26 June 2018
Draft cards and slide them around to create the perfect dinosaur zoo
There’s clearly something about the idea of a dinosaur zoo that makes us humans quick to forget the mounting body of evidence (not to mention actual bodies) that proves it’s simply a Bad Idea, as five – and counting – Jurassic Park films stand as perhaps the best examples.
Still, ‘tis the year of dinosaur zoos, so it was with little surprise we spotted the announcement of Mesozooic, a light card game that has you once again trying to perfect the art of keeping resurrected giant lizards safely behind glass for visitors to gawp at (and hopefully not end up as dino-snacks).
Mesozooic is a much more optimistic take on the formula, with no risk of outbreaks or feeding times gone awry. Instead, players draft and place cards to create their utopian dinosaur park over three rounds a la Zoo Tycoon, constructing their prehistoric menagerie as a grid of exhibits, attractions and other features.
After players have collected a hand of cards, they have to build their park. This happens in real-time, with players rushing to move cards into empty spaces like one of those sliding puzzles, trying to link up monorails, complete enclosures and keep attractions maintained by ensuring a maintenance truck is just next door.
Tracks, enclosures and maintained attractions all earn points to propel the zoo towards victory, with some advanced cards introducing extra effects and gameplay elements.
The theme sounds as light as the gameplay, but the combination of drafting and real-time puzzling has us intrigued.
There’s no release date to speak of yet, but we do know the card game will cost $20 (£15) over in the US when it does emerge.