Board Game Review: ‘Jurassic Park: Danger!’ from Ravensburger

Jurassic Park: Danger! from Ravensburger gives players the thrill of both sides of the chase. Many games have players serve cooperatively against a great threat, but Jurassic Park: Danger! uses asymmetrical rules to allow one player to be that threat. Now the dinosaurs can be as clever as the humans, who no longer find themselves at the top of the food chain.

Jurassic Park: Danger! follows the original film closely. One player takes the role of the dinosaurs, newly freed from their paddocks to hunt across the isolated island. The rest of the players take character cards: the fearless Dr. Ellie Sattler, clever Lex Murphy, or even the devious Nedry and veritable track-star lawyer Gennaro.

Each character comes with special powers, such as Ray Arnold’s ability to turn fences on and off. These powers enable some to be support characters, as when benefactor John Hammond giving bonuses to rolls or Ian Malcolm allows a player to restock his or her hand. Others are more direct, like Alan Grant and Robert Muldoon, who are able to move other characters’ pieces.

In addition to their strengths, each character has a unique goal that gives a direction. With so much distinction, players will determine their favorites to match their strategy, although the overall strategy is to cooperate to survive.

One lucky player will enjoy serving as the dinosaurs, operating three pieces on the board representing the velociraptor, dilophosaurus, and tyrannosaurus. The human characters must run around the board to restore power to the island, meet their individual goals, and escape. The dinosaurs’ goal is simpler: eat the humans.

Gameplay is straightforward. Players take turns selecting cards from their hands to determine their actions for the round. The dinosaurs go first, giving the human characters the chance to react. Whenever a dinosaur catches a human, the human must permanently discard a card. If the human runs out of cards, that character is eliminated. Human players may take up new characters to keep the game going. If the dinosaurs eat three characters, however, they rule the island as the winners.

Jurassic Park: Danger! is a board game for two to five players aged 10 and up. It is a moderate-length game, lasting about an hour depending on how fleet of foot the players are. The board uses tiles that are randomized at the beginning of each game, boosting replayability. With so many characters to choose from and the constant adaptation of fresh strategies as humans and dinosaurs face off, players will eagerly return to play again.

Jeff Provine @@JeffProvine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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