Dinosaur World is a competitive dino-park building game for up to four players, and while it’s only just been released, it’s already got its own expansions. ‘But what could an expansion possibly have to offer such a great game!’, I hear you cry. Well, unsurprisingly for a game about dinosaurs, it’s more dinosaurs. There are currently three expansions on offer: the Water, Hybrid, and Ice Age Packs. Each of these comes choc-full of new dinosaurs and fun new mechanics to spice up the base gameplay. So, without any further ado, let’s dive on into the Water Pack.
Just Keep Swimming
The Water Pack incorporates aquatic dinosaurs into the base gameplay. These are a little less dangerous than other dinos as players don’t need to complete a danger roll when they visit a water paddock. Instead, at the start of each round players must make an algae roll for each aquatic paddock in their park, even if it’s empty. These rolls are completed using the die included in the expansion in the same way you would roll for danger. However, instead of increasing the threat level, players add algae tokens to the corresponding paddock. These tiny tokens clog up the tank and reduce your overall excitement, as visitors don’t want to see a scummy pond.
These tokens can be removed by sending workers to clean them during the Jeeple Tour phase. The algae collected can then be exchanged for DNA, the precious resource used to make the dinosaurs. This new mechanic works nicely with the base game and really drives the theme home, as it fits perfectly with the aquatic dinosaurs.
Let’s Mix It Up
The Hybrid Pack contains something new into the game: hybrid dinosaurs. Each of the six dinos are a mix of two others, such as the Tyrannaceretops. Each hybrid is a cross from two of the three types of dinosaurs, such as Herbivore and Large Carnivore. This means players can count hybrids when claiming objectives using either of that dino’s types. The benefits don’t stop there either. When players visit a hybrid on their Jeeple Tour, they can role the hybrid die. This die has boons printed on the sides such as bolstering security and increasing excitement.
These terrifying additions will also bring in a lot of excitement and victory points, but they also carry a heavy risk. As the dinosaurs are hybrids, players must make a danger roll at the end of the Jeeple Tour phase using both dice which match the hybrid’s types. This means that these hybrids are a high risk, high reward opportunity. Overall, these guys are great fun to have mixed in. They can be costly to use but I couldn’t resist when I saw the whacky combinations of dinosaurs on offer. The hybrids are the simplest of expansions, with no end-of-game bonuses. However, simple does seem to prove effective, and the pack brings some exciting new dinos into the game.
(Perma)Frosty the Snowman
The Ice-Age expansion brings ancient mammals back to the land of the living. This expansion brings six of the coolest ice-age mammals to the Jurassic period and frankly it’s the crossover we’ve all been waiting for. Much like the previous two expansions, the Ice Age mammals bring with them a new die which players roll instead of the danger die. The results of this die are mostly positive, offering excitement, a security boost, or even some precious victory points. There is, however, the risk of raising the threat level or even causing an unexpected death.
The ice-age mammals behave slightly differently to the classic dinos. Unlike the regular paddocks, players can place an ice-age mammal adjacent to other paddocks. Not only does this allow for some easier logistics for the Jeeple Tour, but it can also offer end-of-game adjacency bonuses depending on how the tiles are arranged. Players must meet the criteria displayed on the tile, such as matching it with a Herbivore. These can offer a real edge that could tip you to a win.
Give These Expansions a Tri-ceratops
Thank you for bearing with the puns in this, I can only apologise. Bad jokes aside, these expansions are great little add-ons to Dinosaur World. Each brings something new and different and, most importantly, a lot of new dino-meeples. As with the base game, the artwork in each of the expansions is stunning and the components are fantastic.