Draftosaurus: Build Your Very Own Dinosaur Zoo! | Casual Game Revolution

Draftosaurus: Build Your Very Own Dinosaur Zoo!


Draft dinosaur meeples to fill your zoo and pass along the rest. But be careful to keep an eye on your pens, as well as which dinosaurs your opponents are collecting.

Draftosaurus is a quick and colorful drafting game where you build your zoo with adorable dino-meeples. Each round, you'll draft dinos and try to place them strategically in your park, while keeping an eye on what your opponents are up to. The double-sided boards and fun variants add replayability, making this a great choice for family game night or a casual game with friends. Published by Ankama, this game is designed for 2-5 players with a 15-minute playtime.


Each player takes a board and everyone agrees whether they will be playing with the summer board or the winter board. The game is played in two rounds. At the start of each round, each player draws six dinosaur meeples randomly from the bag and keeps them secret in their hand. There are six species of dinosaurs in total in the game.

During each turn of the round, the placement die is rolled, and each player chooses from the dinosaurs in their hand to add to one of the pens on their board. The placement die dictates a rule for placing a dinosaur. For example, it might mean that dinosaurs cannot be placed in a pen with a T-rex that turn, or that they must be placed in one of the pens in the woodland section of the board. If for some reason a player cannot legally place a dinosaur (or does not wish to), he can instead add it to the river on his board.

Once everyone has placed a dinosaur onto their board, they pass all the remaining dinosaurs in their hands to the players on their left. The placement die is rolled again, each player places another dinosaur, and then once again passes the remaining. These steps are repeated until all the dinosaurs have been placed.

A new round then begins with everyone drawing back up to six dinosaurs. The second round is played the same way as the first. At the end of the second round, the game ends and players count up their points.

The different pens on the boards score in different ways. For example, the meadow of difference pen scores more points for the more unique types of dinosaurs contained in it. The solitary island pen can only hold one dinosaur and scores seven points if that is the only one of that dinosaur species on your board at the end of the game. Any dinosaurs in the river score a single point, and each pen that has a T-rex scores an additional point. The winter board tends to have slightly more complex pens to score. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Draftasaurus Components


Draftasaurus is bright, colorful, and cheery looking. The dinosaur meeples make this a game you want to play, and the rules are accessible enough to make this an easy one to teach. Plus, you can easily play several games of this back-to-back.

The difference between how the pens score, together with the die roll each time, results in an intriguing combination of making plans for which pens you want to focus on, while also keeping yourself open to pivoting if the die doesn't cooperate with your plans.

Players also need to keep an eye on what their opponents are doing, since that can affect how likely it is that certain species will reach you. You can also select dinosaurs with an eye to keeping them away from other players.

There is also a good variant in which you play four rounds of the game, two on the summer side of the board and two on the winter side (dinosaurs do not carry over) and players add up their total points across the two boards. Additionally, the 2-player variant included in the game is very simple and fun, adding a little extra strategy as you both choose a dinosaur to draft as well as choose a dinosaur to return to the box, meaning you can prevent it from reaching your opponent in more than one way.

Keeping the dinosaurs hidden in your hand can be a little bit finicky, especially as you’re passing them around and if you’re playing with children. You could use a cup or bowl of some kind instead, which might simplify this.

Draftasaurus is fun and light, with fast turns and an engaging but easy-to-learn scoring system. The two boards help you to adjust the difficulty to your game group, and the result is an excellent game with a fun theme. We highly recommend this one.

Pros: Components and theme, speed of the game, double-sided boards, fun variants

Cons: Keeping the dinosaurs hidden in your hand while also passing them is a little finnicky

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.