Here at OSG HQ, Dinosaur Island drew our attention because of the great reviews it had received in 2017; the different gameplay mechanisms it pulls together; the interpretation of the theme; the amazing art; and the especially the dinomeeples! We backed it and, in December, we finally got our copy of the game. I opened the box and knew that I wanted to share how awesome that this game looks with all of our readers.
One of the first things you see when you open the box and take the rules out is the huge velvet bag. It feels very nice, and the game logo embroidered on it is awesome. One of the highlights of this game is the care put in and the high quality of all of the components.
These are all of the punchboards, which have the different features that help you build up your park, including concessions, rides, vendors, and the different dinosaur areas.
Next in the box, you find the dinomeeples and visitor meeples, as well as some of the game boards.
Here is a selection of the various specialist cards, which when obtained, give you various powers. This is one of the many ways in which the game has variability.
Another aspect of the game that provides variability is the different game lengths and their corresponding objectives. You can decide which game length is right for you, and that is an aspect of the game that I really appreciate.
Each game features plot twists, which tweak a different rule during each game. These are ingenious ways to keep the game interesting and distinct each time you play.
All of the DNA dice, which each have different iconography on each face. Typically, whatever you roll provides a certain amount of either basic or advanced DNA, which you can obtain to create your dinosaurs in the lab in a later phase.
The Phase One board, where you place all the DNA dice and deal with them appropriately. You place your scientists of different levels to either obtain DNA, increase your cold storage, get a dinosaur recipe, or pass, so that you can utilize the scientist in a later phase as a worker.
The Phase Two board. Phase Two is the market phase, where you can obtain specialists, buildings for your lab, different non-dinosaur features of your park, or basic and/or advanced DNA.
Here are the Phase Three boards. This is where you complete your worker phase, create dinosaurs, increase security, upgrade paddocks, refine DNA, collect money, and other actions that you have acquired for your lab. I greatly appreciate the recessed boards, so that you can easily keep track of how much DNA you have of each type and not worry about knocking it over and messing everything up.
Phase Four is where your park is and where you bring in your visitors, collect their admissions fees, and see if your security level is high enough to prevent the visitors from getting eaten!!
This is your score track, where not only do you keep track of VP, but you also track your excitement level and turn order.
The scientist beaker meeples, which used primarily in Phase One. These are upgrades in the Xtreme Edition, which replace numbered chits.
These are the different meeples that come to visit your park. Yellow meeples are regular visitors that pay admissions. Purple meeples are VIPs (which are only available in the Xtreme edition). Pink meeples are hooligans, who sneak into your park without paying.
These are your worker meeples, which you utilize in Phase Three to do many actions you need to accomplish to make your park successful.
Here is another upgrade to the Xtreme Edition – a slap bracelet used to denote who is first player. It is handy for when player order changes in between rounds. Such a hilarious 1990s throwback. The standard first player token is a cardboard piece that depicts an insect trapped in amber.
These are the upgraded metal coins, they have a bit of heft to them and are creatively designed. It is clever that they have the different types of dinosaurs on the back of the different denominations of coins. An herbivore for the 1 coin, small carnivore for the 5, and large carnivore for the 10.
Now for the part of the Xtreme Edition that really convinced Marti and I to go for the all in Kickstarter pledge: the unique Dinosaur Meeples, or dinomeeples.
All the unique dinomeeples!!! There are 63 total dinomeeples are included in the Xtreme Edition – 9 types of dinomeeples and 7 of each type. The retail version has all triceratops meeples, and a total of 50 dinomeeples.
From Left to Right: the Triceratops, Spinosaurus, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus.
Left to Right: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Pterodactyl, Velociraptor, and the backer’s choice dinomeeple; Parasaurolophus.
From Left to Right, once again the Velociraptor, Parasaurolophus , and Ankylosaurus dinomeeples.
Here are all 63 dinomeeples, separated by the type of dinosaur. I anticipate we will have quite a bit of fun creating these dinos and having them in our own Dinosaur Island theme park.
With the fulfillment of Dinosaur Island, the Totally Liquid Expansion, and Duelosaur Island, this Kickstarter is (definitely) the most deluxified set of games we have ever gotten (via kickstarter). We are quite excited to get Dinosaur Island to the table. Did you back it? How are you enjoying it?
Sarah- The Confuzzld Meeple