Review: Dinosaur Island the board game roars with fun

Welcome to…Dinosaur Island. Or at least that is what goes through my head whenever I open my copy of this blast from the past dinosaur park builder brought to you by Pandasaurus Games.

Dinosaur Island Contents
Dinosaur Island Layout

Dinosaur Island recreates the excitement of building your own amusement park on your table. You will go through the process in 5 phases of worker management, resource management and park building. Every round you will roll dice to represent the DNA you can draft to create dinosaurs later, increase your storage capacity for DNA, increase your park security or purchase recipes for different dinosaurs. Rounds do move quick.

What does mix the game up is during the 5th phase there is a chance for your dinosaurs to escape and eat visitors, depending on your park’s security. End game is triggered once three of the 4 objectives are claimed, where then you will finish the round and final scoring happens. Winner is the player with the most Victory Points.

Park Layout
Park Layout

Dinosaur Island is Easy to Catch Onto

But mastering the game takes a few playthroughs. There are so many different things to remember when making decisions about the development of your park which is where experience comes into play. Most people will categorize Dinosaur Island as a Euro-game but being someone who does not usually play Euro-games I didn’t feel a repetitiveness in the game that you would experience from most of these styles of games.

My one complaint is that I wish that there were some way to sabotage your opponent’s park. Overall, I am looking forward to bringing this to the table time and time again. The 90’s art design combined with the campiness of films from that decade brought me back to my childhood and I couldn’t help but hum the theme to Jurassic Park while playing. The team over at Pandasaurus Games have created a real winner here and really know how to create games to spark nostalgia.

Dinosaur Island and its expansion, Totally Liquid which adds marine based dinosaurs for you to create are both available at or from your Friendly Local Game Store.



Picture of Shea Almanza

Shea Almanza

Embedded at birth with everything pop culture. I will argue until I am blue in the face that The Last Jedi is a terrible movie. Been spending a lot of time behind the scenes and developing new content for The Illuminerdi.