Today we're offering up a prerelease review of a new game from Green Couch Games: JurassAttack. This 2-player card game is an epic dinosaur battle played out in 15 minutes! Is it Vel-Awesome-Raptor, or a T-Wreck? Let's find out!
The game comes with two identical decks of 27 dino-sized cards. These are comprised of seven different dinosaurs, and a few Egg cards.
Firestone--I've gotta stop things right here and comment on how awesome the artwork is. These are fun and ferocious pics of dinos--bright and vibrant and evocative. You don't want to mess with any of these behemoths.
Jeremiah--Yeah, bright and ferocious in a kid-friendly, fun way--it's really terrific!
Each player shuffles his or her deck and draws five cards.
The start player chooses 1-5 of his cards to play facedown to the table. If you play more than one dinosaur, it's called a Pack, and they have to either be the same type, or have a special power that lets them Pack with other dinosaurs.
After the first player lays down cards, the other player sees the number of cards and adds his own set of 1-5. (After the very first round, the winner of each round is considered the "start player" for these purposes.)
Firestone--This is a simple, but cool, mechanism. It opens the door WIDE for bluffing. You have to go first, which is a disadvantage, but you can choose what goes there, and what you show. I like that.
Next you flip over all cards, apply any effects, and then add up the Ferocity numbers. Whoever has the most wins, and collects all of the cards the loser played and puts them in a score pile, and discards his own. Egg cards are the exception to this. If you win, you take any Egg cards played by either side and put them in your score pile.
Afterward, the loser gets to draw back up to five cards. The winner doesn't get to draw any cards.
Firestone--Yet another simple and interesting mechanism. Sometimes you'll throw a fight with a crappy card (especially after your opponent appears to have gone "all in)," just so you can draw cards again.
In the event there's a tie, both players are considered "winners" for purposes of drawing cards, but don't get to put anything into any score piles.
This continues until one player runs out of cards in his draw pile and hand. The game ends and everyone counts up the Score Value on all cards in their own score piles. Two dinosaurs enter; one dinosaur leaves.
Firestone--One complaint leveled against JurassAttack is that it's "just War with dinosaurs." But that's just not accurate.
Jeremiah--It's not accurate at all, War is a random flip of the card to see whose luck is better. Jurassattack employees a deeper strategy with copious amounts of bluffing. So just get those silly War comparisons out of your mind.
Firestone--The first time we played this my 7-year-old was trying to create a tournament where everyone in the family would play each other. Both kids liked it a lot. We don't have a ton of 2-player games--or at least not ones that are so 1) portable, 2) easy to play, and 3) quick. They have their own shelf, full of games they're allowed to play without me being there. (I'm sorry, but I don't want them breaking out my super-rare copy of Princes of the Renaissance!) The 7-year-old immediately asked if this could go "on our shelf." High praise, indeed.
Jeremiah--We're in the same boat. While I don't have a "kids only" shelf, the boys know the games they can play on their own, and this quickly became one of those--they've played it to death. My youngest still is mastering the skill of bluffing,which is good because we can still tell if he's hiding something from us, but it makes winning the game a little tougher for him.
Jeremiah--The egg cards bring the bluffing in the game to a really awesome level. A pack of cards could be a vicious attach warding off an offensive strike, or it could be a bunch of eggs that would be a great target! Superb!
Firestone--I once watched Son the Younger give up four Eggs to Son the Elder. It was brutal, and made me realize his bluffing skills have a long way to go.
Firestone's Final Verdict--JurassAttack is a keeper. It's fast,, fun, portable, easy to teach, and the price is right. There are genuine decisions to be made, and I love making them--and especially watching my kids make them.
Jeremiah's Final Verdict--JurassAttack is a super-fun 2-player filler. It's incredibly easy to teach, but takes time to master the strategies--and that really makes it fun! JurassAttack has quickly become a family favorite!