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Jurassic Park: Danger!

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Ravensburger's Jurassic Park: Danger! isn't a new game - it was published back in 2018 - but we thought it an appropriate time to feature it on Board's Eye View because the latest movie in the franchise (Jurassic World Dominion) is currently hitting cinemas. Jurassic Park: Danger! tho' takes us back to the original 1993 movie. It features 10 characters from that movie and it's a 'one versus many' game where one player controls the (three) dinosaurs and 1-4 other players control the humans. If you are playing a two-player game, then the human player takes control of two characters.

The human player wins by activating the three locations on the board, achieving their individual characters' goals and escaping in the helicopter. The dinosaur wins by eliminating three characters. There's no player elimination, however. If a player's character is eliminated, the player just takes a new character - which is one of the reasons why this 2-5 player game comes with so many different characters from the 1993 movie.

There's a standard six-sided die but Jurassic Park: Danger! isn't a roll & move game. The d6 is just used to determine whether or not certain actions succeed (for example, taking a 'sneak' movement or activating a location). Movement and most actions for both the dinosaur player and humans are card driven. Each player has their own unique deck of 10 cards. The dinosaur player always has a hand of three cards. The humans take all their cards into their hand. Ordinarily, cards played for movement etc. go to the player's discard pile but characters have to burn a card (take it completely out of play) whenever they are attacked by a dinosaur and whenever they recycle the cards in their discard pile to replenish their hand - much like the 'long rest' action in Gloomhaven (Cephalofair). Players can also burn a card to 'boost' a die roll. A character is eliminated when they have no more cards left. In this way then, players' decks double as countdown timers, hit point trackers and luck mitigators.

With Jurassic Park: Danger!, designers Forrest-Pruzan Creative have put together a light easy-to-play family game that will certainly appeal to fans of the franchise. The theme comes through very strongly, and it helps here that the game uses photos of the characters from the original movie. The dinosaur player's choices often feel automatic, to the extent where we wondered whether it might be possible to fully 'automate' their actions to allow for solitaire and fully cooperative play. Human players have more choices to make; for example, over whether or not to activate the electric fences which bar movement of both dinosaurs and humans. The human players are also often faced with push-your-luck decisions over whether or not to burn cards, particularly to boost a die roll, and to win they'll usually have to work together, often deciding to 'sacrifice' one or more characters in order for enough of the others to escape and to therefore share in a collective human victory. Welcome to Jurassic Park!

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