Product Type: Drumond Park board games
Newest Review: ... now believe T-Rex parents did care for their young - so it seems more like you are stealing the eggs/ babies. The babies are all very s... more
I 'Dino' Whether to Recommend This!
Member Name: jo1976
Date: 07/12/12, updated on 15/08/13 (53 review reads)
Advantages: Realistic sound effects, entertaining, pieces contained well between plays
Disadvantages: Fairly high RRP, not likely to hold interest for long, sound effects are scary for younger players
My Dad tends to play safe with birthday presents and usually sticks to board games for my boys' birthdays. This year, for my five year old's birthday, he purchased 'Dino Bite' which is quite a new game from the Drumond Park brand.
This is a pretty simple game aimed at children from four years upwards, where players have to rescue partially hatched dinosaur eggs from a T-Rex's nest without the dinosaur spotting them and snapping down on their hands! These kinds of novelty games can be pretty hit and miss but this is one of the better games in its category, with a very clever use of sound effects to build up tension throughout the game and a very effective climax, designed to make the player jump out of their skin!
The initial set up is pretty straightforward although there is an element of assembly needed as the dinosaur needs to be attached to its base and firmly clicked into position. This is something an adult really needs to do. The game also requires two AA batteries which aren't included. This is a little disappointing for a game with a relatively high RRP of £19.99, especially as there aren't that many other components to the game itself and it is fairly compact. Fortunately, the battery usage is fairly minimal and we haven't needed to replace the batteries as yet in five month's of ownership.
The game itself seems pretty robust and build to withstand typical rough play and handling from the target age range. The dinosaur does need to be pulled back between each game and sometimes there are some rather dubious sounding cracks as my sons can be a little heavy handed but, thus far, there has been no damage. As a parent, I particularly like how the tiny egg pieces are kept safe and secure within their leaf nest both during and after play, minimising the risk of pieces going astray and ending up in the wrong hands (or mouths!) The eggs are very small and of a very unusual, enticing shape, so a genuine choking hazard for very young siblings. The other minor irritation is that the game doesn't manage to fit perfectly back into its box with the dinosaur attached.
In terms of age recommendation, I feel the minimum age of four is fairly accurate, given the size of the opening to the nest and the use of small tweezers to pick the tiny eggs out of the nest. Whilst this isn't particularly taxing to adults or older children, those under the age of four might struggle with the co-ordination needed to grab the eggs with the tweezers and become frustrated at their lack of success. There is the option to 'cheat' slightly by allowing younger players to use their fingers to pick the eggs out, rather than trying to manage the plastic tweezers. I've also sometimes played the game without using the dice, so that the children aren't restricted to choosing certain colours of eggs as they are in standard game play, which also makes the game much easier, especially towards the end of the game when there are fewer eggs remaining. Players over the age of seven are likely to find the game far too easy and rapidly lose interest. My oldest son (aged ten) has played this a handful of times but there really isn't enough to the game to maintain his interest for long.
The game can be kept simple by simply having the winner being the remaining player after the others have been attacked by the dinosaur or made more complex, and potentially more competitive, by counting out and comparing the number of eggs that each player has managed to grab. There is also the possibility of introducing other rules, such as penalising players for removing the wrong coloured eggs, for instance, or perhaps rewarding them for removing more than one egg per turn. I find playing until all of the eggs have been removed more entertaining when there are only two players, otherwise the game can be over too quickly.
By far the most appealing aspect to this game is the surprisingly realistic sound effects. The noise is actually quite loud (and there is no volume control) and features really authentic jungle style noises, including the cawing of exotic birds, background noise from crickets and other creatures and the onimous sound of the giant T-Rex faintly growling! These sound effects really help to build up the atmosphere and tension during game play but may be a little too realistic for very young children or those of a very sensitive disposition! My youngest son was not quite two when his brother received this game and was absolutely terrified by the sound effects, let alone the sight and realistic sound of a dinosaur chomping down on his brothers' hands! He actually refused to be in the same room whilst this game was being played for quite some time before accepting this game wasn't quite as scary as it first appeared. Even my five year old was a little wary of the game initially, especially when the dinosaur bites, so this is something to bear in mind if being bought as a gift for a particularly sensitive child.
Dino Bite has been heavily advertised on TV recently and is likely to feature on younger children's Christmas wish list. In all honesty, while it's not a game that's likely to hold their attention for very long, the quality of the actual play set and simple game play are pretty good, certainly in comparison with similar novelty games. I wouldn't advise parents to rush out and buy this game but if a child particularly wanted to have it, it isn't likely to disappoint by falling apart within minutes.
This is a fun game, albeit with a limited novelty appeal and the potential to terrify younger or more sensitive players. On that basis, I would recommend this as an entertaining family game although I'm not sure that the £19.99 RRP represents particularly good value for money. The game is currently part of Toys R Us 'three for two' offer or can be picked up from Amazon for £14.99, amongst other stockists.
Summary: An entertaining game for young children although may lead to tears for more sensitive players