Duelosaur Island

It’s that time of year again – the time for the Dice Tower and it’s contributors to vote for the games worthy of an award among a variety of categories, not the least of which is the best game of year. These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2018.  You can see previous winners, along with this year’s nominees, on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.

Best Family Game of the year

Fireball Island
Gizmos
Reef
Space Base
My Little Scythe

Best Artwork

Everdell
Root
Grimm Forest
Cerebria
Rising Sun

Most Innovative

Chronicles of Crime
Nyctophobia
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
KeyForge
The Mind

Best Reprint

Fireball Island
Brass Lancashire
Endeavor: Age of Sail
High Society
The Estates

Best Strategy

Root
Teotihuacan
Brass Birmingham
Coimbra
Underwater Cities

Best Production

Rising Sun
Fireball Island
Everdell
Brass Birmingham
Grimm Forest

Best Expansion

Scythe: Rise of Fenris
Terraforming Mars: Prelude
Roll Player: Monsters and Minions
Great Western Trail: Rails to the North
Root: The Riverfolk

Best Game from a Small Publisher

Root – Leder Games
Chronicle of Crime – Lucky Duck Games
Underwater Cities – Delicious Games
Vindication – Orange Nebula LLC
Obsession – Kayenta Game

Best Cooperative Game of the year

Chronicles of Crime
Just One
The Mind
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables

Best Two-Player

KeyForge
War Chest
Duelosaur Island
Haven
Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Best New Designer

Wolfgang Warsch (Quacks of Quedlinberg, The Mind, & Ganz Schon Clever)
David Cicurel (Chronicles of Crime)
Catherine Stippell (Nyctophobia)
Ivan Lashin (Smartphone Inc.)
Tim Eisner (Grimm Forest)

Best Party Game

Just One
Decrypto
The Mind
Drop it
Trapwords

Best Theming

Western Legends
Root
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables
Chronicles of Crime

Game of the Year

Root
Teotihuacan
Chronicles of Crime
Underwater Cities
Brass Birmingham
Western Legends
Rising Sun
Architects of the West Kingdoms
Everdell
The Mind

Dinosaur Island, what everyone refers to as Jurassic Park the board game, has come back to Kickstarter to allow everyone another chance at getting the Kickstarter edition, as well as an expansion and a two-player spinoff entitled Duelosaur Island.  Dinosaur Island is a worker placement and dice rolling type of game where you will be collecting things like DNA and money in order to expand your park.  The things you can get for your park include upgrades to park equipment, concessions, and those all important dinosaur pens for you to later fill with dinosaurs.  But be careful, the dinosaurs can break out and eat your visitors, which is never good for business.  So keep those dinos in their cages, and the visitors happy, and you just might win the game.  The Kickstarter edition of the game, which they are calling the X-treme edition, includes a slap bracelet first players marker, upgraded tokens, and sleek metal coins.

The expansion for Dinosaur Island is called Totally Liquid, and aside from having a commercial straight from the 90s, includes lots of new content to add to your game.  Included in the expansion will be all the components to add a fifth player to the game, which is something requested by a lot of players.  Also included will be blueprints, which give you points based on how you build your park, a park extension with a special attraction and worker, and PR events which give bonus scoring opportunities at the end of the game.  But the big addition is the fact you will now be able to build water pens into your park and have the majestic Elasmosaurus and the vicious Dunkleosteus grace your parks.  Basically the expansion will be giving you more of what you love about Dinosaur Island, just with more water.

And finally, you will be able to get Duelosaur Island, a two-player version of the game where you will play head to head against an opponent to build the best dinosaur park.  A lot of the game will be familiar to Dinosaur Island players, but still utilize new mechanics like a variation on the I split, you choose mechanic for assigning dice modifiers in the game.  This way the game will stay fresh and be streamlined for a better two-player experience.

So if any of this sounds like fun to you, check out the Kickstarter campaign, Duelosaur will run you $35, the expansion $45, and the X-treme edition of the base game will set you back $85.

Pandasaurus Games has just announced a 2-player standalone sequel to its hit Dinosaur Island game.

Duelosaur Island will use completely new mechanics yet still give players that Dinosaur Island feel. It will have an entirely new hand-management and tableau-building engine perfectly suited for two players, as well as an “I cut, you choose” dice-drafting mechanism.

“”One of the things we loved most about the game is how much it felt like playing a game of Dinosaur Island, even though the mechanics are completely different.  You still roll DNA dice, you still make dinosaurs, you still must manage your threat level.  But then there is this super clever card mechanism that leaves you with so many tense decisions to make.  And don’t even get me started on the dice-drafting mechanism.  Once the DNA dice are rolled the first-player sets the market by assigning different dice different bonuses, but the second-player gets to choose first.  Do you give the dice you need to good bonuses and risk your opponent taking them?  Or do you play it safe and throw the solid bonuses on the dice you don’t want” Nathan McNair, President of Pandasaurus Games, said.”


Cards will have three potential purposes, giving players lots of choices on how to build their tableau and manage their hands. They can contain DNA sequences for your dinosaurs, blueprints for your park attractions, or they can be discarded for certain effects.

The game also comes with five brand new DNA dice. You can mix and match these dice with dice from Dinosaur Island, bringing new possibilities not only for this game but to the original game as well.

Duelosaur Island is designed by Ian Moss and developed by Dinosaur Island designer Jon Gilmour, with all-new artwork from Dinosaur Island artists Kwanchai Moriya and Peter Wocken.

The press release also teased some new announcements for the parent game coming soon.

Keep an eye on the Pandasaurus Games web site for more information on both Duelosaur Island and its predecessor.

Duelosaur Island is scheduled for release later in 2018.