I will admit, I so desperately wanted to put Cloudspire on this list. It is a lot of fun of what little I played it but felt I couldn’t 100% say that it was a game you needed to play from the two sessions I played that I think I sort of got most of the rules correct. But that leaves me with this game which I have played a whole many times.
Welcome to Jurassic Park!
Draftosaurus is a 2-5 player dinosaur drafting game that sees you sort of building your own Jurassic Park. You aren’t building the pens, security, attractions, food, etc…no, you are just tasked with the fun part of putting dinosaurs in the park! Who doesn’t want to select the dinosaurs to live in your fine establishment?
One of the biggest selling points in this game are the super cute dinosaur meeples! There are 6 different types of dinosaurs, each with their own shape and color. Even if I hated this game, I could take these pieces and add them to other games like Dinosaur Island. But they work for everyone, even friends who are color blind.
Oh yeah, the gameplay! It is a dinosaur drafting game. Everyone takes 6 dinosaurs randomly, pick one, and places it according to rules. Then pass your remaining dinos to the left/right player and do it again until you are out. Grab 6 more and repeat. At the end you will have a park with 12 creatures in them. But you can’t just place them anywhere. Whosever turn it is gets to roll a (nice, wooden engraved) die that dictates where everyone ELSE can put their dinosaurs while the roller has free will. Rules include sides of the board, empty pens, not where T-Rex is, etc.
The pens give you points in different ways. There are pens for dinosaur couples, pen for all of the same type, king of the park, etc. Some of them take a look at other players boards while most are based on your own. The game features double-sided boards with different types of pens. One is said to be more for beginners and the other more advanced. They both can be fun and it is a nice option they give to switch things up.
Lastly is the two-player mode. I thought this was pretty cool in how they change things up. Instead of two rounds of 6 dinos, you are doing four rounds of 3 dinosaurs. You still grab 6 for each round but when you are selecting, you pick one to place and one to discard. This added a new element to the gameplay that I enjoyed even if I don’t play many two player games.
This a cute and super quick dinosaur drafting game. Scoring is fast as well so you can get this game to the table with not much fuss and move onto other games as well. I picked this up for the meeples and was far from disappointed with the gameplay. Don’t delay, buy your tickets to this park now!