maximize battery life by downplaying the background music (since the GPS is likely to drain the battery as well). Or it could be just as simple a reason as letting players hunt discreetly during a dinner outing haha!

After turning up the volume or earpiece, you can vividly hear the ever-popular Jurassic Park Theme playing in the background while you are travelling to a good hunting spot. The switch of background music while flying drones does create that fight or flight mood to the hunting experience. However, sound effects while flying drones and shooting darts are not quite up to par. Every time the dart hits the dinos, it tends to sound like plastic hitting a hard leather surface.

During Dinosaur PvP and PvE fights, it is relatively satisfying to hear the roar of your favourite dinosaurs (except maybe Compsognathus does sound like annoying chickens sometimes when it’s their turn) but overall it adds a good battler vibe.

Multiplayer Experience

The closest thing you would have in terms of multiplayer is either through Arena or Tournaments. I only managed at this point to play Arena mode a few times in the game, which is quite straightforward: the game matches you based on your trophy level, and don’t be surprised if you get matched with players who might have creatures at a much lower level than you. Every time you cross a certain trophy level, you’ll unlock a new Arena that has specific creature DNA as a reward. The most I managed to reach is Arena 2 Mt Sibo (unlocks at 500 trophies) with my current list of creatures since I barely have any hybrids yet.

Jurassic World Alive
Ready Fight! May the Best Teeth and Claw Wins!
Jurassic World Alive
Some Creatures can only be found in the Arena

Working around “Physical Travelling Restrictions”

Being a good sport on such a game, I decided to find a way to play it anyways and hacked up a solution with Nox Emulator and the Google Maps Positioning feature. Of course, some of you might say “hey isn’t this considered spoofing your GPS location” which can potentially get you banned”, the answer is YES (as most AR games tend to do).

And before you guys give me a lecture on “working around unintended game mechanics”, just let me say that initially I only do this in the spirit of experimentation, to see how far I could go before I get the ban hammer. (And I did get a temporary ban at the time of writing).

First of all, I am not trying to justify things here, just more of “I love to collect stuff” and I don’t even intend to play tournaments (never even bothered to finish the training ground campaigns). Then just 2 weeks ago I get an update notification that they added a slew of new tournaments in the game for “advanced players”, and that got me a little more curious than I should (which is how I got banned… I think maybe one of my online opponents reported me…)

Jurassic World Alive
You can Get Temporary Banned If there are irregular activities on your account

That aside, for educational purposes, these are the reasons why it is very tempting to use some tool to spoof your location:

  • Not all Creature DNA can be obtained from your physical location. Take for example, I noticed that there are a few creatures that are only found in North America and South America (according to what I read in the “WHERE TO FIND” description).
  • Moving / Jumping to different “zones” much faster than walking or running. Now the game will warn you of “don’t play while you are driving” when you do this, to remind you that there is a built in mechanism to track your travelling speed between 2 points. Tapping on the “I am a Passenger” normally can get you past this box and you are well on your way to do some hunting.
  • When the game was first released on March 14, 2018, it was generally safe to travel outdoors and hunt for creature DNA. We never expected to face a worldwide pandemic situation (the first case of coronavirus was reported to WHO on December 31, 2019). So think about it, would you risk your life to be outdoors just to hunt for creature DNA knowing it’s probably lurking around in the air or physical surfaces?
  • It actually helps me learn more about the world geography better as it creates curiosity (i.e “I wonder what kind of creatures will I find in Russia or Japan”), and that to me was added value in a way (since we are basically going through rounds and rounds of lockdown and air travel is virtually impossible). How do we then satiate our wanderlust? What better game to dive into and have a temporary escape of sorts.

Due to the pandemic, I understand many AR location-based games have hit the back burner a little since there are many players (in different parts of the world) who are slipping in and out of lockdowns / limited movement orders that deter normal from being outdoors for long periods of time. In fact, we are advised to “finish our errands as soon as possible and return home” to reduce the risk of catching the virus.

Well, since I have experienced a soft temporary ban now, I guess if I get back online, I can expect that I will not be able to access tournament modes / online competitive play (thanks to a fellow forum user who shared a little on what happens after he too got banned). In his case, he was still able to move around and collect creature DNAs for fun anyways.

I guess I’ll use the scent tools and get more creatures to come to my location instead if it gets worse. It’s sad to have such an excellently crafted game to not take into consideration the current real-world situation and offer something more “workable” for people who cannot move about freely. We’ll see how it goes… if there are follow up articles after this one you can be sure I’m still playing it in some way or another.

