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Subject: Dinosaurs & dice, what could be better? rss

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Rob M.
United States
College Park,
Maryland
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I'm pleased to be able to contribute a review for a game not otherwise discussed ad infinitum.

Overview
Dinosaur's Extinct? was purchased as a Christmas present for my dinosaur loving 5yo. Chutes and ladders style for 2 - 4 players with a good theme and enough bells & whistles to make it much more interesting. Players bring their dinosaur along the track, first to the end of the board (which represents the 21st century), without any damage showing, is the winner. Along the way the dinosaurs fight each other if they end up on the same space, may suffer "earth attacks", have chances to be healed, may "evolve" and move forward (the ladder-like element) and there are two dino-switch spots where the player who lands must trade places with another dinosaur of their choice.


Components Summary
BOARD It is a nice heavy board that folds into quarters, no problems with lying flat. It is colorful and full of illustrations presented in a manner designed to appeal to the target audience. It is a track with 37 steps to completion. It has 17 basic, 2 "evolution" (ladder), 8 "earth attack" 6 healing and 2 "Dino Switch" spaces.

EARTH ATTACK PLAQUES As part of the game players must draw an "earth attack" card which I find thick and heavy enough to call plaques rather than cards, they will last through a great many plays.

DINOSAUR PLAQUES Each player gets two items to represent their dinosaur. A piece for the board and a plaque kept in front of each player to track the damage that accumulates. The plaque shows the name of the dinosaur and has a "healthy" picture and a picture of the skeleton/fossil. These plaques have a fold in the middle, one half is split in three sections, each section showing the skeleton of the dinosaur while the solid portion shows the full color picture of the healthy dinosaur. As a dinosaur is damaged either as the result of damage from earth attacks or losing a fight with a player dinosaur one of the split pieces is folded over to cover a portion of the dinosaur. The problem with these plaques is that young and exuberant players may stress them. One of our dinosaur plaques has one of the folds ripped off which happened after seven or eight plays.

BOARD PIECES. On the board the players have small thin cards placed in holder clips to stand on the board. These are basic and themselves worth only about two starts. Also included with the game was a small bag with 6 small plastic dinosaurs of the sort available by the dozen bag at the dollar store. My kids use these pieces on the board, ignoring the thin cutouts. Only downside is that these plastic pieces have no bases so depending upon the dinosaur they are somewhat prone to tipping over.

DIE One large, heavy, solid six-sided die is included. White, with black pips. So easy to find after the excitable kids put a little too much power into the toss and it goes skittering off the dinner table. And, not that I'm paranoid about that sort of thing, too big for the 2 yo to choke on.

Play
Players set their pieces at the first spot and youngest tosses the die first and moves that many spaces. Landing on a spot occupied by another player's dinosaur results in a fight. Each players rolls the die and high wins - ties get a re-roll. Loser is hurt and must flip over and reveal a "bone" section of their dinosaur's plaque. Landing on an "earth attack" spot has the player select the top plaque in the deck which have attacks such as earthquake, volcano, ice age, T-Rex and meterorite. Each attack has a number value and the player must roll higher than that defeat the earth attack, otherwise player must flip and reveal one of the skeleton sections. Landing on a "no-bones" healing spot allows a player to flip a skeleton section back.

I have a small issue with the rules. In some places they are little unclear. I am not sure whether the "ladder" spots are also supposed to be chutes if a dinosaur lands at the top. We play that they do not. Also, if a dinosaur has one or two bones showing when they reach the end of the track rather than finish the player must on their next turn roll the dice and move backwards in the direction of a healing spot two steps away from the finish and then go back and forth until they land on the spot enough times to heal. Instead we play by having the player go back to a healing spot eight steps away so they automatically heal on step.

I have had a great deal of fun playing this with by 5yo son and 8yo daughter and I recommend this game.

*editified to improvise my grammerification

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Mark Kalina
United States
Vernon
Connecticut
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My son likes the game a lot. So much so is when we have a family game night at cub scouts the boys always want to play it. I guess that is a good endorsement...
 
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Miguel
Canada
Toronto
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doesn't the heal space heal all damage? I'm going to have to go back and check!
 
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I know this game says it takes 40 minutes, but does it really? On Amazon.com, I was looking, and a review says that it doesn't last that long. They were saying Candyland lasts long, for me that doesn't last long at all (Yet, I'm not a little kid either.). I'm looking for games that last long enough (I don't want to get a game and be done in 10 minutes.)
 
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Rob M.
United States
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Maryland
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On rare occaisions it can last 40 minutes, if the pieces end up on the same space they fight each other and that can extend the game. I think 15 minutes for 3 players is pretty typical.
 
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Charlie Mote
United States
Decatur
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The version I found has a 1" rounded-corner d6 white with black pips although the box and the one photo of it here shows a pretty plain what looks to be like a 1/2" die. That sounds like what you have - does that seem correct?
 
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