Hi, a lot of people are complaining about Jurassic Park Alive, and not everyone is able to play the game yet as it is still not released worldwide, so I decided to review the game and share my experience. This is my review of Jurassic World Alive. Again this is my personal opinion based on my experience. Other players may not agree with me, but I have seen many people complain on social media about similar topics as mine, so I decided to share my experience. I have been playing as a beta tester since the beginning (not the actual first day though), and as such I have witnessed the updates they have implemented and which have caused so many players to complain. Also, I have been playing Pokemon for almost 2 years now so I will be comparing JPA against PoGo. So what is the main goal of JPA? Well I would say there are 2 main goals: Collect dinos, and battle with them. You can collect dinos in the wild, by walking around and shooting darts to collect DNA. Once you have enough DNA you can create the dino. Then you can also power up/level up your dino again if you have enough DNA to level up. You can then also battle with your dinos against other players (& computer players although since the last update it seems you can only battle other players). When you win a battle, you receive battle points, or arena trophies as it’s called in game, and also a battle incubator. This incubator contains more DNA so you can use this to power up your dinos. So to simplify the game, you want to collect all dinos, make them strong so you can win battles. There are several categories of dinos: common, rare (blue) and Epic (yellow) which you can find ‘in the wild’ by walking around and collecting DNA from them. As you can imagine the epic is the strongest of the 3 types, but also more rare so you will not see those often on the map. Besides those 3 types, there are also hybrid dinos. These are very strong, but very hard to make. You basically need to collect a lot of rare & epic DNA, and you need to cross breed (usually) an Epic and rare dino. So not only do you need to have rare & epic dinos of a certain level (for example level15), but you then also need a big amount of rare & epic DNA in order to create enough hybrid DNA before you can create the hybrid dino. There are 2 types of hybrid: legendary (red) and unique (green). Of course everyone wants to have a full team of hybrid dinos, they are much stronger than the other dinos which means you will have a lot more change in arena battles to win which in turn gives you more battle incubators & again extra DNA etc… It will take a long time before you can create a hybrid, and actually that is fine as you don’t want everyone to have all hybrids from the start. The problem with this is that if you ‘pay to win’ and spent (a lot) of real money on this game, that you can create your hybrids very quickly. I will explain more on this later, but already today I see the top players on the leaderboard which have full battle teams of hybrids, which is insane. To me that means that either these players have spent a lot of cash to buy epic & premium incubators, or they have found a way to cheat. There have already been reports of spoofers who teleport themselves around the map to find epic dinos so they can collect the epic DNA much quicker.
Ok so when I started playing this game, it was the initial beta of JPA and was fun to play. Many dinos would spawn. I live in a rural town but I could see many common, rare (blue) and even epic (yellow) dinos in my town. Every day I would see at least 1 epic dino spawn in my town, which was great. But then came the big update, and many things changed for the worse (and at that point the complaints started). I do understand that this was still a beta version, and Ludia wants to change features to balance the game, but the way they did that big update was totally wrong. 1 of the big mistakes that Ludia is making in my opinion is communication. They have been pushing updates to the game without notifying us up front. And even after the update they are deliberately hiding certain changes. To give some examples: with the first big update, the incubator prices were increased significantly but they did not tell that in the release notes. In the last update they ‘rebalanced’ the battle incubators. In reality this means you no longer receive epic DNA from 3h & 15min battle incubators! Also prices for buying rare & epic incubators went up with the updates. This means that somebody buying the same incubator 1 day after I bought it, had to pay more money for the same DNA. And this brings me to my 2nd big issue: since the game was still in beta phase, they should not have implemented the ‘real cash for items’. So people were already buying in game items with real cash, and then Ludia would change the value and price of these items, again without any upfront notification. This caused outrage amongst players who spent (in some cases a lot of) money on the game.
Pay to win: JPA is a ‘free’ game, but we all know nothing is really free, and that is fine. They make this game to earn money. My problem is that the pay to win players do get a big advantage in this game. If I compare this to Pokemon Go, you can also pay to win, but in PoGo you do not get an unfair advantage. Ok in PoGo there is no pvp, and in JPA the pvp is fun and 1 of it’s strongest features, but at the same time it’s also 1 of the weak features in my opinion… because people that will spend money to buy incubators & in game coins will be able to create those hybrid dinos, and if you come up in an arena battle against such a player and you only have normal dinos, you don’t stand a chance. And let’s be honest, if you constantly lose in battle, you will not only receive no battle incubator, but you will also lose arena trophies, and you will get frustrated. People who constantly lose will stop playing. 1 thing I have not explained yet is the arena battle system. There are several different arenas. The more you win in battle, the more points (trophies) you get, and you will also be able to advance to higher arena’s & move up onto the all time best player list. If you just start the game, you will be place in the lowest arena. That is fine, because you will be lined up against other new players so you have a fair chance to win. However once you get enough battle points to move up to higher level arenas, you will soon face the pay to win players with all their hybrids and you will not be able to win anymore. So unless you also start paying to buy the precious epic DNA, you will be stuck at a certain level.
