One Board Family: Dinosaur Tea Party Review
Being a guest at a fancy tea party has never been so much fun. You are a guest sipping tea at the Dinoton Abbey, but you’ve forgotten everyone’s name! In Dinosaur Tea Party from Restoration Games, players ask questions to figure out the identities of the guests sitting around the table.
Restoration took the game Whosit? from the mid-70’s and rebuilt the game with some of the greatest illustrations I’ve ever seen. We’ve already had people ask us if the artist is selling prints of these cards! I have no idea, but I would buy one. If you’re a product of the 80’s like myself, you’ll see a connection to the game Guess Who? While this is a legit comparison, it doesn’t capture the ridiculous fun that this game brings to the table.
Setup Dinosaur Tea Party by placing a grid of 20 dinosaurs in the middle of the table. Three dinos are are going to be given “quirks” at the start of the game. More on this in a minute. Every player will get a set of attribute tiles along with an identity card. This is your secret dinosaur identity and should be kept from everyone else at the table.
On your turn, ask another player “are you wearing a hat?” Now, in most families this question would be fine. But in our home, we need to see some character when playing Dinosaur Tea Party. “Kind sir, my eyes are not so good. Is that a hat on your head? If so it’s truly the icing on the cake of your wardrobe!” The player who was asked the question then gives an answer and places the corresponding tile in front of them at the table.
Players can make a guess about the identity of another player on their turn. If they are correct, they get a sugar cube. If they are wrong they have wasted their turn and possibly helped another player at the table. The first to gain 3 sugar cubes wins the game.
When a player is correctly identified, they flip over their character card in the center of the table, turn in their card and draw a new one from the deck. Players aren’t eliminated but they are given a new identity and can stay in the game. This is a fantastic solution to keep everyone involved in the game.
Inspired to Have Fun
It’s seriously remarkable to bring this game out and see how silly people get. The absurd and beautiful illustrations on these cards inspire people to try crazy accents and even sit differently at the table. We’ve had grown men laughing at one another so hard that we had to delay the game to compose ourselves. The kids have created funny back stories about the dinosaur they were given. Dinosaur Tea Party is a box of inspired silliness while still being a very enjoyable deduction game.
Earlier I mention an element called “quirks”. Three tiles are assigned to the dinosaurs in the middle of the table at the start of the game. If Tabitha has the tile that says “Always Lies”, then the player who is Tabitha has to lie in response to the question every time they are asked. These quirks throw a little wrench in the system that has a lot of value in the early game. I honestly wish their were more quirks to switch between almost like a variable setup from game to game.
Dinosaur Tea Party is a really impressive deduction game that was created for families and people who can laugh at themselves. I love the way Restoration uses the attribute tiles in the game because it means that people with not so great memories aren’t at a disadvantage. Each tile has an icon on one side and the same icon with an X over the top on the other side. If a players dinosaur is not showing it’s teeth, they flip the tile to the side with an X over the teeth and leave it in front of them.
The iconography in this game is spot on and makes it simple to figure out what attributes a dinosaur has. Not sure if your character is wearing a tiny hat? Just look on the card and see if the hat icon is present.
We’ve played Dinosaur Tea Party with adults and kids at 3, 4 and 5 players and have enjoyed this game so much. The kids ask to play every night and it’s hard to say no to something that gets our family laughing and having fun as we come to the end of a long day.
Now it’s time to get dressed because I have a tea with some prehistoric friends that starts in 5 minutes.
- Incredible artwork that is so much fun
- Quick and simple gameplay
- Everyone at the table gets engaged
- Having a house rule of using accents is hilarious
- This is a light game and may not engage deeper gamers
- Wish there were more “quirks” to use in the game
Restoration Games provided us with a retail copy of Dinosaur Tea Party prior to its release at Gen Con 2018. This in no way influenced our opinion of the game.