Sunday, March 3, 2024

S.O.S Dino - Board Game

Children are famously not the best at losing, and since my children are the ones I've got to play board games with, I've come to explore a lot more co-operative board games lately. 

I barely even knew co-operative board games were a genre until a few years ago when I stumbled across the first one, having been brought up on proper home wreckers like Monopoly and Ludo. I definitely don't recommend playing them with your kids. Or anyone else for that matter.

In S.O.S Dino, you're tasked with your fellow players to save a bunch of dinosaurs, and preferably also their eggs, from Dino Apocalypse. You start in the middle and need to work your way to the edges, and as you play the board will become more and more covered with obstacles, especially Lava Tiles, that prevent you from reaching your goal. The tactic is in placing your tiles smartly, because each round you get to draw a tile from a bag and have some control in where it goes. Lava Tiles, and they make out the vast majority of the tiles, will tell you which Dinos you can move and which Lava flow to extend, but the direction is yours to control.

The box art is cute too.

If you're unlucky however you get a meteor strike or make a volcano erupt, creating further lava flows. The board quickly becomes overrun, and it's easy to paint yourself in a corner if you don't pay attention. It's quite devastating to see a dinosaur burn in a puddle of lava, and any hopes that this game wouldn't make your kids sad fly out the window. Fortunately the game only seems stressful on the outside, after having played it a few times it seems quite easy to succeed and we usually get all the dinos and eggs to safety. The challenge is definitely in level with children around the age of 4-12.

The board is made up of plenty of little pieces that need to be arranged and assembled before you start playing. But don't worry, this is no Mouse Trap where you spend more time putting things together than actually playing (or having fun). In fact, getting things in the right place is part of the fun for my kids because you sort of build up a little dino world. 

The Dino Figures that come with the game are really nice looking and could've easily been used as any toy outside of the game as well. They're brightly coloured and distinguished from each other - the colouration is part of the game mechanics since each tile prevents a certain dino from moving.

It only takes about 20 minutes to play and doesn't outstay its welcome, it keeps a good pace throughout and is easy to learn. It has a good balance between luck and tactics that fit the age it is aimed for and good production quality. S.O.S Dino isn't amazing, but it's a fun game to keep in your roster for board games to play with your kids. If you find it somewhere I recommend giving it a try.


  1. OMG, don't let my wife see this, or she'll insist she we get it. (She specialized in Paleontology in college.)

    1. Fortunately (?) it seems hard to find ^^