The name Draftosaurus pretty much tells you what the game is about, you’ll be drafting dinosaurs. The goal of the game is to make the dinosaur zoo with the highest point value after two rounds. If you’re a fan of Sushi Go (review of Sushi Go), there are a lot of similarities which makes Draftosaurus easy to learn, but being able to place your dinosaur wherever you want really adds a layer of decision.
The Board and Scoring
Everyone starts with a board and the board has 6 different dinosaur pens plus the river. Some of the pens can only hold dinosaurs of different species, another requires all dinos to be the same and you’ll score based on how full they are. Others you have to meet exact requirements to score; like the dino pen that can only hold one dino, and it has be the only dino of that species on your entire board for you to receive the 7 points. If it sounds hard, don’t worry you’ve got the river as your backup and at the end of the game you’ll get 1 point for each dino chillin’ in the river. Lastly, I must mention that the king of the dinosaurs makes a zoo extra special, each T-Rex in your zoo brings 1 bonus point at the end of the round.
To start the game, everyone blindly grabs six wooden dinosaurs from the bag that they keep secret in their hand. On your turn, you’ll roll the die and then everyone else has to place a dino from their hand on the board so that it adheres to the rule you rolled. The roller, however, can place a dinosaur wherever they want on their board. The rules imposed by the die are pretty simple: on one half of the board or the other, an empty pen, or a pen without a T-Rex. Once everyone has placed a dino, everyone passes the dinos left in their hand to the player on their left and the next player rolls. Once the first round is over, everyone’s score is tallied and you start the second round. After the second round, the player with the most points wins.
If you like this sort of drafting game, I think you’ll enjoy Draftosaurus. Having a choice when it comes to placement is nice; it’s not all about the draft, but also the pen placement. The board has 2 sides so when you’re ready you can flip it from the summer zoo to the winter zoo which is a bit more challenging. If you want, you can play the first round as summer and the second as winter. There are special 2 player rules, which have you putting some dinos back in the box during play which is interesting. One thing I didn’t think of is I was hoping to play it with someone younger than 8, but they struggled to hold all six dinos in their hand. It was easily solved with some fabric bags I had in my office (plastic cups work too), but it’s something to keep in mind. Overall, I think Draftosaurus a nice, quick, family-friendly drafting game with awesome wooden dino pieces!
~$23 at Draftosaurus on Amazon
Ages 8 and up