Those of you who owned Nintendo 64 might be familiar with Pokemon Snap: a first-person, on-rails shooter game where you snap pictures of Pokemon in the wild. First released in 1999, it was praised for its unique and relaxing gameplay.
If you missed playing the original Pokemon Snap, now you can experience a similar game in Jurassic GO. Available now for iPad and iPhone, it's an app that gets you exploring lush landscapes in search of dinosaur photos.
Snap the Photos and Complete Your Dinosaur Museum
In Jurassic GO, you're a photographer who has been hired by a Dino Museum to take pictures of amazing dinosaurs in their natural habitat. As you collect more pictures for your exhibit, you can expand your museum and build things around the island to attract more visitors.
To start hunting for pictures, simply tap the hot air balloon on the bottom right then choose a land to explore. You start off with the Swamp, but later in the game you can unlock the Crater, River, and Badlands. Each land has a set route for you to follow, but the dinosaurs are randomly generated so you never know what you might discover every time you venture out.
Taking a picture is quite easy: just tap on the screen to take a picture when you see your desired shot. You can also drag a finger across the screen to look around the scenery. Note that you have a limited number of shots on each tour, so use them wisely.
At the end of your tour, you can choose up to three of your best pictures and submit them to the Dino Museum's Captain. He then decides if they should be framed in the museum or turned into postcards. Each picture is also given a number rating, from one to 10, based on its size, spot, and angle. The goal is to score as many as perfect shots as you can, which is really more difficult than it seems because the dinosaurs can be quite elusive sometimes.
Over time though, you can unlock zoom lenses and lure items to help you take better shots. Using the zoom lens, you can pinch to zoom in and catch dinosaurs that are far away. There is also the Goofball, a lure item which you can throw at the dinosaurs to get different reactions.
Parents Need to Know
Jurassic GO is a family-friendly game. There is no violence in the game, and the controls are easy to learn. The only requirement to play is that you must be able to read because there is a copious amount of text. That said, kids should be able to follow along with assistance from grown-ups.
One thing to note is that the app has social features for optionally gifting and interacting with friends to unlock legendary dinosaurs. There are also links to trusted external sites, such as the App Store. There are no third-party adverts or in-app purchases, though.
Things I Like
Jurassic GO is fantastic. For a game that isn't supposedly 100% original, it doesn't feel like a cheap knockoff: the controls are intuitive, the graphics excellent, and the music upbeat. Looks-wise, it's one of the cutest game I have played this year.
The gameplay is also surprisingly deep. Even though most of the fun is in going out to snap pictures of adorable dinosaurs, you can also complete quests to build your island and unlock new items. The latter part is also why the app has excellent replay value.
If you love games like Pokemon Snap or just dinosaurs in general, you should check out Jurassic GO. It has a fun and relaxing gameplay that's great for all ages. What's more, it has no ads or in-app purchases that get in the way -- just cute dinosaurs and gorgeous sceneries to keep you coming back. Highly recommended.
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.