Jurassic Park seems like a no-brainer franchise in terms of licensed video games. Plop down a digitized Sam Neill or Jeff Goldblum, give them a gun full of “tranquilizer darts,” record a few “that’s chaos theory” voice clips to play when they get hit, and send in the dinos. Big, strong dinos, fast, smart dinos, flying dinos, even dinos that shoot—the movies already have the perfect cast of enemies built in.
But while there have been several Jurassic Park games that follow that formula, the urge to milk money from the massively successful films has taken game designers down some very strange roads. Tournament fighting games. Turn-based RPGs. Even a 3-D breakout game. You can learn about them all in this video, produced as part of CVG’s “Complete History” series, which documents every game ever made with the Jurassic Park license, from the NES adaptation of the first movie, through the release for Tiger Electronics’ failed game com handheld, to modern cell phone games. Along the way, you’ll see shoddy driving controls, rip-offs of Doom, and a few genuinely brilliant ideas—there should be way more games, for instance, where you can build your own Jurassic Park, lure in tourists, and then shut off the fences.