Posts Tagged ‘Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis’

The 10 Best Games Based On Movies


I had twin criteria for this. The first was ‘is it a decent game?’ and the second ‘does it meaningfully evoke the spirit, themes or characters of the movie in addition to having Quite Good Guns And Graphics?’ The second saw quite a few games which would otherwise qualify ruled out. This year’s Mad Max, for instance, was an agreeable murder-romp but it’s much harder to argue that it nails the desperation or oddness of the films it’s based on. Star Wars: Battlefront, meanwhile, is an OK online shooter with marvellous graphics, but it’s too mechanical to ‘feel’ like Star Wars once you get beyond the spectacular presentation. Ah, ‘feel’. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Does a movie game make you feel like you’re a part of that movie’s wider world, or is it just wearing its skin?

It’s that question which most informed this list. I don’t disagree that there are, in some cases, better games-based-on-movies if ‘game’ is the foremost criteria, but these, in no particular order, are the ten games which most understood and even grew my appreciation for their subject matter, rather than simply piggy-backed it. (Additional FYI: I decided not to include any superhero games, reasoning they’re really their own thing rather than innately movie-based).

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Have You Played… Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I just watched Jurassic World, and came away deflated that it was a dinosaur film in name only. Mad made-up monsters, no sense of an ecology, not even much time spent getting across that this was a super-safari park for nature’s most startling creations. So, for me, the most Jurassic Parky Jurassic Park experience other than Jurassic Park is Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, best described as ‘theme park with dinosaurs.’

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Retro – Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis

It’s just a brilliant, brilliant idea for a game. Jurassic Park: the management sim. Most attempts at bringing Spielberg’s dino fantasy into interactivity concentrated on the action: the running, the jumping, the shooting and even on the being-a-Velociraptor thing. They had their moments, but they were so staggeringly ignorant of what the Jurassic Park concept really was. Hindsight is 20/20, of course, so it’s far too easy to slam all those developers for not stumbling across the total sense that a tycoon game made for the license. After all, I can remember desperately wanting to shoot digital dinosaurs around the time of the films too. I wasn’t a subtle child.

Operation Genesis flickered somewhere in my peripheral vision back when I was reviews editor on a magazine. At that time, its two core attributes were things to be scorned: Jurassic Park 3, two years previous, didn’t lend much dignity to the movie series, and if I threw a rock in the air I’d hit at least five cheap, lousy tycoon games that we couldn’t/wouldn’t find the space to review. A Jurassic Park tycoon game? Gotta be awful. Gotta be. What a fool I was.
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