Delight visitors in a park populated by homegrown dinos. Safety waivers recommended!
The triumph of science that led to dinosaurs returning to the world once more has become public knowledge. New parks spring up regularly, often beginning operations even before everything has been finalized. There is no shortage of patrons eager to be entertained by these returned species in new and exciting ways. However, as with any form of entertainment, elements of triumph are often accompanied by elements of tragedy. This means it is of the utmost importance that you take every precaution by ensuring each visitor signs the safety waiver before enjoying the wonders of Dinosaur World!
Each round in Dinosaur World, you draft a new Worker Database card to acquire new workers; spend workers to take public actions building your park and acquiring DNA; spend further workers to take private actions improving that park; then drive your jeep around experiencing the wonder and excitement of what you have built! Throughout the game you acquire victory points through a variety of means — and possibly a few visitor deaths as a natural consequence of overly enthusiastic dinosaur encounters. At the end of the game, you lose points if you accumulated too many deaths, then the player with the most points wins!
—description from the publisher
Dinosaur World is played over 5 rounds. Each round is made up of 5 phases:
- Hire Workers: In Turn Order, players draft Worker Database Cards and take the Workers shown on them.
- Public Actions: In Turn Order, players spend Workers to draft DNA dice and purchase Park tiles from the Central Islands.
- Private Actions: All players simultaneously place Workers on their Park boards to take private actions.
- Jeeple Tour: All players simultaneously move their Jeeple to active tiles in their park
- Income & Cleanup: Players check their Threat level, gain income, adjust Turn Order, and advance the Round marker to start a new round.
After 5 rounds the game ends immediately. The player with the most points is the winner!
I remember the days when I was younger playing hours and hours of Rollercoaster Tycoon. Since my video gaming days are mostly in the past I've always wondered if a boardgame could bring back my Rollercoaster Tycoon nostalgia. Some have tried, but none have fully succeeded. But then I saw Dinosaur World on Kickstarter and after watching a few videos I set my expectations high: this was gonna be the game!
Dinosaur World has been on my Shelf of Shame for a while, because the prospect of getting it to the table was a bit daunting. This game is absolutely huge. It takes the same amount of table-space as two full boardgames. I've played it only at two players but I can't imagine the amount of space needed when playing with the full player count of 4. We don't have a particularly small table (230cm long) and we still had trouble with table space. Anyhow, we got the game set-up on our table and got ready for the rules!
Unfortunately the rulebook is not very good. It's large and bulky but it still misses some critical information that we had to look up on Boardgamegeek. We also watched playthrough videos to make sure we didn't miss anything. It also doesn't help that there are 2(!) errors on the provided player aids. No replacements are provided by the publisher besides stickers that you need to print yourself. Luckily the community has created improved player aids that you can download from Boardgamegeek.
As you can read, our first introduction with Dinosaur World is not a particular good one. Before we even started our first game the joy we initially felt of playing the game was long gone. The first play also had us regularly checking the rulebook / BGG for clarifications.
Dinosaur World offers a lot of interesting decisions and mechanics but I wonder if it doesn't try to do too much. With 3 different phases where you can spend your workers you need to consider every decision carefully and plan ahead. We thought this was a bit too much and some Analysis Paralysis was definitely affecting us.
The last negative point I wanted to highlight are the components. While most of the components are top notch (dice, dual layered player boards, chuncky tiles) some are not. The boredom tokens are of microscopic size and hard to handle. Every time you activate a tile in your park you need to increase the boredom by either flipping it, or searching for the next boredom token this really breaks the game flow. As recommended by some users on the BGG forum we replaced these quickly by some 7mm dice.
Now you might wonder, is there anything positive to say about Dinosaur World? The numeral issues we had with the games first introduction left a sour taste. But once we got through that the game starts to really shine. The game is not that hard once you get the gist down, and turns start to speed up. With all the different phases you really feel like running a Dinosaur Park. Managing your workforce, expanding your park and the best part: giving a Jeeple tour of your park! The fact that attractions / Dino's are slowly getting less excited is really thematic.
Overall the production is good and artwork looks really vibrant and is a lust for the eyes. The different dino meeples are beautifully produced and your finished park is a joy to look at.
👍 You really feel like running a Dinosaur park
👍 Jeeple Tours are awesome!
👍 Artwork and Iconography is good
👍 Most of the components are of great quality
➖ This game is too large to comfortably play on most tables
➖ Player aids contain multiple errors
➖ Analysis Paralysis prone
➖ Some components are fidely
I had high hopes for Dinosaur World and in parts it full-filed my desires for a dino park management game. I think the game as is has some flaws. Some of the flaws can be mitigated while others can't. The gameplay is fun and the games art and components look very cool on a (large) table.
Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)
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