Written and Reviewed by Chelsea Siaca
Title: Will you be the last Dino standing?
Millions of years ago – Dinos dominated Earth. Life was peaceful and cohabitation was the way of life. Then the meteors arrived and life as they knew it changed. Now, it’s every Dino for themselves!!! They have to do everything they can to be the last Dino standing, even if it means pushing and shoving your former friends under a meteor.
Welcome to Dino Dodge
Dino Dodge is a 2 to 5 player competitive, take that game, elimination, free for all game. You will play as Dinos that are doing whatever it takes to survive. You will push, shove, and even dodge to make sure you are the last Dino standing!
I received a prototype copy, so some things might change up. Dino Dodge has dino meeples!!! The meeples come in the 5 player colors. The main components are tiles, cards, and tokens! The there are two different the tiles: land tiles and meteor tiles. The character cards are so full of life and they have each have unique Dino ability. There are 4 different action cards; one for each action and they each have their color. The cards are very basic in the iconography. However, it fits in very well with the game.
The dinosaurs have a very cartoonish look to them. Some of them look like they are scared and given that they are fighting to survive I don’t blame them. The colors of the cards are all very vibrant. Each tile has unique art and the detail on them is just amazing!
Be the last Dino standing. You will have to carefully manage your hand or be at the mercy of the other players. Use your Action cards, that you have carefully selected, to eliminate your opponents. If all the other players are eliminated, then you are the winner.
Dino Dodge is played in rounds and each round is played in three phases. The first phase is the Active Player Phase. In this phase, the player who has the 1st player token adds one meteor over a land tile of their choice, on the highest axis. In this phase the players get to perform actions. Players have to perform at least one action by playing a card, but can perform as many actions as they want.
Once they are done, the Sky is Falling Phase starts. This is the phase were meteors are rotated down one spot on their axis. If a player is under the meteor, they get to draw a card. It is also in this phase where you get to do a BOOM Check! If one of the meteors has moved down to the Boom part of the tile – the Boom Phase is triggered.
The Boom Phase is where tension builds! If players find themselves under a meteor, they have one single action to move to a land tile that does not have a booming meteor. If a player cannot move from under a booming meteor, they are immediately eliminated!!!
In addition to the base game, there are 4 small expansions that enhance the gameplay of Dino Dodge! First, we have the Mysteries of Mother Earth expansion, which adds Aura Tokens and a Velociraptor! The Aura Tokens are revealed when a meteor impacts a land tile. The Aura Tokens have different effects that change how the Dinos interact with the land tiles. It is one of these Aura Tokens that will release the Velociraptor onto the land! If you ever end your turn in the same land as the Velociraptor or it is moved to a land you are currently in, you will have to discard an Action Card.
The Primal Powers expansion adds 16 tokens that can be earned and used during the game to enhance your Dino Power.
The Cataclysmic expansion adds 15 unique event cards; these event cards introduce disasters and unknown perils that affect the game play. These events might urge forward the inevitable disaster that will befall the land, the destruction of all the dinosaurs except one!
The last expansion, the Prehistoric Pals includes a Dino Egg and Pterodactyl meeple! The Dino Egg introduces a new way to draw cards; which is very important in this game! The Pterodactyl flies over the land and moves players along; which can be very beneficial if you are trying to escape a booming meteor.
The mechanics behind Dino Dodge are not complicated and we feel like a younger crowd could play this, with some assistance and definitely without the expansions. There are multiple actions and rules to remember that might get a little cumbersome for a child but with some adult guidance, I could see this working. It is a lighter-weight game that plays in about 30 minutes. It escalates very quickly. It is a game that you can play multiple times in a night.
The art is very fun and it was the first thing that grabbed our attention. The second thing that pulled us, was the take-that aspect, we love those type of games in our household. You have to play to eliminate the other players to be crowned the winner. You might make some enemies!
The expansion definitely adds more complexity and thought process to the gameplay. They all add something so different to the game. The base game can be played alone, with just one expansion, or you can mix in all the expansions. We played with all the expansions at once, and it took us a minute to get all the different rules right. Our favorite expansion has to be Mysteries of Mother Earth. However, if you want to balance the discarding of cards, then you can add the Prehistoric Pals expansion. If you want more of a challenge and more of a take that game, then leave the Prehistoric Pals expansion out!
Dino Dodge is coming to Kickstarter on August 3rd!