Games for Dinophiles (Part 2)June 21, 2019
Part 2 of 2 in our special article series looking at dinosaur-themed games.
Editors note: This article was originally published on our brother site, The Inquisitive Meeple. There may be some edits to this version of the article.
Looking for some games for the dinosaur lovers in your life? Look no further, we pulled together different dino-themed games, for a range of ages. While it’s not an all-encompassing list, it’s a good place to start. While we haven’t played all these dinosaur games, we tried to choose some of the more popular ones, currently in print or coming soon.
If you would like to read part 1 of this article, you can do so by clicking here:
Designer(s): Flaminia Brasini, Virginio Gigli, and Marco Pranzo
Player Count: 2-4
HABA known for their yellow boxes and children games introduces up to dinosaurs jumping on to their prey, in Dino World. Players take turns flicking cards off the top of the box lid (stood up) trying to land on the Archaeopteryx cards. If you land on some, you get to keep them, but your flicked dino stays in play. Later on, a bigger carnivore, may come along and eat not only archaeopteryxes but the smaller carnivores. Each card you capture is worth 1pt, the winner is whoever has the most points at the end of the game.
It also should be mentioned that Dino World was one of the 2018 Kinderspiel des Jahres Recommended titles
Dinos Featured in the Game: Archaeopteryx, Dilophosaurus, Spinosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor
Dinosaur Tea Party
Designer(s): Rob Daviau, JR Honeycutt, and Justin D. Jacobson
Publisher: Restoration Games
Player Count: 3-5
Dinosaur Tea Party is a deduction card game, which each player received a dinosaur identity, and the other players must guess your identity by asking questions, much like you would see in a game Guess Who? You can ask things like are they in a purple room? Wearing a hat? Showing spikes? You get the picture. Beware though some dinos will randomly be given quirks during the game like they always lie, or must alternate their answers from yes, no, yes, etc.
Dinos Featured in the Game: Many different stylized dinosaurs.
Designer(s): Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc, Théo Rivière
Player Count: 2-5
In Draftosaurus, players are trying to have the highest-scoring dino park. Each player is given a square park board, that have dino pens that have certain requirements (like only the same type of dino can go here or you must make an x-y-x-y-x pattern with two dino types). To make matters, even more, challenging a die is rolled each turn, that puts restrictions on where you can place. So how do players get dinos for their zoos? They draft them. Each player has a handful of dino meeples (yes dinosaur-shaped meeples), they take one from their hand – reveal them at the same time, and pass the handful of dino meeples to the next player (think Sushi Go style drafting but with meeples instead of cards).
The game comes with 2 different boards (or rather the boards are double-sided) a summer and winter park, each with their own pen requirements. The Inquisitive Meeple did review this one for their Go Forth and Game podcast if you like to hear more our thoughts on this one.
Dinos Featured in the Game: Diplodocus (?), Parasaurolophus, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex
The Great Dinosaur Rush
Designer(s): Scott Almes
Publisher: APE Games
Player Count: 2-5
Description from BGG: “The Great Dinosaur Rush — or the Bone Wars, as it’s otherwise called — was a period of incredible advancement in paleontology (i.e., the discovery of fossils).
In The Great Dinosaur Rush, players compete to grab bones from the best dig sites, and build new dinosaurs for prestigious museums, gaining notoriety in the process by stealing bones, sabotaging dig sites, and otherwise impeding your fellow paleontologists.
The game is played over turns, each with two main phases: dig and build. During the dig phase, players collect different-colored bones from dig sites and perform actions. Some dirty actions give players secret notoriety tokens. Notoriety adds to players’ scores at the end of the game, but having the MOST notoriety SUBTRACTS from the score! During the build phase, players create their dinosaurs from the bones they collected, maximizing them to score points in various museum categories: length, size, height, ferociousness, etc.”
Dinos Featured in the Game: You make your own dinos up. However, there are historical paleontologists in the game, like Barnum Brown.
