Updated: Dec 26, 2019
In SOS Dino, 1–4 players are trying to get four dinosaurs to the safety of the mountains in the four corners of the board, rescuing dinosaur eggs en route and avoiding the deadly lava flows that are gradually spreading across the board.
Like Julian Courtland-Smith's classic Escape from Atlantis game (Stronghold), the players face an existential threat that is spreading inexorably across the board, but, unlike the Survive! game, SOS Dino is fully co-operative: players are all working together rather than in competition.
At the set up of the game, there are four active volcanoes. Players draw a tile from a bag, most of which show a lava flow and which volcano it relates to. The tile has to be placed on the volcano's existing flow; if it cannot be placed, it causes the volcano to explode, starting flows in other directions. Most tiles also allow one or more dinosaurs to be moved. Players aren't identified with any specific dinosaur: they can move any except for the one dinosaur on each tile that is prohibited from movement. There are tiles representing meteorite strikes and there are other obstacles that can be varied to hike up the game's difficulty.
With a design by Ludovic Maublanc and Théo Riviere, and art by Mathieu Leyssenne, SOS Dino can be played and will certainly be loved by children but it can be equally enjoyed by puzzle-solving adults, especially when playing solitaire with extra obstacles to ramp up the difficulty.
A game can be completed in less than 30 minutes: much less if your dinosaurs come to grief early. And the game's attractive design and superb plastic dinosaurs add hugely to its appeal.
SOS Dino is published by LOKI and distributed in the UK by Coiledspring Games.