Jurassic Park Interactive

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Jurassic Park Interactive
Jurassic Park Interactive title screen.
Developer(s) Studio 3DO
Publisher(s) Universal Interactive Studios
Director(s) Gregory A. Gorsiski
Designer(s) Gregory A. Gorsiski
Series Jurassic Park
Platform(s) 3DO
Release
  • NA: May 10, 1994
  • JP: December 2, 1994
  • PAL: 1994
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single player

Jurassic Park Interactive is an action video game based on the 1993 movie Jurassic Park. It was released in North America on May 10, 1994 exclusively for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer by Universal Interactive Studios.[1] The game was later released in Japan on December 2, 1994.[citation needed] It is Universal Interactive's first ever videogame released.

Gameplay[edit]

The game's interface is set as a computer screen that allows the player to navigate a map of the island, as well as a collection of five minigames programmed by Dennis Nedry. Players have to locate various guests on the map, then engage in a short first-person action level that either involves outrunning a Tyrannosaurus in a jeep, escaping from a small building containing raptors, or shooting approaching dilophosaurs with a charged electric gun. The end of the game comes once the player successfully relocates all of the island's guests to the helipad dock and locates outside help by breaking through the minigames.

Depending on the difficulty level chosen (Normal, Hard, or Expert), more guests are shown on the map to be saved, and less time is allowed in total to break through the minigames. In the minigames the player controls feather-light jeeps and microchips that blast floppy disks that read "DUMP".

Development[edit]

Jurassic Park Interactive had originally been intended as the 3DO pack-in title for the console's October 1993 launch, but delays in development pushed the release date back.[2] Approximately 10 people worked on the game during its 14-month development period, with a budget between $1–2 million. Designer Greg Gorsiski said about the game: "It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. How do you rewrite a linear story for a non-linear environment and make it better? It's a task that a lot of game designers wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole."[1]

The game was not showcased at Chicago's Summer Consumer Electronics Show in June 1993, as the developers chose to keep it a "closely-guarded secret" until its release.[3] Jurassic Park Interactive was the first game to be published by MCA's Universal Interactive division. Universal and MCA hoped the game would increase sales of its struggling 3DO Interactive Multiplayer game system. Universal Interactive spent a considerable amount of money to market the game.[1]

Jurassic Park Interactive was the only video game adaptation of Jurassic Park to use footage and music from the film.[1] Although footage from the film is included in the opening sequence, actual shots of actors' faces are noticeably edited out. Look-alike actors portray the characters in further game cutscenes and images.[4][5] MCA had no plans to convert the game for release on other game systems, possibly to promote the 3DO, although Gorsiski also said it would be difficult to rewrite the game for other systems as it took advantage of the 3DO's superior technology.[1]

Reception[edit]

Reviews were mixed, with Famicom Tsūshin scoring the game a 22 out of 40,[6] but Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a 7.75 out of 10, praising the full motion video sequences, the use of music from the film, the innovation of the main levels, and the nostalgia value of the Nedry minigames.[7] They later rated the game 9 out of 10 in their 1995 Videogame Buyer's Guide. GamePro's review asserted that the music is the game's only good point, lambasting the long load times, substandard graphics, simplistic and boring gameplay, and unvarying video sequences.[4]

Shawn Sackenheim of AllGame rated the game 3 stars out of 5 and praised the "decent 2D animations" of the minigames, but wrote "they're nothing you'd expect to see on a 32-bit system like the 3DO." Sackenheim said that while the minigames were enjoyable, "You'll soon grow tired of these arcade rehashes."[8] Bob Strauss of Entertainment Weekly gave the game a "D" and called it "one giant slab of prehistoric cheese." Strauss wrote, "I can say with confidence that the vehicular sequences in Jurassic Park Interactive, with their clumsy controls and grainy visuals, are among the most inept I've seen. [...] The other sequences, sad to say, are also somewhat stingy, lizard-wise-and equally uninteresting to play."[5]

Zach Meston of Wired wrote that "the most exciting flick of 1993" had been turned into "a bunch of extremely dull arcade sequences linked together by silly full-motion video clips of people running through jungle scenery."[9] Edge, which previewed the game at the European Computer Trade Show, called it "a decidedly average mixture of Out Run, Op Wolf and Doom."[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Harmon, Amy (10 May 1994). "MCA Hopes 'Jurassic' Can Keep 3DO From Extinction". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Matthews, Will (December 2013). "Ahead of its Time: A 3DO Retrospective". Retro Gamer (122). Imagine Publishing. pp. 18–29. 
  3. ^ "Jurassic Park Interactive". Computer and Video Games. August 1993. p. 32. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "ProReview: Jurassic Park Interactive". GamePro. IDG (61): 70–71. August 1994. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Strauss, Bob (20 May 1994). "Jurassic Park Interactive". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  6. ^ 3DO GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ジュラシック・パーク・インタラクティブ. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.330. Pg.78. 14 April 1995.
  7. ^ "Review Crew: Jurassic Park". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (60): 38. July 1994. 
  8. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Jurassic Park Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Meston, Zach (1 October 1994). "Jurassic Park Underactive". Wired. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "ECTS: all show and no go?". Edge. June 1994. p. 15. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 

External links[edit]