A little while back, Aristotle’s uncle introduced him to the app – Jurassic Park Builder. After playing it on his uncle’s iPad for a while, he begged me to download the app for him onto ours.
Those of you who play SimCity, or have ever played it back in the 90’s (or better yet – Sim Theme Park), will be familiar with the concept of Jurassic Park Builder. If not, there’s a pretty good description here:
Here’s your chance to build your own Jurassic Park from the ground up, on land and in the sea! As a Park owner, nurture and grow various dinosaur species through the discovery of amber filled with dinosaur DNA. With help from your friends, turn the DNA into eggs, place them in your land or aquatic park and grow them until they reach adult size. To evolve, your dinosaurs have to be fed plants or meat depending on their respective diets. As a Park manager, you’ll need to make sure your park is constantly fueled with enough goods to feed all the dinosaurs by managing the flow of imports at the port. Finally, build a road for your visitors so they can go around and explore your creation.
To entertain your guests and collect more funds, you will have to be creative and decorate your parks and build various attractions and buildings such as amusement centers, hotels, restaurants, and security offices. ‘Code Red’ mode allows you to maximize your gains further and also prevent the dinosaurs from escaping and wreaking havoc on the island. But to access that mode, you’ll have to grow at least 5 carnivores!
In order to build your own aquatic park and discover new species, you will have to reach level 10!
Along the way, you’ll encounter familiar characters from the Jurassic Park movies such as, Dr. Ian Malcolm, or John Hammond, who will help you advance in your journey by giving you missions to fulfill.
There are 34 different dinosaur species and 10 different sea creature species to collect & grow. The trap in this app is that you can buy shortcuts (through in app purchases) if you are too impatient to wait. You can buy additional coins, dollars, meat and plants if you can’t wait the time it takes for the game to progress. These allow you to skip the waiting and move on to the next part immediately.
Lessons for Children
Aside from being extremely addictive, I do believe this app teaches children a little about business and patience. Aristotle often wanted to speed up the game and “pay” rather than wait out the time. I refused to buy additional resources because I wanted him to learn patience. He tried to circumvent the waiting by selling off dinosaurs to raise money for new ones but because the dinosaurs cost a lot more to create than the amount you receive for selling them, it’s actually a very bad business decision. Plus, it also means you now have one less dinosaur earning your park money which makes the wait even longer in the later part of the game when the prices for resources increases.
The app gives a broad overview of some of the aspects of running a business. For example:
- you need to invest to earn more (the more buildings and dinosaurs you pay to add to the park, the higher your income, which then allows you to pay for more stuff).
- cost of running a business – you need to collect food to feed your dinosaurs and grow them.
- continuous upgrading – you need to update old buildings to keep up with the changes.
- planning – the way you arrange your park can affect how much you earn.
Most of all, he gets to learn all this from his own initiative – he’s the one that begs me to let him play Jurassic Park Builder. Be warned: this app is extremely addictive. You may find yourself starting your own park as I ended up doing…