Jurassic Park Danger Game Review
HOW TO PLAY JURASSIC PARK DANGER
Jurassic Park Danger is a unique spin on a cooperative game. While accommodating up to 5 players, one person plays as the dinosaurs trying to catch the humans and the others play as humans trying to escape the dinosaurs. There are several goals for the humans to achieve and losing a human isn’t the end of the game. The goal for the dinosaurs is to remove three players from the game, and the primary goal of the human players is to rescue three humans.
The human characters are most of the characters from the first movie (not the book, which I am assured will annoy me if I ever read it because the movie isn’t true to the book.) I randomly drew my favorite character, Dr. Ian Malcolm, to play as first. (Seriously, Jeff Goldblum, I adore you. Don’t ever change.) As the human characters die out you simply replace them with another randomly drawn character. To keep things exciting, each character has a special power to aid in escape.
This review was not solicited, I purchased this game with personal funds. There are affiliate links in this post, thank you!
WHAT DO MY KIDS LEARN WHEN PLAYING JURASSIC PARK DANGER?
–Dealing with frustration – This is a big one, because this game can be very frustrating to play (more on that later!)
-Strategy – Cooperative strategy is necessary for the humans, and the dinosaur player needs to design their own strategy as well. One of my kids prefers to camp the dinos out at the escape, I prefer to attack humans as often as possible regardless of their position. You also have blockages like electric fences and cliffs to negotiate, adding another layer of strategy.
-Thinking Skills – Players will spend their turns calculating the best space to move, which dinosaur to move, which card should be used or exchanged, etc.
-Turn Taking & Patience– Taking turns is a critical part of the game. The dinosaur turn is pretty cut & dry, but they’re followed by one giant, shared human turn. When it comes to the humans all players have to learn how to allow someone else to complete their goals before moving on to the next human.
-Cooperative Play – The humans won’t win if they can’t communicate, it’s vital that players learn how to converse and plan together.
-Fine Motor Skills – There are lots and lots (and lots) of tiny pieces that need to be placed, making this a good practice for fine motor skills; but it’s also possibly a frustration for people with poor fine motor abilities. You can compromise either way by having only specific people move the tiny objects, but only if you’re playing a 3+ player game.
ADAPTING JURASSIC PARK DANGER FOR DIFFERENT NEEDS
Reading Skills – Average adult reading and comprehension skills are necessary. There really isn’t a way to read every card to someone unless you plan on adding A LOT of time to the game and are able to have the dinosaur leave the room while you do so.
Math Skills – Basic math skills are necessary, as long as players are comfortable with addition they should do ok.
Fine Motor Skills – Necessary, see above for recommendations.
Sensitivity Mention – If you have a child who is sensitive to human death, this isn’t the game for you. Humans, including two children, will die when you play this game.
Age Rating – 10+, I’d probably up it to 12+ just because the game has a frustration level to overcome (keep reading for an explanation! )
WHAT DO WE LOVE ABOUT JURASSIC PARK DANGER
Competitive Cooperative Play – The unique style of dinosaur vs. humans allows for a winner and a loser, but it’s also dependent on cooperative play.
Gorgeously-Themed Game Board – The board is really neat, you can actually follow much of the movie if you look at the fine details.
Multiple Goals – Leaving the island isn’t your only goal as several goals must be reached before you can even try to escape! This adds a nice extra dimension to the game.
Variation – Because the island is created differently & characters are selected at random each time you play, you’ll likely never play the same game twice.
IS THERE ANYTHING WE DON’T LOVE ABOUT JURASSIC PARK DANGER?
Unfortunately, yes. Jurassic Park Danger seems really unbalanced, in favor of the dinosaurs. I was very disappointed because usually Ravensburger produces solidly playable games. One of the game creators said the dinosaurs have the advantage because that’s closer to how it would happen in real life – but this isn’t real life. I’m still not sure how the humans are expected to win without some rule changes. We have yet to play a standard game where the humans win and frankly, it’s a bummer to constantly lose every single game. Fortunately we’ve come up with solutions to this problem!
Because we’re unable to make the game board larger, which would eliminate this problem altogether, I suggest you play with two dinosaurs instead of three. We allow the dinosaur player to pick the two they will use depending on which power they want to use most.
The most frustrating part of this game is when all three dinos block the escape passage, which they can pretty much do indefinitely. By enacting a moving rule such as dinosaurs must leave one escape spot open, or by going down to two dinosaurs, you can mostly eliminate this problem. If you want to give the humans a little more advantage you can always require the dinos to rest instead of using a special move every second or third turn.
FAST FACTS ABOUT JURASSIC PARK DANGER
Type of game: Competitive-Cooperative Board & Card Play Game
Buy It: Jurassic Park Danger!
Time to Play: 60 minutes
Reading Skills: Necessary
Math Skills: Basic addition & subtraction
Adaptability: Not very adaptable for different needs
Skills learned: Strategy, fine motor control, thinking skills, cooperative playing skills
Worldview: Safe secular choice
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Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.