Jurassic Park: Danger! Adventure Strategy Game
Designer(s): Forrest-Pruzan Creative
Player Count: 2-5
Jurassic Park: Danger! is a one-versus-all game. One player, plays as the dinosaurs, while the rest play as the human characters from the movie. “When a Human Character is defeated by the Dinosaurs, they can immediately reanimate as a brand new character. But be careful, if the Dinosaurs defeat three Human Characters, the Dinosaurs win. If the players controlling the Human Characters manage to get three Characters off the island to safety, those players win!”
This is one dinosaur game you may be able to find in your local Target, if you live in the United States.
Dinos Featured in the Game: Dilophosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor
Designer(s): Bruno Cathala, and Bruno Faidutti
Player Count: 2
Raptor is a 2-player only board game, where one side is the scientists and the other is a mama raptor and her babies. “Every round, the player who played the lowest ranked card can use the corresponding action, while his opponent has movement/attack points equal to the difference between the two cards values. The scientists can use fire, can move by jeep on the tracks, and can even call for reinforcements, while the mamma raptor can hide in the bushes, yell to frighten the scientists, and call for her babies.”
Dinos Featured in the Game: Velociraptor
Designer(s): Ludovic Maublanc and Théo Rivière
SOS Dino is a cooperative family game, where players are trying to move four dinosaurs to the safety of the mountains as mentors impact and the lava flows spreads across the board, while also trying to save dino eggs that are scattered across the board.
I should also mention that SOS Dino was one of the 2018 Kinderspiel des Jahres Recommended titles
Dinos Featured in the Game: Diplodocus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex
Coming Soon: Fossilis
Designer(s): David Alberto Diaz
Publisher: Kids Table Board Gaming
Player Count: 2-4
Fossilis will be coming to Kickstarter from KTBG in Fall of 2019. Besides, coming from a quality family game company it will feature a unique 3d dig site board with recessed pockets, the dino bones will be placed into the bottom of the 3d board and then they will be covered up with ‘chunky terrain tiles’ for players to have to ‘dig’ through during gameplay.
Here is the description from the publisher:
“An incredible new dinosaur graveyard has been discovered, and if the early findings are any indication, it could be a treasure trove of fossils and bones like the world has never seen! In Fossilis, 2 to 4 players become paleontologists working the dig site with shovels, whisk brooms, and chisels looking for a find that could make their career.
Each round, players get two actions to dig at the site or make an extraction. As they remove the top layers of sand, clay, and stone, they’ll discover trace fossils, which can be exchanged for tools, the plaster necessary to extract bones, and discovery points. As they delve deeper, precious bones will be exposed. They can make a careful extraction if they have the right amount of plaster, but sometimes shifting the earth to cover up a find and slow down the competition is the right move. Bones on their own can be valuable, but museums are really interested in more complete specimens. Sets of bones can be exchanged for museum cards worth big points!
Fossilis features a unique 3D dig site board, with recessed pockets filled with dinosaur bones, and thick, chunky terrain tiles that cover the dig site. Players have to use strategy, timing, and a little bit of luck if they want to make the best discoveries, get their name in all the paleontology journals, and of course, win the game.”
Dinos Featured in the Game: Ankylosaurus, Apatosaurus, Archaeopteryx, Arizonasaurus, Atopodentatus, Brachiosaurus, Dakosaurus, Deinonychus, Dilophosaurus, Diplodocus, Edmontosaurus, Eudimorphodon, Icthyosaurus, Kronosaurus, Microraptor, Mosasaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Peteinosaurus, Pisanosaurus, Placerias, Plateosaurus, Plesiosaurus, Procompsognathus, Pteranodon, Pterodactylus, Quetzalcoatlus, Riojasaurus, Stegosaurus, Tanystropheus, Tapejara, Triceratops, and Tyrannosaurus Rex
We hope you found something of interest between this article and part 1 and if you have played any of these games and enjoyed them, tell us in the comment section below.
(Cover: Charles R. Knight, Brontosaurus, 1897)