Monday, June 03, 2024

Board Game Top 100 (2024) Part 34 (30-29)

#30 Dinosaur Island: Rawr 'n Write

This is Jurassic Park the board game – in a roll-and-write. Players have two sheets. One keeps track of the dinosaurs in your park and has a place to draw your enclosures. One keeps track of the people and concessions that you add to your park.

Big chonky thematically amber colored dice are rolled each round and players draft these to collect dinosaur DNA and to perform actions. Do you put in a lot of carnivores which raise the thrill level of your park, or do you go with safer herbivores? After all, if too many of your guests get eaten, that can cut into your profits (victory points.) 

You can mitigate the danger of more deadly (and thrilling) dinos by increasing park security. Or you can go for broke and let your guests take their chances. This is a fun, thinky little roll-and-write. Often roll-and-write games are lighter affairs because they are so quick to set-up and play. While quick to set-up, Dinosaur Island: Rawr 'n Write is a full experience, and one of our favorites!


#29 Cosmic Run

Cosmic Run is another lighter dice game. This one has been a longtime favorite because it's so quick and easy to table. Players are racing to reach one of five different planets. To do this players roll dice looking for 2, 3, 4, or 5 of a kind, or one planet that just needs dice showing a single pip. Each time you roll, you must place at least one die and you can roll again.


Dice placed on a planet's track moves you one step closer to that planet. Any progress toward a planet is worth some points, but reaching a planet first grants a sizable bonus. There are also alien diplomat cards. Each type of alien provides you with a different way to manipulate your dice rolls. Placing combinations of dice onto these cards will allow you to bring them into your possession and provides you with another choice with what to do with your dice.

To add to the tension, dice results also produce unavoidable meteor strikes on random planets. If a planet is hit three times, it is eliminated and players are stuck with the scores at their position at the time that the planet is destroyed. Lower positions on the tracks are negative points. So, you need to hurry up and get some progress towards every planet as quickly as you can.

Play continues until all five planets have either been reached by one of the players or destroyed by meteors. Points are scored for progression toward the planets and for collecting sets of alien diplomats. There is also one type of alien diplomat that provides mining rights, allowing players to mine for ore. Ore collected converts directly into additional points and the player with the most points is the winner.

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