Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HD in Review – Daddy, look at those pretty dinosaurs!

For years now Telltale has proven time and time again that they’re able to turn a famous franchise into first-class episodic adventures. We’ve seen this in reboots of Sam & Max and Monkey Island (Review) series, as well as excellent adaptations of Wallace & Gromit and Back to the Future (Review). But when Jurassic Park: The Game was announced I couldn’t help but feel skeptical as to how the unique cinematic experience of such a movie could be translated into an interactive title. Well, I can tell you right now I have been proven wrong.

To be very clear, Telltale Jurassic Park: The Game is NOT a point-and-tap adventure. Instead it’s an interactive movie. The story begins shortly after the events in the first movie where the power fails and the dinos are set loose. It’s is told from two perspectives – a mercenary (Nima) hired to retrieve the gene samples seen in the movie and the park’s chief vet (Doctor Harding) and his daughter Jessie. The story is delivered very fluidly and having seen the flick is definitely not required to understand what’s going on, which may be a plus for some.

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As noted above, Jurassic Park is a step away from the traditional Telltale gameplay for a significant portion of the game. While the pure adventure sequences more or less follow the classic guidelines – you explore one or several scenes, examine hot spots, and manipulate objects to solve puzzles. And of course engage in dialogues, with some even being focused solely on the latter. The difficulty level is completely suited for the casual player while the more hardcore adventure fans might find it a bit simplistic.

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The action scenes take cues from the classic laserdisc adventures like Dragon’s Lair (TMA Review), as well as the iOS original Hysteria Project (TMA Review). While stuff happens on the screen you have to frantically tap, slide and rub the various figures to help the protagonists survive. Most of the time you won’t get penalized too much for getting it wrong apart from having the score bumped down from gold to silver and further. In some more extreme cases, you can end up dying, though you’ll have to replay the scene from the beginning.

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Visually Jurassic Park looks very nice on the iPad 2, though it can’t really compare with recent AAA Unreal engine or Unity releases. Unfortunately Telltale’s dire and consistent issue is present here in full glory; even on the latest (for now at least) generation of the iPad, framerates occasionally drop far below the comfortable level, which is especially unnerving in the action sequences. At least the multi-tasking problems have been fixed, so you can now safely minimize the game at any time without fear of going through the long reloading process.

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Regardless of the performance issues I can safely call Telltale’s first experiment with the interactive movie genre a success. Playing Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HD is a thoroughly satisfying experience with action and adventuring scenes spaced with pinpoint precision. The voiceovers, writing and directing of the scenes are on par with some of the better movies out there. The mere fact that I mentioned the latter should be enough to emphasize the polish that went into making this unique new offering from Telltale. Both the casual players and adventure game fans will find something in it to enjoy, provided that they’re equipped with an iPad 2.

With this I declare Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HD officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title:Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HDDeveloper:Telltale Inc
Reviewed Ver:1.2Min OS Req:4.2
Price:$6.99App Size:345.42MB
  • A superb adaptation of the franchise into an interactive movie
  • Balanced action and adventure sequences
  • Theater-quality writing and directing
  • Serious performance issues
  • iPad 2 only

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