While Gen Con 2019 rolls on into Day 2, the Kickstarter world doesn’t stop. There are some great-looking games whose campaigns are wrapping up soon, but the one finishing in the next week that has grabbed my attention is the 2nd printing of Dinogenics. This campaign includes the Controlled Chaos expansion as well.
From Ninth Haven Games, Dinogenics was first released this year in January after its initial Kickstarter campaign. Let me start off by sharing what looks great about the core game.
Theme — I’ve really enjoyed the Jurassic Park and World movies and this game, while not a licensed cooperation with that franchise, looks like it does a wonderful job of evoking that story line in board game form –> creating a dinosaur park, using science & technology to bring these beasts back to life. In some cases, creating some new mutant variations. Having things go wrong in the park and, morbidly, seeing guests get….well….eaten.
Production — If you love Meeples, then Dinogenics has to be calling to you. Meeples with hard hats, 10 different dinosaur Meeple molds, and the poor little Goat Meeples that the carnivores will make disappear. Beyond figures, the game board looks beautiful and the cards have great artwork on them. The individual player boards extend the excellent artistry and include recessed areas for dino VP tracking.
Worker Placement — At its heart, Dinogenics is a worker placement / action selection game. Each round, where will you send your workers to best enact your plan for creating the most successful dino park? Within that, each player will have plenty of strategy paths to try and forge to victory. Which dinosaurs will you add? How much focus will you put on facilities and guest count? Will you be able to handle the events that come your way each season?
While this campaign gives plenty of people the opportunity to get in on Dinogenics for the first time, the main focus of the current Kickstarter campaign is to highlight the expansion content from Controlled Chaos.
The concept is that a decade has gone by — interest is starting to wane in what has become an oversaturated market and thus an influx of “new” is needed for success. Aquatic life appears to be the answer. Controlled chaos will add creatures such as the mosasaur, plesiosaur, and megalodon to the game — and yes, with their own amazing-looking wood Meeples.
Along with new creatures, Controlled Chaos will add new facilities — you may notice new double-wide facilities in the picture above (arcade and sky train for example). There will also be new breaking news and manipulation cards to fit the theme of the expansion. An additional side board will bring a few new worker placement actions to the game as well.
To me, one of the most exciting features that Controlled Chaos brings to Dinogenics is specialists. These cards feature individuals who will specialize in areas that can improve your park — but essentially, these are private objective cards that provide endgame scoring bonuses. Private goals/objectives are one of my favorite aspects of board games and I think these are a great addition to the Dinogenics world.
From my vantage point, Dinogenics looks like a top-notch dinosaur board game design and it appears that Controlled Chaos will help make the title an even greater experience.
Will you be backing this title? Any other games catching your eye right now?
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