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Video Game / Jurassic Park Builder

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Jurassic Park: Builder is a mobile application based on the Jurassic Park franchise, released in July 2012 by Ludia. It's a zoo business management game, similar to Zoo Tycoon and Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. The player builds their own theme park to raise prehistoric animals, starting off with the classic non-avian dinosaurs and pterosaurs on Isla Nublar, then various extinct marine animals in an Aquatic Park, and finally a Glacier Park located in Patagonia featuring Cenozoic animals. The game also puts emphasis on the combat feature, allowing the player to pit his/her animals against each other in an arena, as well as the option to battle other players in a tournament. It is followed up by a sequel in 2015 Jurassic World: The Game, also made by Ludia.


This game provides examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The more you level up, the more expensive and harder everything gets. Also, every animal requires to be fed larger amounts of food in order to level up whenever you evolve it and unlock its next evolutionary form.
  • Adaptational Badass: All the animals are capable of things in the battle arena possible only due to Ruleof Cool. Sauropods can rear up on their hindlimbs and use their necks to whip-attack enemies with, fish can spin around in a circle thus creating a whirlpool, turtles and armadillos can roll up into a ball and attack Sonic the Hedgehog-style, elephants can stomp the ground strong enough to create an earthquake and crack it, the list goes on...
  • Alternate Universe: The game's events are stated to take place between Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World. However, multiple factors make it clear this is not canon, in particular the inclusion of many non-Mesozoic extinct animals, like Dunkleousteus and Woolly mammoth.
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  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: When an animal is level 21 or above it will be vividly colored, while before it was a dull monochrome with occasional stripes or spots. Some of the color schemes are pretty bizarre, for example the Iguanodon can become purple with star-shaped spots.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: While none of the animals' gender is ever officially revealed, presumably they are all female like in the rest of the franchise. However there are a few problems with that. For example, all the Pteranodon and Pterodactylus in the game have large crests, which in reality were possessed only by males of the species. Likewise, all the Megaloceros and Synthetoceras have antlers/horns, even though this trait was completely absent in females.
  • Animals Not to Scale:
    • Many of the creatures are inaccurately proportioned. Besides Velociraptor being oversized, the Albertosaurus is taller than the T. rex. Most humorously of all, the Procoptodon is tall enough to look an Indricotherium in the eyes.
    • Also, all of the animals are noticeably oversized when compared to the in-game scenery (trees, buildings, the park vehicles and gate/fences, etc). Even small animals like Dryosaurus are as big as a Jurassic Park tour jeep, while large ones like the Indricotherium are practically Kaiju proportions-wise. Though this is excused by the fact that the game is designed for mobile devices in a 2.5D overhead isometric view (only the animals, vehicles and battle arenas are 3D). Granted of course like in all mobile apps, the player can zoom in and out as much as he/she wants in order to get a better view.
  • Anachronism Stew and Misplaced Wildlife: The player can buy and place animals from different locations and time periods together. Possibly justified in that it's a zoo/theme park and they are purchased from a market after being cloned from fossils. Though the default park (located on Isla Nublar) has amber containing DNA found in the rubble of cleared sections of the forest for both Brachiosaurus from Jurassic North America and Gallimimus from Cretaceous Asia. Averted with the other two parks in which expeditions searching for fossils must be send throughout the world either via submarine or helicopter. Also some animals can only be unlocked by winning a DNA Tournament enough times or purchasing card packs.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can buy, place and level up every species of animal only once. If you wish to do it again, you have to sell it and start the whole hatching/feeding/evolving process from scratch. Also, the bigger creatures are single and alone in their exhibits, while the smaller ones come in groups of 2, 3 or 4. Even if the bigger ones were confirmed otherwise in Real Life (e.g. Triceratops lived in herds).
