Dragons Park from Ankama – Review

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Steve Mayne
Steve Mayne
Writer, wrangler, good with ketchup.

Theme&What is it?

Welcome to Dragons Park

Dragons have returned to the world. With the sudden spark of interest in these majestic creatures you’ve discovered that a couple of your private islands are being used by the mighty monsters as a nesting ground. Like every wealthy land owner with a sudden surplus of rare and extremely dangerous creatures you’ve opened a theme park to show them off.

Over the course of three rounds, you’ll draft dragon cards, seed your islands with dragons and sheep, try and pay attention to what’s rare, trendy, cute, and in demand all the while avoiding those pesky safety regulations. Can you build the most popular Dragons Park while losing the fewest visitors?

On the Tour

I hadn’t heard of this game ahead of time and my first exposure to it was opening the box and reading the rules. I was intrigued by the rules and components. The theme was interesting even though it felt like a minor tweak to the Jurassic Park theming that’s started to crop up. The game is aimed at children and when adding all of those things together I was optimistic about how this game would work.

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

Life Finds a Way

The game runs over three rounds. You start with three island tiles, each having five spaces, some of the spaces will be empty while some will have sheep or a dragon egg. You’ll get a hand of four transparent cards with images in some of the locations. You’ll choose one of the cards and pass the rest to the next player. The card you chose will be played on one of your islands.

As you play cards you’ll accomplish some things right away and some things after you’ve drafted and played three cards. If the card you play covers a dragon egg with a dragon you get two visitors who’ve come to see the new baby, if it covers another dragon then there will only be a reaction if the dragon covered is an angry one which is denoted by a small red symbol next to the image. If you cover an angry dragon it attacks your park and devours two visitors.

After you’ve played three cards you’ll get points for several things. If you have the most blue dragons you get three points, if you have the most yellow then you get a legendary dragon token, and then you get two points for every one of the trendy dragon you have. Trendy dragons are based on a color and it changes every round, though you know in advance what the colors are so you can plan ahead. You’ll then go through and compare the number of sheep you have on your island vs the number of dragons. If you have more dragons than sheep then every extra dragon will devour a guest since there isn’t enough food. After that you’ll get points based on variety. You’ll score points based on how many of the five different colors you have plus the legendary dragon counts as its own color.

You then repeat this for two more rounds and whoever has the most visitors in their park at the end of the game wins.

You Didn’t Ask for Realism…

The various components are very nice. The clear plastic cards are thick enough to almost be tiles and the cardboard bases are nice and sturdy. Overall I thought the pieces worked really well for the task at hand.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

You Asked for More Teeth.

The art is nice. The dragons have a realist quality that looks pretty good. However, the images on the card are a little small and it’s often difficult to make out the colors. We ended up using the profile more often than not to figure out which dragons we had. I wish they had made the images slightly larger and the dragon color more distinct to make quick identification easier.

Do You Think-He-Saurus?

This is a family focused drafting game that’s quick and easy with simple rules. The game is fast, giving you plenty of time to try again if you want to give everyone a second chance.

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

Small Versions of Adults.

The box says 8+ and I think that’s pretty accurate. The rules are fairly simple and it feels like the game was designed to teach drafting to younger players. The game is family weight and feels like it.

You’ve got a Hungarian Horntail?

I think this game works well for its intended audience, families. I played with my niece who’s a little older than the age on the box but we still had fun. The rules and points awards are simple to follow and easy for kids to figure out.

The only drawback we had was that the circles with the dragons were too small, and the art for the dragons was difficult to distinguish at a glance. I wish they had been slightly larger with a more distinct art that would have showcased the colors a little better.
The one other drawback is the visitor tokens. They made them a grey coin like piece and I wish they’d been more thematically like people. I get that they might have made them more abstract since they get eaten, but I think most kids would have been okay with that. Of course, parents might not have been. Either way, the ones are very small and I would have liked them to be a bit larger.

All in all, a fine game for you kids to play with their families. Other than wishing somethings were larger, I think the bits are fine.

As always, try before you buy, however, with family games that’s not always possible. If you do end up with this I think you’ll have fun.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

Myconclusions

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