SOS Dino – LOKI – Review

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A fun family game with great toy components.

Steve Mayne

MeepleGamers 8/10 Publisher: LOKI Designer: Ludovic Maublanc Designer: Theo Riviere Artist: Mathieu Leyssenne Game Type: Cooperative, Tile Placement, Family Initial Year of Release: 2019 Age Range: 7+ Expected Playtime: 25 minutes Number of Players: 1-4 SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 1

Theme and What is it?

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*Note* Copy of game provided by publisher for review.

You and your dinosaur friends meet every day down by the lake to play and have fun. It’s a good time. You play your dinosaur games, eat your dinosaur lunches, and sing your dinosaur songs. Unfortunately, today isn’t the fun filled romp that you’re used to. Four volcanos near your lake have begun to erupt. It’s now a mad race for you and your friends to escape to safety. But if you run who will save the dinosaur eggs. You’ll need to avoid the lava, save the eggs, and get to the top of the mountains where it’s safe. It’ll take all of you working together but I’ll just bet you can do it. Just so long as it doesn’t get any worse… Wait…are those meteorites?

SOS Dino is a cooperative tile placement game. Players will take turns pulling tiles from a bag, extending the lava flow or placing meteorites, and moving dinosaurs. You’ll need to get the dinosaurs to the high ground while saving as many of the eggs as you can.

Can you do it? SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 2 SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 3

Gameplay Mechanics

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SOS Dino is a tile placement game. Every round you’ll pull a tile from a bag. The tile is marked with colored flowers connecting it to one of the four volcanoes. You’ll place the tile to extend the lava flow. The tile will also include what type of actions you can take. This is usually to move one or two dinosaurs or draw and place an additional tile. Each move tile is marked with a dinosaur on the back you cannot move. When moving a dinosaur you’ll be able to move any of the three not prohibited one space orthogonally to an adjacent space. If you move a dinosaur onto an egg the egg is saved. If you move the dinosaur onto a mountain the dinosaur is safe. SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 4

Initial Impressions

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After opening the box and going through the bits I was pretty impressed with this game. It has a nice look and the rules felt like they’d be pretty simple to follow and implement for the age group. SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 5

Game Build Quality

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I like the quality here. Everything is nice chunky cardboard from the lava tiles to the 3D volcanos and mountains. Everything is clear and easily marked. The dinosaur figures are cute and sturdy, very similar in weight and feel to a child’s plastic dinosaur toys. I think the production was pretty solid on this one. SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 6

Artistic Direction

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I was very happy with the direction and style they choose for this game. It has a nice cartoony look that’s appropriate for the age range. Everything is bright and looks very nice. SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 7

Fun Factor

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This is a cooperative puzzle game to play with the kids. It’s designed to be a fun family experience for the whole group. The challenge is tough but not impossible. Since you’re drawing tiles from a bag, luck is a factor. It’s possible to get a dinosaur completely blocked from rescue by random tile pulls. SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 8

Age Range & Weight

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The box says 7+ and I think that’s dead on. There aren’t a lot of decisions to make and the rules are easy to follow. There’s no reading in the game and only a few symbols to remember. SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 9


Instagram Twitter Facebook 8/10

I think this game is fine. The rules are simple and the goal is clear. I think it’s a good game for young children. It’s one that they can play on their own with no supervision.

I also think parents won’t be bored when they play with their kids. I played this with my niece and it’s fun to see how she reacts to the way the game works and how the challenge plays out.

There is a bit of randomness that could be a bit of a turn off for some players. However, I enjoyed those moments where you have to race a dinosaur across an ever closing gap and then have to sit there as you draw a couple of tiles in a row that don’t let you move them while the lava gets closer and closer. I’ve had multiple moments where if we drew the wrong tile a dinosaur died and then drew a tile that let us to move them to safety. Those moments made this game for me.

There isn’t a whole lot more to say here. Everything is put together in a very nice package. Even if you don’t end up playing the game, the dinosaur figures are sturdy enough to be excellent toys.

As always try before you buy. However, I understand that that may not be possible with children’s games. If you end up buying this outright I will give you a quick warning. I looked up the price on this and it costs just over $20 at Coolstuff and similar sites. The top search results for me came back with copies for over $90 and I cannot figure out why. Please make sure to look for the cheaper prices if you’re going to buy this online. SOS Dino - LOKI - Review 10

Parting Words

Finally, while dinosaurs may be extinct you’re still here. Please remember to take some time to take care of yourself. You’re a special person and the world would be a little less amazing without you in it. Take care folks.

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