  • Artistic License – Biology: The caretaking or diet of some creatures is mind-boggling. The marine reptiles and mammals have no access to oxygen since the Aquatic Park is situated at the sea's bottom facing a trench, while the Glacier Park in the frozen wastelands of Patagonia has cold-blooded animals besides warm-blooded ones. Worst of all, the Aquatic Park has Koolasuchus (a freshwater amphibian) and the Glacier Park has Arthropleura (a Carboniferous giant millipede). Both animals couldn't survive in the conditions of these parks and would instantly die. Better to chalk it off with the MST3K Mantra...
  • Artistic License – Economics:
    • In game, you could buy and sell back all extinct animals like any other normal building or object, only losing half of their fixed costs. It's worth mentioning that some animals are very expensive, and the ones unlocked from Tournaments or card packs are free.
    • Placing and removing paths is the only other free thing in the game, and you cannot earn any entrance fee money from your parks' visitors. Needless to say this is not Truthin Television.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Hoo-boy, where to start with? Ignoring the mistakes carried over from the novels and movies, the Pterodactylus is basically a smaller differently colored Pteranodon, Albertosaurus has three fingers instead of two, Carnotaurus has arms way too big, the Giganotosaurus is a Tyrannosaurus rex with spikes on its' back and head, the Amargasaurus has one sail instead of two(as well as being incorrectly shaped) and the Ouranosaurus looks more like a pelycosaur than an ornithopod. The Glacier Park seems to be hit worst with this: Smilodon has a long tail, Gastornis is classified as a carnivorous terror bird, Andrewsarchus is portrayed resembling a dog and implied to be a mesonychid, while many other animals have incorrect proportions, bios, names, diet, or just cannot exist there in the first place. Did we mention this game was made in 2012? See the other tropes here for specific examples.
  • Ascendedto Carnivorism and Vegetarian Carnivore: These issues are present both in the Aquatic and Glacier parks. Specific examples include the Mosasaurus being depicted as a crustaceavore and the Gigantopithecus as a carnivore. It is most likely done so as to balance the animal ratio between carnivores/piscivores (more attack, less health) and herbivores/crustaceavores (more health, less attack).
  • Bears Are Bad News: Despite not being a bear, this is how Sarkastodon is portrayed. Curiously, the Diprotodon (giant wombat) and Castoroides (giant beaver) have the same 'bear' animations and sound effects, despite being a marsupial and a rodent respectivelly. The game lacks actual prehistoric bear species, like the cave bear and the short-faced bear.
  • Boring, but Practical: Collecting coins from animals and food from the harbour to level up your creatures and purchase buildings/scenery, in order to complete missions and gain experience points. When done enough you gain a level and unlock new things, including more animals for purchase.
  • Boss Rush: The Versus arena mode (located on Site B) is more or less this trope. You have to beat 50 stages, each harder than the previous. Fortunately you can rest as much as you want between stages, and the enemies' ferocity will always remain the same. Depending on how much health you have left, you will win one, two or three medals/prizes(3X50=150). The first stage will be against a single Triceratops (considered the weakest animal in the game), while the last stage will consist of a Dryosaurus, Stegosaurus and T. rex with 3000 combined ferocity.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: The Procoptodon in the Glacier Park appears to move, behave and attack like a proffesional boxer.
  • Calla Rabbit A Smeerp: Most of the animals are called by their correct scientifical name. However there are a few exceptions: Megalograptus is listed as 'Sea Scorpion', Paraceratherium is named Indricotherium, Thylacoleo is called 'Marsupial Lion' and several others.
  • Canon Foreigner: A lot of the creatures in this game have never appeared before in the franchise(with some small exceptions in the form of cameos), in particular the Glacier/Cenozoic era animals. The same applies for the sequel.
  • Cap: The highest level possible for all animals is 40, while for the game/player is 120.
