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Jurassic World Alive Succeeds Where Pokemon Go Failed

Pokemon GO is great, but Jurassic World Alive might just be even better...

By catering to the rural players, Jurassic World Alive fixes the main issue with Pokemon Go.


Before we continue, let me just clarify something – I love Pokemon Go. I still play it regularly, going on “Poké Hunts” with my kids on sunny days and I’m very close to filling up the Kanto Pokedex (16 more to go). For me though, there has always been one huge flaw with the game – it utterly fails to recreate a genuine Pokemon experience. And I’m not even talking about the missing features like the lack of trading or battling with your friends outside of a gym here. I’m talking about a much more fundamental design choice.

Pokemon Go was designed and built on the same system used in Niantic’s previous game, Ingress, and both games had a focus on bringing players together in the same areas to create a community feeling. Whether it be Portals in Ingress or PokéStops in Pokemon Go, these areas were designed to attract players to the same locations. The issue here is that these in-game landmarks and spawn points are almost always located in cities and populated areas and this has left Rural players feeling very left out. Despite Niantic attempting to address this by tweaking numbers in the back end of the game, players that live in the countryside have found that both Pokemon Go and Ingress (to a lesser extent) have been almost unplayable since release and it hasn’t improved much, if at all.

I got my first real experience of this situation while on holiday last week in France. Having had a pretty amazing experience with Pokemon Go during my last visit to France, I was excited to play again with my kids this year. We found a lovely long walk from one town to another, 18 miles in total, and packed up a bag full of goodies ready to go on a massive hunt for Pokemon. During the entire walk, we spotted a solitary Geodude. That was it. For most of the journey, there wasn’t even a Pokemon showing up in the long grass icons. Sure, it was lovely to take advantage of the increased Candies earned via walking because it was Adventure Week but the lack of any Pokemon in the wild really put a dampener on the trip for my kids who were excited to see what was out there in the rural areas of Mayenne.

In Jurassic World Alive, Life Found A Way

When I got home, I remembered that Jurassic World Alive had been released and decided to give it a go. Within an hour, my kids and I have unlocked a stable of Dino’s and were battling it out with people all over the world even though we were in the middle of nowhere . Where Pokemon Go was totally devoid of life, Ludia’s new AR game was bursting with it. We hunted Staegosaurus’ near a water tower and a Euoplocephalus in the middle of a field of cows. Because you don’t need a gym to do battle, my family and I were pitting our prized Velocerator and company against a Nundasuchus and others while driving to the beach. Supply Drops seem random too and even showed up when we were at least 15 miles away from another human life. Collecting DNA for dinosaurs didn’t mean hunting them down. You could unlock even the most rare of collectables through boxes earned in battle. Life really had “found a way”. Digital dinosaur life, in any case.

 

The most disappointing aspect of Pokemon Go’s design is that it fails to realise the Pokemon experience of rummaging through the long grass in the wilds to find the best Pokemon. Instead, it’s all about heading to points on a map. This is a failing that Jurassic World Alive more than rectifies. JWA isn’t perfect but for rural players who have felt so let down by Pokemon Go, this dino AR game offers you a chance to be competitive in an AR game that finally caters to you.

Sean Davies

Ungrateful little yuppie larvae. 30-something father to 5. Once ate 32 slices of pizza at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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