SOS Dino! It’s the end of the world as we know it! It is for our 4 Dino buddies anyway. Volcanoes are erupting left, right and center. On top of that meteors are raining down on their heads. Loki’s game of Cretaceous catastrophe is another stunning cooperative offering for young ones, and not so young ones too!
Sending out an S.O.S
Dino Valley is in serious peril. 4 colour coded volcanos will spew lava in the form of tiles in multiple directions. It’s ok though because the board is bounded by 4 mountains, get each of the four little dinosaur characters to these mountains and they’re safe. Easier said than done. The board is seeded with obstacles and bombarded with meteors over the course of the game too!
The game accommodates 1-4 players. To begin all 4 dino figurines are placed around the central lake. This is regardless of player count as any player can and will move any Dino. Egg tokens are placed on all nest spaces, and 3D obstacles are placed on their relevant spots too. Difficulty can be set by using the spiky rock obstacles, thorny bushes or both. Next all the tiles go in the bag. These tiles will determine everything that happens through the game.
Feeling hot hot hot
On your go you will draw a tile from the bag. First you will place the tile. Meteor tiles have a unique symbol that matches one square from the board, you place it there and it becomes another impassable obstacle. Lava tiles depict a lava flow, it may be straight, bent or fork. Lava tiles also have coloured flowers on them, this will tell you which of the 4 colour coded volcanos this tile attaches to. There is of course a luck element to drawing the tiles, in a game of this genre though that’s not the end of the world. There’s also decent scope for controlling the flow in a limited way, by choosing its orientation, to avoid sudden disasters.
After placement comes movement, now we can go about helping our prehistoric little buddies to safety. Each tile also shows paw prints. One print means move one Dino one space orthogonally. Two of different shades means move two dinos, one space each. You guessed it, two prints of the same shade means move one Dino twice. Simple, yeah right!
If a lava flow is stopped by an obstacle pressure builds up in that volcano. When the next tile of that colour is drawn the ‘cano blows sending more lava flows in fresh directions, eek! Meanwhile, if Nessie or one of her prehistoric peers is on a meteor space when it’s tile is drawn, well...let’s just say that Dino is, erm, “removed from the game”. While players have a modicum of control over the lava placement, as time goes on it gets harder to avoid disaster and find a safe route to the mountains.