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
Fun dinosaur game for younger children.
Member Name: broxi3781
Advantages: Look nice and the children do enjoy this game.
Disadvantages: It hasn't had as much play time as most of our board games get.
We have a Christmas Eve Tradition of buying a new board game and dvd for a quiet family night before the big day. This year we ended up with two games as my oldest really wanted an Angry Birds game, but my youngest had seen this on TV, and being dinosaur mad, it looked just the thing. I had also read a number of reviews on dooyoo, and felt this game would be simple enough to play, as well as improving fine motor skills which he will need for writing as he begins P1 next year.
Despite having asked for this, my youngest did not know he was getting this, as they had both agreed to Angry Birds earlier, so this was a brilliant surprise ( thanks once again to dooyoo vouchers). His eyes lit up and he could not wait to begin play. He did have to wait a little though. I have problems with my hands and could not assemble this. My husband was able to put it together in just a few minutes though. It does not quite fit in the box assembled though - and as we can not put it back together it must stay assembled which is slight nuisance. This also requires installation of 2 AA batteries which are not included. You can play without the batteries but will lose the sound effects.
This game features a large plastic T Rex perched over a nest. The box says you must save the dino babies from a rampaging T-Rex - but the babies are clearly T-Rex hatchlings themselves, and paleontologists 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 small, and somewhat deformed looking with a head attached to a tiny bit of eggshell which obviously would be far to small to hold the body.
The instructions state that the youngest player should go first, but of course this can be altered if families wish to. Each player roles a coloured dice, then attempts to retrieve an egg of the same colour using the plastic tweezers which are shaped like a dinosaurs head. If the head snaps forward to bite while you are trying to lift an egg you are out. The rules state that play continues until only one player is left - or as variation the winner can be determined by counting eggs.
We believe game rules were made to broken and adapt most games to suit ourselves. It isn't much fun to sit around while everyone else plays if you get knocked out earlier - especially for very young children. We simply play that if the dinosaur bites you, you have to put that egg back, but you are still allowed to play on the next turn. The winner is the person with the most eggs at the end of the game.
Once we started playing, I realised that the tweezers really were to hard for my 4 year old to work as the eggs slide about in the nest and getting a grip is difficult. I then changed the rules to allow the children to use a finger to steady the egg while gripping with the tweezers. I also realised that it is not so much a matter of delicate handling, but how often the lid has been moved. This means the game can be manipulated though in favour of younger players. When it came to my turn I would waste as much time as possible fiddling about with the leaf, meaning I got snapped most of the time. I would then reposition the dinosaur, giving the youngest a better chance. If he took a very long time, I would reset the dinosaur again for the oldest, but if they just hold the leaf open but still, they can take quite some time without being snapped. This resulted in a pretty even game with both boys winning an equal amount of times.
My sons especially liked it when the dinosaur lunged forwards - especially if it was "biting" me - but it is a fairly sudden movement, and I expect it might startle some children. It does not actually bite - the mouth snaps open not closed so there is no chance of fingers being nipped. The eggs are very small though and I do feel these might pose a choking hazard, so this toy will need to be kept out of reach of much younger siblings.
The product description lists this game as suitable for ages 4 -8. I would be more inclined to list this as ages 3 -7, with this being most suitable for those at the younger end of this scale. My 7 year old grows bored with this fairly quickly. he does like it, but after a game or two he is ready to play something else. My 4 year old was really loved this at first, but the novelty soon wore often and this has only been used a few times since Christmas. That said, my son has just seen it now and says he would like to play this again tonight. He does like it, but it does not get the amount of use that The Orchard Toys games do, or old favourites like Guess Who.
I believe I paid £19.99 for this just before Christmas. It currently sells for £16 new and delivered from Amazon. I think the educational value of this is limited. I'm sure the tweezers do help some with fine motor skills, but I do wish they had been designed a bit better to make them easier to use. I can see that this would be useful in teaching colour recognition, but I feel most children will already know this before they are old enough to play. Still - I believe any type of family game encourages conversation and spending time as a family, as well as learning about taking turns and accepting the fact that you can not always win.
My youngest gives this 5 stars and my oldest is barely giving this 4. I would put more weight on the youngest child's rating as this toy is more suited to his age. I just do not feel it has been played with enough to justify 5 stars - and now that it has been noticed they have taken it away to play with again now. It does make a nice decoration on a shelf as well - especially as my youngest has a dinosaur themed room. I would prefer a rating of 4 1/2, but will give this the full 5 stars.
Summary: A fun game suitable for very young players.