OBJECT OF HAPPY LITTLE DINOSAURS: The object of Happy Little Dinosaurs is to be the first player to earn fifty points or be the last dinosaur standing.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 players
MATERIALS: 53 Point Cards, 16 Instant Cards, 28 Disaster Cards, 4 Dinosaur Playing Boards, 4 Dinosaur Meeples, and 1 Rule Book
TYPE OF GAME: Strategic Card Game
OVERVIEW OF HAPPY LITTLE DINOSAURS
Are you going to be able to keep your Dinosaur alive through everything this game will throw at them? Disasters of all forms are sure to come your way, but if you are strategic, you may be able to use them to your advantage to win! Be the last Dinosaur standing or the first payer to reach fifty points to win the game!
Each player should begin by choosing a Dinosaur player board and a Dinosaur meeple to represent them throughout the game. Each player will place their board directly in front of them on the table.
Next, separate the cards by the color of their backs, light backs and dark backs. Shuffle the light backed cards first and give each player five cards. The remaining cards will form the Main deck and may be placed in the middle of the table. The dark backed cards will form the Disaster deck. Shuffle them and place them on the left side of the Main deck.
The game is ready to begin!
To begin the first round, flip the top card from the Disaster deck and read it out loud. Each player must then choose a point card from their hand and keep it facing down. If there are no point cards available in their hand, they may discard their hand and draw five new cards. After everyone has chosen a point card, all players will reveal their chosen card.
After everyone has revealed their cards, scoring begins. The player who has the highest score earns points equal to that score and will move their Dinosaur meeple along the escape route on their player board. The player who has the lowest points will add the revealed Disaster card to their Disaster area on their board. A players score equals what the point value of the Point card facing up is. This score may change depending on bonuses from other cards.
At the conclusion of each round, players will move their Dinosaur meeple forward on their escape route a number of spaces equal to the number of Disasters they have in their Disaster Area. Players will then draw cards from the Main deck until they have five cards in their hand again. All face up Point cards and Instant cards are moved to the discard pile before the start of the next round.
If you collect three Disaster cards that are of the same type, or three that are all different, you are immediately eliminated from the game and must discard your hand. Meteor cards are the exception, as they can act like any type of card. If you collect a Meteor card along with two other Disaster cards, you are eliminated.
Disaster cards do allow you to move your Dinosaur meeple one space on your escape route, which can be helpful in some scenarios. If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.
When facing disaster cards, refer to your Dinosaur’s traits, which are found at the bottom of the Player board. Depending on the Disaster, you may earn or lose additional points due to your Dinosaur’s traits.
Each Point card has a point value associated with it, which can be found on the corners of the card. Some cards have card effects, which allow players to discard cards, draw cards, swap Point cards with other players, or alter the round’s scoring rules. Point cards’ effects must be used after revealing the card but before scoring begins.
If numerous players play Point cards that have effects, the player with the lowest card value may use their effect first. Some cards state when their effect can be used. These rules must be followed when using the effects.
Instant cards may instantly tip the odds into your favor. All Instant cards state when they may be played throughout the game. These cards have large effects, but the timing must be obeyed.
END OF GAME
There are two ways in which the game may come to an end. If a player reaches fifty points on their escape route, then they instantly win the game. If all other Dinosaurs perish, then the last one left in the game wins!