Claw of Sauria

Get ready to embark on another thrilling adventure on the island of Sauria, as Claw of Sauria, the first expansion for Sauria: The Dinosaur Park Survival Game, is set to launch on Kickstarter today. If you thought surviving on the island was challenging enough, Claw of Sauria takes the excitement to the next level with its new cooperative gameplay mode and the introduction of the formidable Hybrid, which adds a new level of difficulty to the game.

1-5 players, ages 14+
Playing time: 45-150 minutes
Designer: Maximillian Dennis
Artwork: Johnny Belmont & Nadia Potapov

Publisher: Millian Games

In Claw of Sauria, players can work together to complete group objectives before time runs out. However, there is a twist – the Hybrid, a genetically-engineered dinosaur, is on the loose, and players must navigate its new mechanics to successfully complete their objectives. It is not just about completing the objectives, though. Players can also win by killing the Hybrid, but that is easier said than done.

The story of Claw of Sauria picks up after the volcanic eruption on Sauria, where many dinosaurs survived. GenTec, the company responsible for creating the hybrid dinosaur, has rebuilt the facilities, and players find themselves inspecting the safety of the new enclosures when the volcano starts to rumble once again. From there, things take a turn for the worst, and players must survive through the challenges that come their way.

Claw of Sauria comes with four new characters, three of whom are peaceful and one who is a mercenary and makes it possible for players to fight each other. These new characters can be combined with the base game characters to create a mix that players prefer. The biggest change to the game, however, is the option to play fully cooperative, rather than the semi-cooperative version in the base game. In the base game, players work on their private goal card, whereas in the expansion, they work towards a community goal, each with a specific setup. The game is won together when players score 18 points on the common objective card or kill the hybrid dinosaur. Both conditions are only valid when, at the end of round 16, at least half of the team has survived.

The gameplay is similar to that of the base game, where players work through events, perform actions, try to avoid or kill the dinosaurs roaming the island, and make sure that the escape routes are secured before time runs out. However, from round 9, the erupting volcano makes it even harder to move around and spooks the dinosaurs into attacking, even if they are normally peaceful herbivores.

The expansion adds extra suspense to the game with special hybrid-based event cards and specific hybrid dinosaur cubes. When making noise during an action or movement and a hybrid cube is drawn, the hybrid enters the playing area. The hybrid dinosaur is much stronger than the other dinosaurs, as it combines the power of two types of dinosaurs. When defeated, it retreats from the game board but returns when another hybrid cube is drawn, with extra traits that make it even harder to defeat. When it’s removed for the third time, it’s finally killed.

The semi-cooperative gameplay in the base game was already enjoyable, but the addition of the Community Goal in the expansion forces players to work together for the greater good, rather than for individual success. When working together and focusing on different goals, all teams should be able to survive, but different character combinations can add or decrease difficulty.

The publisher, Millian Games, provided us with a prototype copy of the expansion, and we can say that the gameplay is immersive, and the comparison with Jurassic Park is never far off. From the moment you open the box, you are transported to the world of Sauria, and you can’t help but feel the excitement and anticipation of exploring the dinosaur-filled island once again. The artwork and design are impressive and highly detailed, capturing the essence of the prehistoric creatures and their environment.

As we dove into the game, we were immediately impressed by the new cooperative mode. While the base game of Sauria was already intense, the addition of the Hybrid made completing the objectives much more challenging. Players need to work together to overcome the obstacles and defeat the Hybrid, creating a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

The Community Goal in Claw of Sauria is a significant change from the base game, and we appreciated the switch to a more cooperative gameplay style. Working towards a common goal created a sense of camaraderie among the players, and we found ourselves strategizing and working together more than in the base game. The added challenge of the Hybrid made the game even more exciting and kept us on the edge of our seats until the very end.

The expansion adds many new dinosaur species, items, encounters, and events that keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. The hybrid-based event cards and specific hybrid dino cubes added extra suspense and unpredictability to the game, as players never knew when the Hybrid would make its appearance. The fact that the Hybrid can retreat and return with extra traits made it even more challenging to defeat, adding an extra layer of strategy to the game.

One downside of the game may be the steep learning curve, which can be intimidating for new players. While the rulebook is detailed, it can be overwhelming for those unfamiliar with the game’s mechanics. Additionally, the game can be time-consuming, especially for players unfamiliar with the rules, which may discourage some players.

The game is recommended for 1-5 players, and the box states that the playing time can range from 45-150 minutes. In our experience, the game took around 90-120 minutes to play. The game’s length is dependent on the number of players and how quickly they complete the objectives, but we found the gameplay to be fast-paced and engaging throughout.

In conclusion, we think Claw of Sauria is an excellent expansion for Sauria: The Dinosaur Park Survival Game. It adds new and exciting elements to the base game while maintaining the same level of intensity and suspense that players love. The game’s high-quality design and immersive gameplay make it a must-have for fans of the base game or cooperative games alike. We highly recommend checking it out on Kickstarter and adding it to your board game collection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: