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Roar-a-Saurus

Rawrr! Grrrr! Kaboom! Things turn vicious when dinosaurs battle it out.

In this real-time dice game, players race to roll three matching results in order to deal blows and heal up. Throw in ten possible power-ups, and you’ve got a fierce battle on your hands.

Gameplay

At the start of Roar-a-Saurus, each player takes a dinosaur player mat and three dice. The game is played over a series of rounds. If you knock out another dinosaur during a round, you earn one victory point. A dinosaur is knocked out if it takes four points of damage, and the player who deals the last point of damage is the one who knocks it out. If you are the last dinosaur standing, you earn three victory points. The game ends when at least one player has ten victory points at the end of a round, the player with the most points wins.

During a round, all players roll their dice as quickly and as often as they can. You may place any dice you roll onto your player mat to save its result, and can take off the dice on your player mat at any time as well. If you have three dice showing the same result on your player mat, you take the corresponding action.

There are four possible actions. ‘Rawrr’ deals one damage to the player on your right, and ‘Grrrr’ deals one damage to the player on your left. When dealing damage to another player, you must shout out the name of the attack, place a damage token on the player’s mat that you are attacking, and then pick up all your dice. ‘Kaboom’ deals one damage to all players. When you shout out ‘Kaboom’ all players stop rolling, take a damage token, and then everyone must pick up all their dice. The final action you can take is ‘Awww’. In the easy mode, this allows you to remove one damage token from off your player mat. In the advanced rules, you shout out 'Awww' and the name of a power-up, and move that power-up onto your player mat.

Power-ups have various different abilities. Some allow you to deal extra damage with your attacks, or negate damage from an opponent’s attack. Others will allow you to remove two points of damage when using ‘Awww’, gives you an extra point of health, or allows you to roll four dice rather than three.

Each round ends when there is only one dinosaur left standing. If no player has reached ten points yet, players remove all damage tokens and power-ups from off their player mat, and a new round begins.

Roar-a-Saurus Components

Review

Roar-a-Saurus is fast paced and colorful. Real-time games tend to be chaotic and noisy, and this is no exception — making the dinosaur noises while announcing attacks in Roar-a-Saurus is great fun.

Having both an easy and advanced mode keeps the game nicely family-friendly. The components are all bright and cheery, and the rules of the easy mode are simple to learn. The components do a great job of helping you to remember what everything does — the player mats are neatly laid out, and each power-up token has its ability written on it.

The power-ups add variety to the game, and introduces some elements of choice and strategy as you choose which abilities to go after. Each power-up also has its own unique location on your player mat, so that your dinosaur actually looks physically more armored as you add abilities onto him, which is a neat feature. There are just so many different kinds of power-ups, however that it can get a little overwhelming to keep track of everything while in the middle of a round. This leaves you prone to errors mid-game, at least during the first few plays.

If you enjoy real time games, Roar-a-Saurus is a very enjoyable entry into the genre. There’s plenty of frantic dice rolling, shouting, and frenzy, and gameplay can be adjusted to the age and experience level of your group.

Pros: Two modes of difficulty, solid components, fun to make dinosaur noises

Cons: Number of power-ups makes it difficult to keep track of everything during the game

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