Funko Games sent me a copy of their old game Jurassic Park: The Legacy of Isla Nublar. The toy retails at Funko.com for a whopping $120, but it comes jam-packed with everything a fan could want in a vintage toy. Each game session will take place during each movie with some prequel style games to help you familiarize yourself with the game. As far as legacy games go, this one is well made. It comes with tons of miniatures, characters and dinosaur parts that appear in the movies. If you are old Jurassic Park fan then I think this game is definitely worth checking out.
Each game is played in 5 rounds. Each player gets a certain number of actions each round depending on the number of characters. My recommendation is to play with at least 3 characters, which gave me the best ability to do things around the island. Each round will reveal some sort of goal whether it’s finding Lex and Tim or gathering information about the dinosaurs around the island. Each scenario will come with 4 round cards and your fifth round will be determined by your dinosaur deck. Each unlocked dinosaur has a special complication they can face for the game. For example, the triceratops gets sick and will take damage if you don’t finish the round with a character in its place. Considering that dinosaurs dying generate points for loss, this can be disastrous depending on how your game has been going. In addition to the objectives on the round cards, each scenario comes with a booklet for additional rules and general objectives. These tend to be things you need to do in each building, like collecting supplies in the visitor center and sequencing DNA in the genetics lab. There’s usually a lot going on in each game to keep track of, but the game does a good job of introducing each element so you’re not immediately overwhelmed. You don’t start with every building at the beginning, and you’re always given one round of play with a building before deciding on its permanent placement. Same with the dinosaurs, you start with a few and your losses and successes will determine how many you can unlock. The game can have some weird rules to get used to, so I highly recommend keeping the rulebook close and at least giving it a quick glance before each game, especially if there’s a lot of time between games.
I really appreciate the way they made characters for this game. As we all know that movies have a diverse cast of characters, so does every screenplay. The original games that everyone unlocked are available to play, but as you progress into more movie-specific scenarios, there will be a list of characters to choose from. But don’t throw away those character cards, you’ll still be able to use them as legacy characters. Each one will give you a unique ability, and as you level up the characters, their inherited abilities are also upgraded and improved. The problem is that each character can only be used as a legacy 3 times, so you have to be careful about how you use them. Each character comes with a card with some great artwork as well as a standee that also includes the artwork.
The dinosaurs are really the main reason to play the game. The miniatures look great and are easily distinguished in red and green. They also come with their own battle stat cards. While the dinosaurs aren’t as strong as you’d think they would be, you’ll be given opportunities to upgrade their defense and health as you play, and you’ll definitely want to do this so your poor herbivores aren’t decimated right away. However, there is a certain randomness to the upgrades. As you play the game, you can field research the dinosaurs which give you research tokens. These tokens unlock the ability to remove areas of the endgame card that grant different bonuses. There are three sections to these upgrades and you are limited to which section you can scratch based on the research you have done. This can be great for those who get really indecisive about what they want, but it can be frustrating for those who are really trying to max out their stats the way they want.
Overall the gameplay was fun. Each game you have to choose different bonuses to spend your budget. You could build roads, build barriers, add electric fences, hire employees, etc. depending on how far into the game you were. Eventually, the weather also becomes an issue in the game and can cause power outages to deal with. There’s also managing mobile employees and other minions around the board as well as trying to control the dinosaurs. Like I said, there’s a lot to keep track of, but at the end of the day each level is introduced gradually to make learning easier. The game is not impossible, but some scenarios are very difficult and everything can go sideways on you during a round. But the format makes it easy for any game to look like the movies. The game script for the first movie has you assessing the island for safety and trying to keep Lex and Tim safe while dealing with dinosaur insanity. The script for Lost world it really makes you engage with the group of mercenaries that came to the island. Each scenario tends to have specific scenario tokens and mechanics that keep each game fresh and different.
Finally, the game box. There are a huge number of coupons for this game. They don’t initially provide a great storage option for them, so I recommend using the bags that the original mini dinosaurs come with to help you organize the tokens. As you unlock the dinosaurs, you’ll make folders available to use which will help you a lot as you collect many of the larger character and dinosaur cards. There is plenty of storage in the box itself, which is great, but definitely make an organization game plan while you get all the coupons out because it will be set up and taken down a lot faster. One last thing that I think was really fun is that they included a raptor claw to help scratch things to reveal new abilities and rules. Use the nail joint instead of the point and it works shockingly well.
I really enjoyed this game. There were a few rules that were annoying to work with, but once you pick up the game, it just adds to the challenge rather than being something that will always get in the way of winning. It comes with tons of cards and miniatures and they are all well made. If you really like it Jurassic Park and wanted to try an old style game then I would recommend this one. If you don’t mind Jurassic Park So much then that would be a pass, it’s fun, but being a fan of the franchise definitely adds to the experience. Being his fan Jurassic Park me, i would give this game 9/10.