In game coins: So once you have collected enough DNA to create a dino, you will need more DNA & in game coins to power it up. To get coins you can stop the supply drops. Or you can buy coins with cash. So if you want to play free you spin the stops. In the beginning of the game that is ok, but there is a daily limit to earning coins via supply drops, and once you get to a certain level, you will not be able to power up your dinos using only daily (free) coins. It seems to be a mystery how much the daily limit is… I believe it’s around a few thousand coins but to give you 1 example to power up a common stegosaurus from level 19 to level 20 it costs 40000 coins! So even if you walk around daily and catch a lot of dinos, you will not be able to power them up because you don’t have enough coins to earn with the daily limit. Of course the solution is to buy incubators, or win them by winning a battle but then you need to wait for the timer to expire before you get the rewards of battle incubators. (Ranging from 15min to 24h) And again to give an example, a rare battle incubator will only give you 344 coins
VIP membership: I believe that this is kind of a money scam, because of false promises… You pay 10$/€ per month for this. I became a VIP member based on the description. You will get a bigger drone range & more time to catch DNA. You will also get special batteries (now obsolete as they removed the batteries). You also get limited offers in the store (like a t-rex incubator that would contain epic t-rex DNA). And the biggest factor for me was the fact that supply drops now also give you in game cash. So I decided to join based on the fact that 10€ per month would be nothing compared to the in game cash I would get from spinning the supply drops. Of course this was again a lack of clear communication by Ludia, because in reality I only rarely receive in game cash from the supply drops, and again there is a daily limit which I believe is around 40 which is a joke if you see how much the incubators and coins cost. I admit that the bigger drone range & more time to catch are great, but they should have been honest about the in game cash reward.
People will say you actually don’t need to pay real cash to get in game cash. You can earn free in game cash. This is true, you can earn free cash. But then you need to play other games (sometimes for several days) or install stupid casino game apps & create an account with real money! So I have 2 problems with this: 1) I have a job, family life which means I neither want nor have 5h per day to play a game on my phone. So why would I spend hours & days playing other games, only to earn some free cash to then spend on JPA? My free time is precious so I want to do something I like and not waste time on something stupid so I can play JPA. The 2nd problem is that in Belgium these practices are illegal. You are not allowed to advertise gambling games within other games. A child can open JPA and from there play this POP casino game. I suppose that once the gambling commission in Belgium finds out, there will be a ban on this. (and I also believe that similar law is applying to some other European countries).I actually tried to do 1 of those questionnaires where I had to spot the 7 differences. This would give me 7 in game cash. Well unfortunately the questions kept coming without end to it and several times I had to be careful not to click on anything that would install further spam apps on my phone!!!
As said before, my review is based on playing since the beginning of the beta. I have spent some money on the game. I bought an epic incubator (before the big update), 1 t-rex incubator (limited offer via VIP membership) and I also bought 1 vault of coins. I also became a VIP member. This pay to win has given me a T-rex pretty fast and now also the opportunity to create my first hybrid (the Indominus Rex). I do believe I have an advantage over other players that did not pay anything. As I have been playing since the start of the beta, I have seen how difficult it has become to get any epic DNA, and thus also how difficult it has become to create a hybrid, unless you throw some big money at thus game or cheat… and although I have spent some money and have played every day since the start, I still see players above me (on the ranking list) who have full teams of hybrids. Given the frequency of epic dino spawn, to me this means that some of these players have been spending many hundreds of dollars/euros on this game, or found away to cheat/spoof to catch a lot of epic dinos.
How can they fix the game:
Fix the battle system: instead of aligning players based on how many arena trophies they have, they should compare the actual dino levels of each player and align them to that. I was able to achieve the arena called lockdown, but now I lose about 8 out of 10 battles, because I get lined up against players that are much stronger than me. I have epic and 1 hybrid dino, but if my opponent has dinos who are 5 levels above mine, there is no way I can win, even if I use the special attacks. On the other hand, they have reset the arena trophies twice already. And that was also not fun because once they had reset the points I would be aligned against much lower level players and win all the time, which is to be honest also not rewarding. I get no pleasure from winning against somebody who is half a strong as my dinos…
Reduce the Pay to win advantage.
Reset everything for worldwide release: I know that this will never happen, but I believe that the only way to give every new player a fair change once the game is released worldwide, that they should reset everything, and I mean everything! I would reset every player, all arena trophies, remove all dinos and reimburse all the money that players spent in game so far. I can only imagine how many more players will be frustrated once they release this game worldwide.
I have not decided if I will stop playing or not. I however will not spend any more money on this game. I will most likely cancel my VIP next month and just wait to see if anything changes for the better with the worldwide release.
Maybe I would not have been complaining if I was not a beta player, and just joined the game now, but I have seen so many changes in gameplay since the start of the beta that I had to react. In the end, a game needs to be fun. If I have an hour to spend, I want to have fun for an hour and not be frustrated, specially when you have spent money on it.