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Happy Little Dinosaurs | Rules & Gameplay

The Happy Little Dinosaurs is a fun board game where each player takes on the trials and tribulations of Jurassic life. The game is fun for children and adults alike and more strategic than you think. 

What is the Happy Little Dinosaurs Game? 

The Happy Little Dinosaur is quite a new game but is already racking up fans from all around the world. In this game, your aim is simple: you have to get your dinosaur across the board. You do this by collecting points, and the first dinosaur to achieve this will win! 

Yet, this game isn’t quite so simple! Because you will have to deal with disaster cards – scoring is much more difficult. If you are unlucky, you are out of the game altogether. 

The Happy Dinosaur can be played between 2 – 4 people. An expansion pack is an option if you want to add more people. During each round – players will collect and play various cards as they progress to the all-important 50 points. 

The Happy Little Dinosaur might look like an innocent party game. It is perfect for small children with its cute designs and colors. But its design is a little deceptive because the game involves a lot of strategies and planning. 

Older children aged ten and up will likely understand the rules making it a good family board game. But, before we look at the rules, let’s look at what you’ll need to play. 

What You’ll Need To Play?

You’ll need The Happy Little Dinosaur base set to play this fun game. You get quite a bit of equipment with the base set, and each dinosaur will have its mini-game board. Besides, each player will have their own miniature dinosaur character piece. These are two sets of cards called a meeple.  

Happy Little Dinosaurs Base Game

We’ll outline how all these pieces work in the rules section below. If you want to play with 5 or 6 players, you’ll need to buy the expansion pack separately. Currently, there is an extra game expansion available too. But in this guide, we’ll be focusing on the base rules you need to know. 

Rules and Gameplay 

Rules and Gameplay

The Aim of The Game 

The Happy Dinosaur aims to get to the end of your board first. This means you need to be the first player to earn 50 points. However, you can also win the game if you are the last dinosaur standing. So, if things aren’t going well points-wise, you can try to outlive your opponents. 

The Set-Up 

Each player should choose a Dinosaur to play to start the game. Then, take the corresponding game board and mini dinosaur meeples. Your game board will feature a 50 square grid. This is your escape route; there will also be a space for your disaster cards. 

Next, split the light and dark backed cards into two piles and place them in the center. Make sure you leave enough space for separate discard piles as well. 

The light-backed cards are point cards; each player should receive five of these cards at the start of the game. Once this is all done, you’re ready to play the Happy Little Dinosaur. So, let’s take a look at the rules. 

Playing The Game 

To start a round in the Happy Little Dinosaur, a player should flip over the top card from the disaster deck. First, they should read out the card, and then every player should choose a point card from their hand to combat it. 

If players don’t have any usable point cards, they must discard any remaining cards and draw five new ones. Points cards should be played face down and all revealed simultaneously. The player who played the highest-scoring card will win the round and collect equal points. 

They can then move their dinosaur meeple across the grid on their game board. The player with the lowest score will need to add a disaster card to the disaster area on their board. Figuring out your point score is relatively easy. 

The card will give you a number; however, you may be able to increase this! Every dinosaur will have its special traits that can increase your score. Certain point cards also work better with particular dinosaurs. 

You can see how your dinosaur traits help you by looking on your game board. Yet, some traits may have negative effects too, which can also reduce your score! So, make sure you remember to factor these into things when you play a card. 

The points deck should be reshuffled after the winner and loser have been decided. Then, each player should draw a new card/s till they all have five cards in hand. This gameplay loop continues until a dinosaur earns 50 or more points and escapes. 

The Disaster Cards 

Well, we all know what happened to the dinosaurs, don’t we? Every time you lose a round, you’ll collect a disaster card. These come in three colors: red, blue, and green. If you collect three cards of the same color, you are eliminated from the game. 

There are also special meteorite disaster cards that act as every color. Think of them as the evil version of wild cards in Uno. So, if you have two blue disaster cards and then get a meteorite, you are out of the game. 

Luckily, disaster cards do have a small benefit to them. For every disaster card, you can move your meeple up one square on the game board. So, you have a slim chance of using this to your advantage to cross the finish line! 

The Happy Little Dinosaur – Jurassic Fun 

The Happy Little Dinosaur is a quirky, hilarious adventure game.  Perfect for game nights. At the same time, luck plays a big part in all great card games.  Of Course, there is a surprising amount of strategy involved in playing. So if you’re looking for a modern game to play, you’ll be sure to enjoy the Happy Little Dinosaur.

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