A few favorite “D” games

I’m taking a slow walk through the alphabet and choosing my three favorite games that start with each letter. Next up is D!

Dinosaur World

Dinosaur World is … well, Jurassic World the game, heh. It is a game that combines worker placement with tile placement and resource management. Players build out a park, collect DNA to create dinosaurs, and take visitors around their park on a jeep tour. The parks are all very dangerous, so there are often a few casualties among the guests, but as long as you don’t have the most, it’s okay.

Not going to lie – it’s probably the theme of this game that I like the most. I do enjoy the game-play as well! I like balancing how to spend my workers each round, since there’s a bit of a puzzle to make sure I keep a few back to operate attractions and get additional benefits during later parts of the round. It’s also fun to push my luck with how dangerous the dinosaurs are in my park, while hoping that everyone else is doing the same. There are some fiddly parts of the game, like the numbers that track how many times the jeep visits each attraction, and the arrows that indicate the path of the jeep. But the rest of the game outweighs the fiddliness for me.

Dr. Who: Time of the Daleks

Dr Who: Time of the Daleks is semi-cooperative game where players take on the role of the Doctor in different eras. Each turn, players will try to solve a crisis, either on Earth or another location. They do this by rolling a pool of dice in an attempt to get specific symbols — a bit like Elder Sign. If they succeed, they’ll get a reward, often moving their TARDIS closer to Gallifrey. If they fail, they’ll take a penalty, which often moves the Dalek ship closer to Gallifrey. If the Daleks make it to Gallifrey before one of the Doctors, everyone loses. Otherwise, the Doctor who makes to Gallifrey first wins.

I don’t normally like semi-cooperative games, but I love the theme and mechanisms here so much that they outweigh the fact that it’s semi-coop. There’s just something about rolling a big handful of dice and hoping you get what you need. Plus, the game has a lot of ways to manipulate the dice pool. For example, different characters let you change out some of the dice for others that may have more faces with the symbols you need for the challenge. There are also equipment cards that you can install in your TARDIS to give you special powers, manipulate the dice, or help in other ways.

Dungeon Petz

Dungeon Petz is a game where players take on the role of an imp family running a pet shop for some quirky and needy pets. Each round players will bid for the order they place out workers on a board filled with pets, cages, toys, food, and all the things you’ll need to care for these bizarre pets. After placing all of their new acquisitions in their pet shop, players then must satisfy the needs of all of their pets. Finally their pet shops will compete in an exhibition and players will have the opportunity to sell their pets to eager patrons. Whoever gets the most reputation (points) by the end will have the best pet shop (and win).

Dungeon Petz is my favorite game of all time. I was draw in by the art and theme, but the mechanisms have completely sucked me in. There is a lot to this game — it’s way heavier than the cute art would lead you to believe, and I love that about it. As you get more pets in your shop and as those pets age, it gets harder and harder to fulfill all their needs, and it turns into a puzzle that I love trying to solve. But you want to keep the pets long enough to maximize how much reputation you get when you sell them, but it they get more and more unwieldy as they age. I like it best at 2 or 3 players because it’s already a long game, and the fourth player adds sooo much extra time. But I’ll play this whenever I can.

What are your favorite games that start with the letter “D”? Or is there one from my list that you love or are hoping to try? Let me know in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *