Draftosaurus is a dino-drafting game, plays 2 – 5 players and has a very quick play time of 10 – 15 minutes.
The game involves players drafting dinosaur meeples from their hand. They place them in their zoo. Then pass and receive the next batch of dinosaurs. Points are awarded based on the placement of the dinosaurs in the zoo. The winner is the player with the most points, after two rounds.
How to play
Each player starts with six dinosaurs randomly selected from a bag. There are six different species of dinosaur in the game, all in a different colour, making it easy to differentiate. On a turn, there is an active player. They roll a placement die and the result determines the placement restriction for this turn. The die forces players to choose specific pens within the zoo. Based on the die result, except for the active player, who may ignore the restriction. Restrictions include: having to select a pen on either the right or left hand side of the board, a pen in either the woodland or grassland areas, a pen that does not already contain a T-Rex, or selecting a completely empty pen. All players secretly choose one of the dinosaurs in their hand to place into their zoo simultaneously.
Each pen in the zoo scores points at the end of the game, based on the dinosaurs placed in them. For example, one of the pens awards points for each pair of the same species in it. Another awards points based on how many of the same species you have in it, and another will award points if you have as many as, or more, of that species than any other player. The key decision making process in the game, is selecting a dinosaur based the die restriction, available pens and their requirements, and also keeping an eye on which dinosaurs are being passed to the next player.
Once a dinosaur has been chosen and added to the zoo, the remaining dinosaurs are passed clockwise to the next player, as is the placement die. The new active player rolls the placement die and all players select their dinosaurs and place as before. This continues until all dinosaurs have been placed, and then the whole process is repeated for round two.
Sometimes, really short, filler-type games don’t necessarily have the table presence of the bigger, grandiose board games. This game however will certainly attract passers-by to have a look at it. No matter who you are, you will fall in love with the dinosaurs as they are incredibly cute, vibrant and recognisable. The six species in the game are well known dinosaurs as well, which helps add to the appeal; T- Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops etc.
The player boards also have great artwork. The pens and placement areas are clear, and the boards are double sided. The alternative side of the player board shows different pens, which have different requirements, so you can change the game up accordingly.
As far as light filler games go, this is one of the best ones I have played. It is immensely fun, brings a smile to everyone’s face, and attracts players to the table faster than any game I know. The replayability is high due to the two different sides of the player boards, and the restriction die causing havoc to your plans. At it’s core, the game is just a basic drafting game, but the package it comes in is just beautiful, engaging and a must have for any collection.