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Welcome to Dino World brings together two of the hottest trends on the tabletop right now: roll-andwrites and dinosaur theme park management. Though, as anyone who’s been playing Yahtzee and watching Jurassic Park for the past two-plus decades knows, they never really went out of style.

It’s a broad surface, but there’s plenty of depth underneath. This is a longer and heavier roll-and-write than much of the genre, with players laying out an arrangement of dino pens, paths and attractions on their grid while having to manage the power generators needed to keep the electric fences buzzing.

The basics are still familiar enough to pick up in a few minutes – roll dice, write things in boxes – but the needto carefully plan your layout and pursue varied scoring options here give plenty to consider. Do you build a bunch of big ol’ carnivores for big points, cram in smaller herbivores, fill out the park with features or try to strike a balance? A random selection of public objectives introduce a little bit of indirect player interaction through a race to claim them first, as well as shuffling up the options each game – even so, the otherwise limited sense of other players means you do play in a bit of a bubble.

Managing power and park security are among Dino World’s more satisfying elements, so the game’s ‘Lite’ mode – which trims things back to a much more simple puzzle of arranging pens with little risk of anything going wrong – feels disappointingly bare compared to its ‘Danger’ mode, where generators can malfunction and players have greater control over their rolls and park layout. The game makes its complexity easy to digest, so there’s really no reason to limit your experience to the Lite experience and miss out on the best the game has to offer.

Dino World will satiate your hunger if you’re after a roll-and-write with a little more meat to chew on. The limited interaction won’t appeal to everyone and the Lite mode should simply be skipped, but the full game is a worthy addition to both of its crossover genres whether you’re here for the dice or the dinos. At the end of the day, any excuse to draw a T-Rex is one worth taking.


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About The Best Games of 2019

Must Plays and more in our Best Games of 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Over the next 196 pages discover all of the most positively reviewed games of the year. With a massive 181 games reviewed, this is the definitive “what to play next” guide of 2019! Games reviewed include: Wingspan Copenhagen Hellboy: The Board Game Res Arcana Lifeform Century: A New World Megacity: Oceania Pandemic: Fall of Rome Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Rough Nights & Hard Days Azul: Stained Glass of Sinatra Tapestry Letter Jam Hako Onna Everdell Battle Ravens Dune + Many more!

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