Tabletop Game Review – Jurassic Parts
Jurassic Parts by 25th Century Games
Players: 2 to 5
Playtime: 30 to 40 minutes
Perfect for: Players of all ages who enjoy strategic set collection and area control games (and dinosaurs of course, but who doesn’t love dinosaurs??).
Jurassic Parts is a game of fossil excavation! Each player assumes the role of a paleontologist seeking fame and glory by finding and collecting dinosaur bones within a massive site. But they aren’t alone—other diggers are working hard in parallel, so players must be cunning in order to procure the bones they seek before others snag them.
To begin Jurassic Parts, two to five players collect their player mat and 12 chisels. Next, players will construct the Slab: an arrangement of about 57 randomly connected hexagonal tiles, some face up and others hidden. These tiles contain bones from various dinosaurs. When particular sets get collected, they form complete skeletons, netting the player points.
On a turn, players move three dull chisels to the sharpened side of their player mat. Diggers then spend chisels to break apart the Slab, placing at least one of these resources on the board on an unoccupied edge between two tiles. Eventually, a complete line of chisels from edge to edge will be formed. This causes a section of the Slab to break off. Players who contributed to the break acquire a number of tiles proportional to the number of their chisels used. Play continues until all tiles have been claimed. The paleontologist with the most points—determined by tile sets—is the winner.
What works in Jurassic Parts is the highly engaging strategic elements combined with a great theme. Players must be very clever in their execution as they evade attempts from the competition to swoop in and thwart well laid plans. Adding to the fun is a myriad of variables that can change the dynamic of a turn. For example, the resource of amber is used to gain powerups. These includes sharpening additional chisels on a turn or ignoring the amount of chisels needed for placement on the Slab. There are even optional resource cards that can be used in the game to add more variety to the proceedings. All in all, players must be acutely aware of what their opponents are up to and plan accordingly which keeps Jurassic Parts exciting from beginning to end.
RELATED: Tabletop Game Review – Shōbu
Players who do not enjoy direct competition, especially the element of player versus player sabotage, may not enjoy Jurassic Parts as much as others. The game is at its best when diggers attempt to outwit and outplay each other, essentially claiming and/or stealing tiles out from others. This could cause frustration for some people. However, if everyone understands and accepts this premise going in, everything should be amicable.
Jurassic Parts is an excellent set collection game. The chisel mechanic is really amusing and works great with the dinosaur premise. And because of the resource cards and amber powerups, Jurassic Parts has a lot of replay value. Highly recommended, especially for dino enthusiast gamers.
Recommended if you like: Draftosaurus, Splendor, Quetzal