The Review Board: Jurassic Park Danger!
This year will mark the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, a movie that brought to life a place where dinosaurs roamed the earth. If you’re like me, you might be planning on throwing a RAWRing party to celebrate the occasion (I’ll put a dollar in the bad puns jar), and, more importantly, on playing some games that fit the event. Specifically: Jurassic Park Danger by Ravensburger.
Jurassic Park Danger is an asymmetric cooperative game for 2-5 players in which one player plays as the three dinosaurs and the other players play as the humans.
The dinosaurs’ player plays as the T. Rex, Dilophosaurus, and Velociraptor simultaneously, but he or she can only move some of them per turn, as movement is governed by cards and has to be shared among the dinosaurs. This makes this role hard to master, and you have to plan ahead, use special abilities and be ready to adjust your strategy at any given point.
To win as the dinosaurs, the player who controls them has to kill three humans (when a human dies, a new one is added to the board until the winning condition is achieved).
The other players team up and play as the humans. Each player gets the role of one (two in a 2-player game) out of ten known characters from Jurassic Park. As humans, players have to get the park back online, complete personal objectives and escape the park on a helicopter before they are consumed as prey by the roaming predators.
While the game is intended for 2-5 players, I think that having 3 or 4 players is the key to a good balance. With only two players, the player who plays the dinosaurs is missing out on the conversation that comes from the cooperative element of the game. This conversation is crucial for the dinosaurs’ strategy, in which players try to communicate with each other but know that the dinosaurs are listening. With 5 players, the ratio of 4 humans to 3 dinosaurs is a bit unfair (if you are not playing against an experienced player), because in most cases only two dinosaurs can move per turn.
Jurassic Park Danger is the immersive experience I was looking for from a Jurassic Park game. Playing as either the dinosaurs or as the humans, this game gives the vibe of being part of the movie. While there are some elements I am not of fan of, e.g., rolling a die to activate a location, I think the division of roles, and the strategy that each role brings to the table, is unique and challenging.