  • Competitive Balance: A simple, but effective one: Carnivores(Piscivores in the Aquatic Park) are more offensive, dealing more damage but having less health. Herbivores(Crustaceavores for Aquatic) are more defensive, sacrificing damage for larger amounts of health. Though high-level and top-tier animals are always better, regardless of type. A good strategy for the Tournament mode is to first use two herbivores as 'meatshields', and then place a carnivore as a 'sweeper'.
  • Coolvs Awesome: Basically this game allows you to make various prehistoric beasts duke it out in mortal combat against each other. Subverted in that animals can only fight other animals from the same park(Jurassic, Aquatic and Glacier). It's still pretty awesome, though.
  • Creepy Centipedes: Arthropleura is a purchasable, playable animal... in the Glacier Park and is a carnivore for some reason.
  • Demoted to Extra: John Hammond, Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, Henry Wu and Kelly Curtis appear as quest givers. Justified in that, like Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis this is what you decide to do with the park and how you run it (or them).
  • Dumb Dodo Bird: Appears in the Glacier Park. It's not dumb and is actually one of the best fighters in the game. However, it can somehow fly and make funny noises. Most likely meant to be a Lethal Joke Character.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Obviously. Though this time, there are also plenty of non-dinosaur animals thrown in for good measure.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The Aquatic Park has Ammonite, Colossal Squid, Baculites and Orthoceras.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Whenever an animal is fed five times, it gains a level. Once every ten levels it gains one star and you get the option to 'evolve' it by playing a DNA-splicing minigame. Doing so increases the animal's stats making it stronger, with the maximum level being 40.
  • Feathered Fiend:
    • On the non-avian side, we have Yutyrannus and Utahraptor. Both are portrayed with feathers just like in real life, in contrast to most other theropods.
    • Not flying birds per se, but the game has two terror birds for the Glacier Park- Kelenken and Phorusrhacos. The Gastornis also acts as one, even though it wasn't related nor carnivorous.
    • The pterosaurs in the regular park are either a non-bird example of this trope, or All Flyers Are Birds.
  • Fossil Revival: Well, this is a Jurassic Park game, so it's a given. Specifically, the Jurassic animals are cloned via insects trapped in amber like in the rest of the franchise, the Aquatic animals via fossilized leech-like parasites containing their blood, and the Glacier ones via their frozen remains (a spinal cord/bone is shown in the game).
  • Full-Boar Action: Though not truly pigs, the game has 3 entelodonts- Entelodon, Daeodon and Archaeotherium.
  • Gentle Giant: Many of the largest animals to ever live are available for purchase, like Dreadnoughtus, Leedsichtys and Paraceratherium. Not completely gentle however, since they can kick a lot of ass in the battle arenas and modes.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Zig-zagged. While many of the top-tier fighters are indeed giant megafauna, there are also some smaller critters classified as powerful Golds. Likewise, some giant animals like Spinosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Leedsichtys, Basilosaurus, Woolly mammoth, and Eremotherium are placed in the weak Bronzes or Silvers, even though they are bigger than an adult African elephant.
  • Giant Squid: Appears in the Aquatic Park, though it's called 'Colossal Squid' instead (the two are distinct separate animal species). It's possible the developers meant to name it Tusoteuthis, but forgot. Or simply not bothered, and decided 'Colossal Squid' sounds better.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: This game is more or less Pokémon meets Jurassic Park. You have a total of 130 various prehistoric animals to obtain, care for, evolve and use in combat, some harder to unlock than others. Good luck.
  • Guest Fighter: The Indominus rex from Jurassic World appears as a purchasable animal from InGen. It is one of the five animals which must be bought with Real Life money (the other being Euplocephalus, Edestus, Castoroides and Arthropleura). However the other four can also be unlocked from winning a DNA Tournament, whereas the Indominus is available for purchase only twice in a year (on Easter Day and on Christmas). Many of the creatures for the games' roster were decided via fan polls and were obviously inspired by other prehistoric animal media, for example Walking with Dinosaurs, Zoo Tycoon, Primeval and Ice Age.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly:
    • Both this and Predators Are Mean are Invoked. Herbivores and crustaceavores's exhibits are not surrounded by any fencing and can take a lot of damage in a fight, but can't dish it out. Meanwhile the carnivores are the opposite- more attack power and less health. Not only are their cages surrounded by metal fences, but are also visibly build deeper in the ground. Though it's anyone's guess how the aquatic animals and pterosaurs don't swim/fly out seeing as there's no roof on their enclosures, or the herbivores don't simply walk off out and start rampaging.