Additional Comment after the temporary ban: Whew, it seems that I can still play tournaments and stuff… it was pretty scary to be served the screen but a fair bit of warning to those who wanna play this seriously haha. 😅

Download it from Google Play Store | Apple App Store

Official Website: https://www.jurassicworldalive.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JurassicWorldAlive

More Information About Jurassic World Alive

(This section may contain spoilers, read it at your own risk)

Is Jurassic World Alive free?

Yes, it is free to play unless you want to pay and fast forward your progress and start playing tournaments. Yes, it is free to play unless you want to pay and fast forward your progress and start playing tournaments.

Can you play Jurassic World Alive on PC?

Yes at the time of writing, it runs on Nox Emulator 7.0.1.7. However, do expect some lag especially during screen switching of the map and dinosaurs. Apparently, this problem also happens on the Android version of the game. On Nox Emulator you can basically change the graphic and performance settings (lower resolution and increase RAM) in accordance with your PC specs so that it doesn’t feel that bad when flying the drone and shooting darts.

I Just Started Playing after 2021, How To Catch Up With The Pros?

A pretty good idea is to start working on collecting dinosaurs that add up to a pretty good hybrid creature (if you plan to play tournaments). It’s easier to collect dinosaur DNA from incubators. Most of the rare and epic dinosaurs really come from winning tournaments. If you do manage to unlock a hybrid dinosaur, you would probably need to do quite a bit of travelling to catch it on the map. Do check out Mathews field calculator to plan how many coins you need and DNA to collect. In my experience, it would be good to play the campaign/training ground and pick winning creatures you like to collect first.

How Do Sanctuaries Work In Jurassic World Alive?

Basically, you assign creatures in there and Feed, Interact or Play with the creature to get more DNA. Be warned the moment you put the creature in a sanctuary, it will not be available for tournaments or battles. Also, you cannot evolve the creature until it is released from the sanctuary (takes a few days). The good thing is sanctuaries can be shared within your alliance and you can get your members to helping out in growing your creatures.

What Is The Fastest Way To Get DNA Alive in Jurassic World?

According to some other players, it depends on your location. For example, if you managed to find a particular creature nearby restaurants, it is likely you will find more of them in such locations. Keep an eye out for local landmarks. Usually, on the dinosaur information screen, it also tells you which day or time of the day it will appear. There is also a theory where spawn points are randomized every first Monday of the month and there is a possibility to get different sets of dinosaurs in the same area.

Jurassic World Alive Tier List

There are generally 6 Tiers of Creatures in-game now. This list is just pickings of the best you can focus on for each tier. Do consider your team builds and your playstyle. You may need speed, armour, tanks and probably a couple of counter attackers as well.

Apex (S Tier)

  • Mortem Rex
  • Hadros Lux

Unique (A Tier)

  • Utarhinex
  • Tuoramoloch
  • Trykosaurus
  • Thoradolosaur
  • Testacornibus

Legendary (B Tier)

  • Utasinoraptor
  • Tyrannolophosaur
  • Tryostronix
  • Tragodistis
  • Stegodeus

Epic (C Tier)

  • Woolly Rhino
  • Woolly Mammoth
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Titanoboa
  • Thylacotator

Rare (D Tier)

  • Suchotator
  • Purrolyth
  • Giraffatitan
  • Postosuchus
  • Ankylocodon
  • Wuerhosaurus
  • Marsupial Lion
  • Proceratosaurus

Common (F Tier)

  • Velociraptor
  • Dracorex Gen2 (DG2)
  • Miragaia
  • Ophiacodon
  • Allosaurus
  • Tarbosaurus
  • Iguanodon
  • Triceratops GEN 2
  • Scolosaurus
  • Stegosaurus

How do you get the Indominus Rex alive in Jurassic World?

The Indominus Rex is by far one of the most powerful creatures in the game and it will give you an advantage especially when you are playing tournaments (when the game was first launched, it was insanely popular). It is a Legendary Tier creature that needs a combination of Velociraptor DNA and T-Rex DNA. Some players have reported that Velociraptors generally only appear at night near certain places which makes it difficult if you are hunting “physically”. You will need enough to get it to Level 15. T-Rex DNA can be found in Tier 1 Arenas and as long as you play tournaments you would still get a chance to get enough to level 15. It is hard to find T-Rex DNA in the wild (it’s an Epic Level Creature). Don’t forget you will also need loads of coins to create DNA to power up your Indominus Rex before it is battle-ready too!

Posted by Wycoconut

Join my Gaming Channels for more Awesome Games: Monster Hunter Rise / World, Gundam Games, Metal Slug / Super Mario Bros. 2, God Of War. Sometimes a bit of Vintage, Mobile Games, PS3 / PS4 / PC / Wii Titles stashed in deep in the bowels of my gaming chest... All For Good Fun!