Designer: Dad: Bryan Gaffin, Kids: Zavier and Lilia Gaffin
Players: 2 players, varied rules for 3 or more
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Time to Learn: 1-3 minutes
Dinomals Board Game Review
DINOMALS is a quick kid friendly card game that focuses on building good sportsmanship, manners, friendship and self-respect. This game was created by kids and for kids, with a little parental guidance of course.
Players are dealt five cards each to start the game. On a turn, players draw one card from the deck. Next they can play any number of action cards they like. Each player is trying to collect a complete DINOMAL and laying it down in front of them. A DINOMAL is complete when you have collected the matching animal and dinosaur, a SMUSH card (obviously to SMUSH them together) and a DINOMAL card of the two animals combine. Players try to collect one of five DINOMALS. Wondering what a DINOMAL is? Well, it’s a dinosaur paired with an animal. Tiger + Stegosaurs = STIGERSAURS or Hare + Triceratops = TRIHARETOPS. There are five DINOMALS to claim through the game and can very be repeated. There are a large variety of action cards to spice up the game play with each round. There are few different options of play, be the first to collect any DINOMAL or play until all five DINOMALS have been played.
DINOMALS is for every kid-adult combo that loves combining cute, cuddly animals and rough and tough dinosaurs! It is kid friendly, fun and light. My daughter can’t get enough of the silly combinations and is begging to play more. Her one critique is that is there aren’t enough DINOMALS to create! The game is easy to set up, easily portable, and easy to learn. The theme is a great fit of kids of all ages and interests.
Kid to Kid Interview
We allowed kid players to interview the kid creators to find out the ins and outs of creating a great board game!
Why did you make DINOMALS?
Lilia: I like drawing and writing. I’ve written a few books already at school. My characters are “The Heart Girl” and “Vampir Quen” (< that’s how it’s intentionally spelled). When our Daddy showed us the idea for Dinomals we loved it because they are so cute and cuddly and we couldn’t wait to make them.
Zavier: I love animals and want to be a zoologist. I love reading about them and researching, and so its been fun coming up with ideas. We have a lot more ideas for new Dinomals.
Was it hard to figure out the rules?
Zavier: We like games, so we just tried to figure out what we liked most and put it into our game. Our Dad did most of the work putting the ideas down into the game. And then we just kept adding to it until we got a game we liked.
Lilia: We played it a lot and we just kept working to make it better.
What made you decide to make a game?
Lilia: We love games! We play lots of games all of the time. We like chess, and Monopoly, and Battleship, and Pokemon, and Exploding Kittens.
Zavier: I made a game 2 years ago for school that was a game about the American Revolution. I liked doing that and so we wanted to do that again.
Would you like to make another game?
Zavier: Yes, but maybe one with battles like Pokemon.
What are you going to buy with all the money you make?
Lilia: I want to give some to charity to kids who need it. And I want to make Dinomals PLUSHIES. I LOVE PLUSHIES.
Zavier: And action figures. Just more Dinomals stuff.
What's your favorite dinosaur/animal?
Lilia: Red Pandas. We have them in the Central Park Zoo, and I got a stuffed animal named Iris that I sleep with every night.
Zavier: I like them all really. I really like dogs and wolves though, but we don’t have any Dinomals like that though.
Kid-Rated Gateway Game Score: 7/10
Kid-Rated Overall Rating: 9/10
- Make adorable and ridiculous DINOMALS
- Easy to learn
- Plays quickly to keep short attentions focused
- Too many SKIP cards
- Needs more SMASH cards (allows you to discard your hand)
Board Game Review by STIGERSAURUS Annamous & Triharetops Mini Gamer