Welcome to DinoWorld, at least in its current incarnation, is a free Roll & Write game where each player is designing their own theme park that has real dinosaurs. Why yes, there are rules for dinosaur breakouts and ensuing devastation. Why do you ask?
Everyone starts off with an almost blank grid to draw their park in. There are three stages to every turn: Acquisition (drawing in buildings), Path (drawing in paths) and Security (how close are those dinosaurs to breaking out?) And all three stages revolve around rolling one to three dice at the start of the turn.
The acquisition phase is what I think really makes the game shine. The first time a number is rolled, you assign that number to a building or attraction and draw it in. Every time after that the number is rolled, you have to add that building or attraction to the board. As the game goes on, more dice get rolled, adding to the decisions.
I also have to note that some of the buildings or services aren’t just for points but add special abilities. You are developing an infrastructure, not just drawing a map.
Paths is, well, drawing in paths with pieces determined by the dice. After all, guests need to be able to get to the dinosaurs and other attractions.
And security determines how close particular dinosaurs are to breaking out and causing property damage. And remember, that’s your property!
The game ends when either someone runs out of space or has too many dinosaurs on the loose. And, not surprisingly, most points wins.
Taken in complete isolation, Welcome To DinoWorld is a good game, fun with an amusing theme and plenty of choices. But when you add in that it’s a free to download and doesn’t require any more construction then printing, that adds a lot of value to the game. Plus, there’s a lot of game crammed onto one page.
Last year’s Roll and Write contest at GenCan’t really made me reassess how much you can do with the R&W format and Welcome To DinoWorld, the winner, really impressed me. My reaction to playing it was ‘Why is this not on Kickstarter?’
And now I’ve learned it will be on Kickstarter for a couple months. And apparently they’ve been working on making a lot of changes on the game. I’m quite curious to see what it ends up being like and I am planning on backing it.
For now, at least, the original version is free and out there and well worth checking out.