“Jurassic World” as (I think) we all know, was the revival of a beloved movie franchise and with it came a new modern tidal wave of new merchandise which includes some new board games. So is that a good thing? I got my first taste of just one of the new releases this year, brought to us in the form of JURASSIC WORLD THE BOARD GAME published by Just Games.
Here are my thoughts on the contents, game play and overall performance.
Theme & components.
So the first look of the exterior of the box is a very nice representation of the Jurassic logo, crisp silver detailing on black background somehow just makes it pop and scream that what I am about to see is quality. Images on the back of the box do as they need to with a brief explanation of what the game is about and showing off a few of the components inside.
Opening the box there is a professionally made rulebook that seems rather thick for a board game BUT have no fear, it is written in various languages and the rules themselves are not as daunting, taking up a mere 8 pages covering all card types, game sequences, rules & set up guides.
The Game board and card components are made of a very good sturdy cardboard that are thick enough to stand the test of time. The artwork sticks nicely to the original theme and printed in very high quality, displays great consistency between components, rulebook and box art.
So all of the above is awesome but the true test comes down to game play and for me playability, and re-playability and unfortunately this is when the game loses a few of the gained thumbs up.
Set up is simple and painless with the components marked clearly and board sections laid out very well, we managed to get our 5 player game set up in no time at all. The game can host between 2-6 players but for our game, 1 player card was not selected and was therefore removed from the game.
The ultimate goal of the game is to complete your mission task, which for this run was to get a set amount of dinosaurs of varying types into the park and achieve an excitement rating of 14 before the park danger meter reaches 20. On each player card you have your different abilities which are represented by rolling X amount of dice this can be between 1-3 depending on character. This is where the game becomes a tad mundane for me. I personally played as a dino expert and yet all of my stats where valued as 2 dice. The thematic in me is screaming why oh why is a dino expert able to build things at the same level as I can research and make dinosaurs. ANYWAY the game gains points back as there are definitely some decisions made by players that encourage co-op play and that is something I personally love. By working as a team you can quickly figure out your best player roles and capitalize on them to complete your objectives faster. Failure to do this, results in relying solely on the luck of the dice and this is much harder than it seems.
The danger tracker that you are racing against has the chance to advance one space per turn if the first player fails to beat a certain number. However, throughout the game there are also danger cards which can rapidly increase this movement if the threat is left, so a nice pressure mechanic there.
One very minor note from me was I noticed in our efforts of co-op game play we found ourselves in mid to late game (covering our backs ) and doubling up on research etc which often led to the first player succeeding and then leaving the “back up” with nothing to do that turn.
It’s been roughly 24 hours since I played the game and have been thinking about this section a lot. What do I say? Would I really want to recommend this game? Is it worth it? Does it meet all my core values I require from a game?
Despite feeling like the game was a lacking a little in areas, the game was fun, quick and easy to learn. I find this hard because my first real exposure to the whole dino park builder concept was Dinosaur Island and that is far more in depth than this game. But that also has the drawback of ridiculous part counts and set up times. So to be honest out of choice I would prefer DI but in the eventuality that I could not be bothered or lacking in available time JW BG is a fantastic substitute. The co-op game play adds a whole extra social aspect to the park builder game whilst still maintaining the pressure of a time limit to complete your goals. I feel the game could have had some more to it to maybe make the game more appealing to seasoned players.
One thing I cannot complain about is the quality. It is well made and well presented in a nice sized box. The amount of components is much less daunting then the rival games and therefore more appealing to less seasoned gamers. This game would sit nicely on a family table at a get together or even at your local gaming club amongst friends. The rules are easy to learn and once you know the basics, the game will become very fast paced.
Another thing to consider is of course the price point. And again this gets a big down from me. The quality is great but with other rival games starting at £35 with just as good quality and yet has even more components against the cheapest I could find this game at a whopping £45 it definitely falls in the age old category of paying for the brand name and intellectual property right.
if you can overlook the price point I would have to give This game the CGC mark of approval but unless you can find it in the 20-30 mark I would have to say please do not waste your money.
Crawley Gaming Club