Dog Park Standard Edition
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Dog Park Standard Edition

RRP: £49.99
Now £35.99(SAVE 28%)
RRP £49.99
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Welcome to Dog Park, a mid-weight, competitive set-collection and point-to-point movement game in which players take on the role of dog walkers who recruit, walk, and care for their dogs over four rounds. Each round is split into four phases: Recruitment Phase: Players compete in two rounds of offers to add dogs to their kennels. Offers are made with players’ reputation (victo…
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Category Tags , SKU ZBG-BW1001 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • Fun and friendly gameplay with plenty of pups!
  • Gorgeous artwork and thematic gameplay
  • Easy to teach

Might Not Like

  • May not appeal to people who don’t like dogs… but then that may not be you if you made it this far?
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Description

Welcome to Dog Park, a mid-weight, competitive set-collection and point-to-point movement game in which players take on the role of dog walkers who recruit, walk, and care for their dogs over four rounds. Each round is split into four phases:

Recruitment Phase: Players compete in two rounds of offers to add dogs to their kennels. Offers are made with players' reputation (victory points), so must be placed wisely.
Selection Phase: Players decide which dogs to place on their lead to walk this round.
Walking Phase: Players journey through the dog park with their fellow walkers, collecting resources, earning reputation, and interacting with other walkers.
Home Time Phase: Players earn reputation for their walked dogs, and lose reputation for any unwalked dogs in their kennel.
Players must choose their routes and dogs carefully to earn the best reputation and prove they are the most accomplished walker of them all. At the end of the game, the player with the most reputation wins.

We have a Golden Retriever named Riley. He’s huge, he’s hairy and he’s the gentlest and dopiest soul on four legs. Whenever I stick my wellies on and head out the door to leave for work he looks at me with those pleading eyes that seem to say, “Instead of going to work, why don’t we go for a walk?”

All dogs love that part of the day… Walkies!

Well now they aren’t the only ones. Get ready to run with the big dogs-and that’s not just a figure of speech, because if you’re looking for a relaxing yet competitive experience then you may have just found your new favourite game.

Oh, and if you like dogs… well let’s just say that might sweeten the pot!

First Impressions

What immediately strikes you about Dog Park is the gorgeous colours and rich artwork that brings to life the 163 different breeds of dogs in the game. In a manner similar to that of Wingspan, Dog Park manages to provide a visual feast for the eyes.

Incorporating various gameplay mechanics such as set collection, auction/bidding and point-to-point movement, Dog Park provides a calming, cheerful and yet entirely satisfying competitive experience. The aim of the game is very simple-players take on the role of dog walkers as they collect various dogs to walk around the local park. Each player owns a kennel which they will strive to fill with a variety of different breeds and, by selecting the most profitable walking routes, they will endeavour to take as many of their dogs out for their afternoon constitutional.

Gameplay

We won’t be doing a How-to-play here but let’s briefly look at what’s involved. Dog Park consists of four rounds, with each round being split into four phases:

Recruitment Phase: In this first phase you will be going into bidding wars with your fellow players as everyone puts in their offers for the one of the four dogs available. Say you put a bid of 3 on a French Bulldog and are successful, you simply deduct 3 points from your Reputation score. Once the first set of dogs have been recruited, replenish the cards ready for a second auction for the next set of four dogs. At the end of this phase everyone will have two dogs in their kennels.

Selection Phase: Now you have recruited the pups it’s time to select which ones you will be walking in the park this round. Each dog has a cost for being walked so you will have to use good judgement as you use your dog themed resources (balls, treats, sticks etc) to decide who gets walked. This starts off fairly easy but by the end of the game you will have eight dogs to choose from and only three get walked each round. It’s important to remember that any dogs that don’t get walked will cause you to lose points so be sure to keep an eye on your kennel! Dogs that have been selected for walking have a collar token placed on them to show they have been exercised.

Walking Phase: Once you’ve selected your dogs for walking then it’s time to get those meeples moving. Players will take turns moving through the park spaces of the board, collecting resources along the way. Each turn there will be bonus resources added to the park to add some extra variety

Home Time Phase: Rewards and punishments await! Players will be scoring reputation points for the dogs they walked whilst losing points for any unwalked dogs in the kennel.

Points Of Interest

Within the basic concept and mechanisms of Dog Park there are plenty of other inclusions that flesh out the game and really add some nice depth.

For starters, the Breed Expert points. When setting up the game you will shuffle and lay out the various dog breed cards at random on the board. This means that at the end of the game the player with the most dog cards of a certain breed will get the corresponding reputation points. While your first game might give top points to the player with the most Hounds, your second game might have Hounds as the lowest scoring pups. It’s the random setup that keeps players on their toes.

Also of note are the Forecast cards that come into effect for each round, offering rewards or threatening penalties depending on your actions for the round.

As for the dog cards themselves, each dog has its own ability such as ‘Obedient’, ‘Pack Dog’, ‘Toy Collector’ etc. These abilities either come up during the Selection phase, the Walking phase or count towards Final Scoring. For my money, you can’t beat dogs that have the ‘Social Butterfly’ ability as this means you can share the same location as another player during the Walking phase without being penalised. It’s little touches like this that will dictate how you allocate your dogs for a walk and when you choose to bring them out.

Final Thoughts

I have to be honest, our family loved this game from the beginning. The rules and setup were so clear and easy to learn that we were playing in no time without rule fatigue-and yet this is by no means a ‘simple’ game. Yes, the gameplay isn’t taxing or complex but strategic thinking, forward planning and the ability to pace yourself is the key to success in Dog Park.

It has been bandied about that Dog Park is almost derivative of Wingspan in its similarities… but that’s not the case. Yes it has beautiful artwork featuring various types of a particular species, yes it includes the concept of set collection and yes it will appeal to the same type of gamer. That said though, it is very much its own animal and to compare it too closely to Wingspan really is a disservice to a well thought, and more importantly, a well executed tabletop game. The variety of different mechanisms keeps the game moving along nicely and at a nice friendly pace (until multiple people bid on the same dog, but the less said about that the better!)

It’s in the components category where Dog Park really shows off. From its stunning full colour artwork on the cards and board, to the beautiful wooden tokens and dog walker meeples-everything feels right and it does so with panache. This is a handsome dog, that knows it’s a handsome dog. The only thing that lets it down is the inconsistency in colours between the meeples, the player mats and the player dials. We found this sometimes created a bit of confusion as to which dial needed to be assigned to which player during setup. But hey, this is me racking my brains to find some nits

Now for me personally, a great game can be utterly destroyed by terrible internal storage so when I find a game that knows how to tidy up after itself I’m very well pleased. The bone shaped game trays keep everything in place when the game is in storage but also are invaluable to keeping the play area tidy during the gameplay.

With two mini expansions already available and the ‘New Tricks’ expansion coming this Spring, it looks like Dog Park is in for a good and healthy lifespan in the gaming world. And to that we say… “Good Boy!”

Zatu Score

Rating

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

You might like

  • Fun and friendly gameplay with plenty of pups!
  • Gorgeous artwork and thematic gameplay
  • Easy to teach

Might not like

  • May not appeal to people who dont like dogs but then that may not be you if you made it this far?