    • There is a 'Code Red' minigame in which the carnivorous dinosaurs will be upset and try to escape during a thunder storm. If the player manages to prevent them from wreaking havoc for the storm's duration, they will be rewarded with coins. Even if a dinosaur escapes it's not a big problem, since they will just be unavailable for a few minutes and they will be returned to their repaired cage if one is patient enough.
  • Holiday Mode: On a holiday something special happens- be it an unique animal for purchase or a promotion (for example a 50% shop discount).
  • Honorable Elephant:
    • Woolly Mammoth, Mastodon, Amebelodon and Platybelodon for the Glacier Park expansion.
    • Moeritherium too, since it's an ancestor to all elephants. Though it uses the 'rhino' moveset instead.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: All the top-tier animals qualify, but the cake goes to the Indominus rex. As already mentioned in Guest Fighter it's only available for purchase twice a year, firmly cementing its' status as a Luck-Based Mission That One Achievement.
  • Killer Gorilla: The Glacier Park has a Gigantopithecus in its' roster, presented as a powerful carnivore.
  • Level Grinding: Gaining XP and leveling up in this game takes a lot of time, with the reward you get being less than the time, effort and resources you have spend, though they increase with each level. You can speed up things like construction and hatching using the game's Dino Dollars, but they are rare and you only have a small limited amount. It's possible to get large amounts of them by paying with real money.
  • Limit Break: The Special attack and Block option can only be used three times per match in Tournament mode. The player must have a sufficient amount of 'fang/claw' tokens and spend them on one of the above, with the price rising up with each use(5->10->20X2=70).
  • Mammoths Mean Ice Age: The Woolly Mammoth is usually the second animal (first being the Entelodon) you can get in the Glacier Park, which is snow/ice-themed and made for animals from the entire Cenozoic era (as well as 2 Mesozoic reptiles and 1 Paleozoic arthropod), not just the Pleistocene period.
  • The Marvelous Deer: Not supernatural in any way, but Megaloceros is one of the cloned animals in the Glacier Park. Alas it's a very weak fighter, though the Synthetoceras, Macrauchenia and Aepycamelus who share its' moveset and act simular are much better stats-wise.
  • Mirror Match: While it happens random at chance, there is a possibility during Tournament mode that the game will pit you against the same 3 animals you have chosen to use in your team. This makes sense in a way, seeing as the game tries to find opponents which are close or equal in power to your current level.
  • Moveset Clone: As already mentioned on some of the tropes here, many animals share movement and attack animations. Justified in several cases like the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs and proboscideans for being relatives, but some unrelated animals do it too (Titanoboa and Arthropleura). Some related animals however have different movesets(e.g. Albertosaurus and Yutyrannus use the allosaurid animations, instead of the tyrannosaurid). Also some animals have unique movesets (for example Indominus rex, Colossal Squid, Gigantopithecus and Procoptodon).
  • Natural Weapon: Even in their Special attacks, all animals will only use their body parts for offense(head, tail, claws, fangs, etc).
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile:
    • Deinosuchus and Kaprosuchus appear in the Glacier Park. Strangely enough, the former resembles more a Sarcosuchus, while the latter has the game's 'feline' animations and behave like a lizard and a cat respectivelly.
    • Since they are crocodillian relatives, the Dakosaurus, Geosaurus and Metriorhynchus from the Aquatic Park also count.
