At first glance, Dino Island (developed by Monte Cristo Games) could be described as 'Jurassic Park - Zoo Tycoon,'? or simply another knock off of a very popular genre. However, after further review, Dino Island isn't quite as easy to classify as expected.
The game's premise seems simple enough. Part science lab, part amusement park, your job is both to create and modify known dinosaurs to be shown to the public in your very own dinosaur theme park. Though the game is more oriented towards creating the park, there is still some detail in your ability to clone, modify, and create different dinosaurs based on genetic patterns. Most of this revolves around park finances'if your Tyrannosaurus isn't bringing in the customers, maybe something new will. Even so, this addition adds a bit of depth to a somewhat lightweight sim.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about the multimedia aspects of this game. True, the sounds are good and many of the graphics excel as well, but there a few deficiencies that bear notice. While the dinosaurs are well realized and have good graphics and entertaining AI, there are many examples of poor or amateurish graphics prevalent in the game. Dino Island employs a zoom option to allow you to get up close and personal with the game, but many of the extras in the game, such as park employees and the throngs of visitors, as well as some buildings, hold up very poorly when looked at from any distance.
As the 'lightweight'? title designates, Dino Island is a very simple, straightforward approach to the 'Tycoon'? style simulation. There are a lot less items to be placed and manipulated in comparison to some of the more complex simulation titles, which may turn off the more experienced sim fan or extreme tweaker. However, for someone new to simulation style play, Dino Island will be an excellent beginning, and easy to learn and master. In-game tutorials are easy and quick to learn, and can have novices building the dino-park of their dreams in no time. Hence, I recommend this title for newer sim enthusiasts rather than the more experienced and/or jaded player.