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Jurassic Park: Explorer DVD Game

Score: 80%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Brighter Minds
Developer: Giant Interactive
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Board Games/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:

Jurassic Park: Explorer DVD Game's visuals are basically what you would expect from a DVD game. If you've picked up a movie that contains some sort of game you play with your remote-control, then you know what to expect as far as graphics are concerned. All visuals are pre-rendered and spliced together on the fly to give them a fairly seamless feel. The rendered models of dinosaurs, Jurassic Park and the various landscapes look pretty good, but definitely not ILM quality.

The game's audio isn't all that bad. The various dino-roars and general sound effects come through pretty well and the narrator's voice was loud and clear.


Jurassic Park: Explorer DVD Game takes both board and DVD games and pushes them together. Up to four players will travel around a board attempting to gain dinosaurs that the Jurassic Park researchers will be able to bring back to life. You do this by taking part and completing various mini-games. Your turn begins with a roll of the die, moving your piece and selecting the activity that is represented by your location on the game board. If you complete the activity, you get a dinosaur. You can play as one of four dinos: Pteranodon, Triceratops, Raptor, and T-rex. The mini-games take place at seven locations around the island.

The Jungle contains a maze. In this game, the camera will pan over a birds-eye-view of the maze showing you the destination and forcing you to choose the correct starting location. The Laboratory has three spinning panels that contain heads, bodies or feet of dinosaurs. Match up all three and you will win the mini-game.

The Bone Dig Site lets you unearth bones, and you win this game by finding five bones in a set number of moves. At the Museum, you are asked three questions about dinosaurs and the Screening Room has you watching a clip from one of the Jurassic Park movies and answering a question about something you saw.

The last two locations, The Planes and The Chasm are slightly different than the others. At The Planes, a dinosaur will emerge from the fog and you have to yell out its name. After a certain amount of time, the other players can yell out a guess. The game then reveals what it was and the players select which player won the round. Meanwhile at The Chasm, you have to run up to a fallen bridge and jump at just the right time to avoid being eaten.

You and your opponents go around the board until someone has collected five or seven dinosaurs, depending on which game length you selected when you started.


Jurassic Park: Explorer DVD Game has three settings that each player can choose from. There is the easy setting of Scout, the medium one of Tracker and the hard level of Paleontologists. There are only a couple of places in the game where this setting matters and that is in the Q&A session at the Museum and the dinosaur matching game at the Laboratory.

Scouts can match any species of dinosaurs, while Trackers are constrained to only herbavores and carnivores (which type is decided by the game) and Paleontologists are told to match specific species. The other game, the Q&A, requires that Scouts correctly answer only one question while Trackers answer two and the hardest setting has to get all three questions correct.

Oddly enough, I have to say that in any of the settings, the dino-match game is generally harder than expected. I found myself not quite matching one of the body parts more times than not. It was somewhat annoying.

Game Mechanics:

Jurassic Park: Explorer DVD Game is very pleasing in its simplicity. You can play this game in any DVD player and on a flat surface to put your game board on. Actually, the instructions suggest doing away with the board if you are playing on a car DVD player. You make your various selections with the arrow buttons and the OK/Enter button on your remote.

If the game involves just timing, like at the Chasm or Laboratory, then a click of the OK button at the right time is all you need, while others like the quiz and bone dig mini-games, require you to move over a selection with the arrow buttons before hitting OK.

Jurassic Park: Explorer is pretty good for learning about dinosaurs as well as getting the family together in front of the TV for some general board game fun.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Any computer or game system with a DVD ROM drive or a DVD Player

Test System:

Standard DVD Player, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated