Saturday, October 11, 2008

#48: The Lost World Jurassic Park Game

The Lost World Jurassic Park Game
  • designer: uncredited
  • publisher: Milton Bradley
  • date: 1996
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 3401/5.85
  • age: 8+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: $18.00 (Son of Nostalgia Zone - I do NOT know how reputable they are!)
This is one of the few "representative" games on the list... as I think that Jurassic Park III: Island Survival Game is just as good, though very different in the way they play out. (I'll tuck some info about that game at the end of this post.)

You may or may not be a fan of the films - for the record, I really liked the first one, tolerated the second one, and ignored the third one - but if you like dinosaurs, you'll love the whole "run or be eaten" vibe that the game gives off.

You'll also love the cool bits vibe as well - as you can see from the picture, the game has a number of cardboard buildings that you assemble & use for play. (Unusual for an American game - there's actually a diagram to show you how to get them all back in the box!)

The game is pretty simple - the human player (or players) start with 12 people and are trying to get them across the ruined compound to the helicopter pad. (Three people escaped counts as a win.) The dinosaur player has a T-Rex & four 'raptors to chase down & eat the humans.

Each team has a different set of dice for movement. One of the dice for each side is a "go/stop" dice - on a "go" roll, you do your move & then roll again. On a "stop" roll, your turn ends with this move. (There's a lot of complaining about this particular mechanic on the Geek - there are a couple of fixes posted in the forums there & both of them look like they'd work pretty well. It hasn't bothered us that much - it's just the way a dice-heavy game goes sometimes.)

Players can hide in buildings - but there are ways for the raptors to jump in and eat everyone. Thankfully, raptors who get into buildings sometimes have a hard time getting out, which is good for the humans. There's no hiding in the start building, however - that's what the T-Rex is there to prevent. He rumbles forward during the early turns & when he arrives eats whoever is left in the building.

For the human player(s), it's a game of lunging forward to safe zones and hoping for streaky runs... while the dinosaur player usually ends up playing a combination of offense (sending raptors forward to snack on humans caught outside) and defense (keeping a raptor or two close to the helipad to pick up anyone who's trying to make an end run.)

It's not a particularly balanced game - again, something that bothers some folks over on the Geek. I think it's actually part of the charm of the game - the dinosaur player has a built-in advantage that makes this a great parent/kid game. In our case, Dad takes the humans & my son takes the dinos - I'm lucky to get 3 players out! (I have got as many as 5 and as few as, well, zero.)

Along the same lines, there's:

Jurassic Park III: Island Survival Game
  • designer: uncredited
  • publisher: Milton Bradley
  • date: 2001
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 3397/5.84
  • age: 8+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: $19.75 (Amazon)
Also unbalanced, but it works much better for 3 or 4 players. This time around, the dinosaur player is at a disadvantage. Still, a ton of fun in the box.

Avoid at all costs the Jurassic Park III: Spinosauras Chase game... blech.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I was actually shocked by how much we liked the Island Survival game. It was given to us as a gift and I thought the kid would like it but that my husband and I would suffer through it. However, we really enjoyed it.