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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Dinosaurs
  • Awesome transparent dice
  • Great strategic options

Might Not Like

  • Game last only three seasons
  • No expansion (I want more!)
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Dinosaur Island Rawr ‘N Write Review

Dinosaur Island Rawr 'N Write

Let's be honest, since the first Jurassic Park movie came out, the idea of having living dinosaur as attractions in a theme park looked quite intriguing. True, they may have a tendency to get out of control and to eat a few visitors but which ride does have no negatives?

I have also always felt that I could do a great work in managing a Dinosaur Theme park and that's why I had to get my hands on Dinosaur Island: Rawr 'N Write. In this game, published by Pandasaurus, you are tasked to build a successful Theme Park with real dinosaurs using roll and write mechanics. Recently I have been playing a lot of R&W boardgames and I was very curious to see how this one ranks against all the others I have been playing.

Unboxing And Components

First things first as usual: a boardgame should initially be judged by the box and by the components. In this specific case, as the game is a Roll and Write, the dice should be big part of this game. Rawr 'N Write does not disappoint as the game comes with 10 big sized, transparent dice that look like they are made of amber. Nice hint to the original movie. The dice are used both to collect resources and to carry out some park activities, and they account for a great portion of the overall game experience.

Together with the dice, the box also comes with a cardboard game board, specialist and building cards, a detailed rulebook and 2 type of player sheets. This is an interesting choice as players usually need only one player sheet in most R&W games. As I will discuss later, Dinosaur Island: Rawr 'N Write is a a bit more complex than the usual R&W game and it is filled with interesting strategic choices. Thus, it does not surprise that you need two park sheets to play this game.

Interestingly, the park sheets have been carefully designed to remind the rules and to help the player with the complexity of this game. For examples, the sections on one of the park sheet are numbered as the phases in the park tour reminding the player what to do and in which order. Personally, this is a great added value and a big support to avoid the frustration of learning a new game.

Gameplay

Each game of Dinosaur Island: Rawr 'N Write last for three seasons, each of them made up by 2 park phases and 1 tour phase. In each park phase, players roll the dice and select which resources they want to collect. Depending on your strategy, you can choose money, DNA to create new dinosaurs, blueprints to build park facilities and rides or roads to connect each building.

Some dice can also increase the risk of your dinosaurs getting out of control or grant you additional security features to prevent it. If your risk level is too high, the “death toll” in your park will start to growth and some major incidents could happen.

Once resources are selected, players can also use the dice as workers to carry out two actions per each park phase. One of the available actions is obviously to create new dinosaurs and add them to the park. There are 9 type of dinosaurs available including herbivores, small carnivores and large carnivores and each species requires a separate paddock to be drafted in your park.

After two round of drafting resources and carrying out action, players run their park. Each tour needs to end on a different park exit and you will not score paddocks or building visited previously. Planning your park carefully is key to maximize the excitement of your visitors and to score victory points.

In fact, managing how much visitors are enjoying your park is a key aspect of this game. Each time you run a tour or you create a new dinosaur, you will score some excitement points. These will bring you immediate bonuses and victory points.

Final Thoughts

I must admit, the first time I played Dinosaur Island: Rawr 'N Write, I failed miserably and the dinosaurs almost destroyed my park. After a couple of games I got a better hang of the game and I realized that there is a lot going on in this game and that it all comes together beautifully. In fact, this game is not your usual Roll & Write game. The game mechanics also includes some components of worker placement, push your luck and engine building. The final mix is really enjoyable and at the same time offer a nice challenge to all type of players.

The game also offers a few different strategies to achieve the final victory. All of them are feasible but players will need to account for the randomness of rolling the dice. Players could also affect each other plans planning which dice to leave for the other players to take or which one they use to carry out an action. Overall, this game could not be considered at all a light game and I would not recommend to use it as a game night filler. On the contrary, this game could be the star of the night!

In summary, Rawr 'N Write is definitely a great game and I highly recommend getting it. Considering the overall price, product quality and replayability, the value of this game is quite high. Most important, the excitement of playing could not be tracked.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Dinosaurs
  • Awesome transparent dice
  • Great strategic options

Might not like

  • Game last only three seasons
  • No expansion (I want more!)

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