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
    • The human quest givers are photo-realistic drawings of the actors from the films, which stick out like a sore thumb amongst the cartoony landscape, objects and animals. They may even qualify for Uncanny Valley, since they are stiff and motionless.
    • The Indominus rex and Arthropleura also look realistically drawn and stand out from all the other animals in the game.
  • One-Hit Kill and Curb-Stomp Battle: It is possible for this to happen in the Tournament mode for either side, and can be easilly accomplished in the Versus arena, especially if Level 40 (MAX) Golds are placed against Bronzes and use either a strong or a Special attack. Though in all fairness, during the Tournament mode the computer does try to put in enemies equal in power to you and make the battles more balanced.
  • Panthera Awesome: Smilodon for Glacier Park, natch. While not felines per se, Megistotherium, Thylacoleo and Thylacosmilus as well, seeing as they share the 'cat' behaviour and animations set of Smilodon. The Kaprosuchus crocodile also uses them. However, other extinct felines like Machairodus, Homotherium, the European and American lion are missing from the game.
  • Prehistoric Monster: Played with. While the player has access to some of the largest and most dangerous beasts to ever walk, crawl, swim and fly our planet, they are represented as simply bigger animals and zoo attractions. The arena battles can qualify, since they force the animals to kill each other. However the game is still G-Rated, because they are drawn in a simplified cartoony way and there is no blood or gore. Even the Titanoboa and Megalania (a giant snake and a giant monitor lizard) look adorable, yet badass.
  • Ptero Soarer: There are only 3 pterosaurs available in the default park- Pteranodon, Pterodactylus and Tapejara.
  • Power Creep: New released creatures as well as all Limited Edition animals are better than the ones the player starts with, which means that the Bronze and Silvers you have will become worthless in the Battle Arenas once you level up enough. The best option to win is to unlock/buy/level up/max out ALL the Gold animals, since eventually those will be the only ones you will use in battle. And since they happen to be harder as well as more expensive to get and evolve, well...
  • Power Levels:
    • Every animal has a 'ferocity' level, which determines its' damage, health and coins earned- the higher, the better. Evolving the animals allows you to quadruple their ferocity. According to their overall power they are either Bronze, Silver or Gold, with the third being the best (and most expensive) fighters. Also, the Tournament mode goes in this order of increasing difficulty- Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and then finally All-Star. The Bronze and Silver animals are useful only for the first two and maybe partially for the third.
    • Of note is that the Power Levels do not follow scientific accuracy. For example Brachiosaurus, Leedsichtys and Woolly Mammoth are large powerful animals in the real world, whereas in the game are weak Bronzes. Meanwhile, much smaller animals like Dryosaurus, Hyneria and Dodo bird are considered strong Gold and some are even top-tiers no less.
  • Power Trio: You can choose up to three animals and use them in the battle modes ala The King of Fighters, though you have the option to switch fighters during the fight at the cost of a turn. Of course, the same applies to the enemy as well. It's worth mentioning however, that sometimes the computer will use two or even only a single (but powerful) animal instead of three.
  • Power-Up: The 'fang'/'claw' tokens, which are needed for the arena battles. They can either be used for the 'Block' move (which blocks all damage), or the 'Special' attack (which deals MASSIVE damage), but are limited in quantity.
  • Raptor Attack: You get two more dromeosaurids besides the standard Jurassic Park/Jurassic World Velociraptors- Utahraptors which are bigger and have feathers, as well as Troodons which are smaller and lack feathers. The Compsognathus also acts like a raptor, even though it remains a Pintsized Powerhouse Killer Rabbit.
  • Rhino Rampage:
    • Elasmotherium and, to some extent, Paraceratherium for the Glacier Park.
    • The Arsinoitherium, Uintatherium, Coryphodon and Moeritherium also have the same behaviour, despite not being members of the rhino family.
    • If ceratopsians count, then also Triceratops, Torosaurus, Pachyrhinosaurus and Nasutoceratops from the basic park.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The Castoroides, aka the 'Giant beaver' lives up to its' namesake.
  • Savage Wolves: The creodonts Amphicyon, Hyaenodon and Andrewsarchus have 'canine' animations and behave like dogs. Their Special attack is pretty vicious(biting and gnawing the enemy to death). They even howl during their idle and victory animations. Unusual is the absent of the popular dire wolves.
  • Sea Monster: The Aquatic Park is full of these, though how 'monstrous' they really are is left for interpretation.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: This game rivals and even surpasses others like Zoo Tycoon in the obscurity of many animals in its' roster: Nasutoceratops, Tapejara, Trinacromerum, Gillicus, Amebelodon, Archaeotherium, the list goes on...
  • Shown Their Work: While there is some artistic license used, the amount of research and detail Ludia put in making the whole game and animals is impressive. If one visits their Facebook page or reads the messages which appear in-game whenever an animal hatches or evolves, they could learn quite a lot about the creatures and prehistory in general. Even the Indominus rex bio is faithful to its' source material.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Unless all the animals count, Kelly Curtis is the only female character appearing in the whole game.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Played straight AND averted. While you get plenty of stock species, the game also offers plenty of not so famous ones, several of which are mentioned here on this page. Interestingly enough, some popular animals like Styracosaurus, Kentrosaurus, Dimorphodon, Quetzalcoatlus, Plesiosaurus, Liopleurodon, Deinotherium, Megatherium, Brontotherium and Glyptodon are absent from the game.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: The battles are turn-based, with the combatants having 15 seconds to choose one of 6 moves, which waste a turn: Charge, Bite, Swipe as well as Change Animal, Block or Special Attack. Every animal has a weakness to one of the three attack types and choosing the right one will deal 100% damage, but making the wrong choice will deal either 50% or 25%. A Special Attack deals a whopping 150% damage. However, playing the Block option will nullify all damage, even from a Special Attack.
  • Threatening Shark: You get Helicoprion, Edestus, Hybodus and of course Megalodon. Some fish in the game also act simular to sharks, while not being related (e.g. the Dunkleousteus and Xiphactinus).
  • Turn-Based Combat: How the battles are played. Each opponent has 15 seconds in which to make their move. When it's the enemy's turn, the player has a 3 seconds chance to react fast enough and block the attack. Of note is that in the Tournament mode it's possible for the enemy to have the first go, which may give the player a huge disadvantage.
  • Turtle Power: The Aquatic Park features an Archelon. Although not turtles, the Henodus and Psephoderma are similar. And the Glacier Park has Meiolania. While amongst the largest turtles to have ever existed, they are still dwarfed by most of the other animals.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The second most powerful (and expensive) carnivore in the game, after the Indominus rex.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Played with. Feeding animals will make them grow into adults, but that's the only kind of interactive caretaking you can do. Also, when an animal reaches level 40 (MAX), it will no longer need to be fed. You can sell and buy them again if you wish.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can force animals to beat up and kill each other in the battle arenas. However as noted in Prehistoric Monster, everything is cartoony and there's no blood or gore, so it's still a family-friendly game. Also animals cannot die, they simply become unusable and have a 'rest' period before they can be pitted in combat again. Unless you're willing to spend some Dino Dollars on awakening them.
  • Video Game Settings: The 3 parks are located in different biomes.
    • Jungle Japes: Jurassic Park, the default park available from the game's beginning. Build on the tropical island of Isla Nublar.
    • Underthe Sea: Aquatic Park, unlocked at level 10. Placed on the ocean's floor facing a trench near the island's coast.
    • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Glacier Park, unlocked at level 20. Located in the frozen wastelands of Patagonia.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Sometimes the player is required to unlock, purchase and/or do some pretty trivial and mundane things. For example, some missions in all three parks have the objective of buying and placing specific animals, buildings, scenery and/or paths near each other.


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