Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Legacy Games Go Prehistoric: Hands On With ‘Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar’

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Last week, we gave you a sneak peek at Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar, the massive new release from Funko Games first teased at GenCon. It represents Funko Games and Prospero Hall’s first foray into legacy gaming as well as the first legacy game to adapt a major IP. When it was announced they’d be previewing it at PAX Unplugged, we immediately made an appointment to get our claws on as much of the new game as we could.

Funko Games shows off Jurassic World: Legacy of Isla Nublar at PAXU
As we’ve come to expect from Funko Games, they truly spared no expense.

Talking with some of the design team about the game revealed some interesting ideas going into the game. They didn’t want to just slap the IP on a boring legacy game mechanic and call it good. Instead, they worked for over two years at getting it right, working with both Amblin Entertainment and Universal to get the look and feel of the game correct. That’s important, since they’re not just adapting the movies that make up the Jurassic World franchise, but adding to them with new characters and events outside what we know.

Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar character cards
Classic characters from all five films are joined by new ones with special powers and ways to grow across all 12 chapters.

The game has a fantastic retro pulp aesthetic, with the game rules and art all looking exactly like the adventure stories that directly influenced the creation of Jurassic Park. Each adventure book is even titled and layed out as if it were a real adventure comic from the era.

For those of you who have played a legacy game before, you’ll be familiar with the ripping, tearing, scratching, and sticking that comes with the territory. As you go through the twelve adventures, players will change the titular island in unique ways so that by the end, every group’s Isla Nublar will be different. Every scenario has a win condition, but if you lose you still must move on to the next story with the effects of your failure lingering on. Only the first chapter (the tutorial) can be replayed to help newbies join in.

The raptor claw is a great way to scratch off the reveals in-game

The main gameplay is very much in line with what we’ve come to expect from the Prosper Hall collective. You move around the island, using your selected character’s powers to achieve the tasks necessary to building the island. Since the state of the game will change from game to game, even if you play the same character multiple times you won’t have the same experience. There’s also “mini-games” in the form of island buildings that you visit on the overworld, each of which have their own puzzles and actions to complete.

Naturally, a big part of the game will be controlling or surviving the dangerous dinos of the island, including carnivores, herbivores, and the mutant creations of Doctor Wu (we didn’t get to see those at the convention but if you’ve seen the movies you can guess. These dinos move around the island and can even follow you into the park buildings, ramping up the danger and chaos as time goes on.

Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar goes up for pre-order on Kickstarter on March 22, 2022. Even so, board game enthusiasts can already follow the Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isle Nublar Kickstarter campaign to be notified as soon news of the game emerges.

Images via Funko Games

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  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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