Jurassic Dream is a fan-made CryEngine project that imagines a Jurassic Park where the catastrophic events of the novel/movie never happened, and everything is just fine. It’s beautiful, with the only catch being that there are no dinosaurs.
Being a fan project handled almost entirely by one person (LifelessTapir, who started it when he was only 14), that’s understandable, so just imagine that instead of escaping and wrecking the place and eating everyone, the dinosaurs all escaped and just…got the hell out of there.
Plus it’s still really cool to just take the time to explore the park. The hotel is there to rummage through, the lab, you can drive around in a jeep, shoot up fountains…
Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9’s column all about tabletop and roleplaying games. Gen Con 2019 brought us a bunch of exciting announcements for new and upcoming releases. We couldn’t possibly get through all of them, but here are some highlights!
News and Releases
Marvel Champions: The Card Game
Fantasy Flight Games is entering the Marvel Universe with Marvel Champions: The Card Game, a cooperative card game where players work together as Marvel heroes to stop some of the franchise’s most dangerous villains. The Core Set has over 350 cards and starts with five heroes: Captain Marvel, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, and Black Panther. And since it’s a Fantasy Flight game, many, many more cards are on the horizon. In fact, the company says there will be new expansions every month. The core set is available for preorder at about $60, and comes out later this fall.
The Adventure Zone
The McElroys’ Dungeons & Dragons podcast-turned-graphic novel and nerdy phenomenon is now heading to the tabletop. Twogether Studios has announced it’s working with the McElroys on a tabletop game based on The Adventure Zone, a podcast that features the three brothers and their dad venturing through different D&D games, and has also inspired some fan-favorite characters and cosplay. No information or expected release date have been announced yet.
Star Trek Chrono-Trek
Star Trek and time travel—they’re kind of a package deal. So, it only makes sense that Looney Labs has taken on Star Trek in its latest version of Chrononauts, called Star Trek Chrono-Trek. In this card game, players are trapped in an alternate reality and have to work to ensure certain events happen in the timeline…or maybe you have to prevent them! Either way, Tribbles are bound to show up. Star Trek Chrono-Trek is currently available for $25.
Green Ronin Publishing has signed a licensing agreement with N.K. Jemisin to build a roleplaying game set in the world of the Broken Earth trilogy. The roleplaying game series will start in fall 2020 with The Fifth Season RPG—makes sense, since not only is it the first book in the trilogy, but it’s also the one TNT announced back in 2017 was being adapted into a TV show. In a statement, the three-time Hugo winner said she’ll be working with Green Ronin to “make sure the spirit and feel of the books is rendered successfully.”
Unmatched: Jurassic Park
Mondo Games and Restoration Games have announced that Jurassic Park is being added to the Unmatched head-to-head series of battle board games. The game’s first deck will feature “InGen vs. Raptors,” due later this year, with plans for a “Dr. Ellie Sattler vs. T-Rex” face-off and a solo expansion for Dr. Alan Grant coming out next year. According to Dice Tower News, Unmatched: Jurassic Park is replacing Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene, which is no longer in development.
Cyberpunk 2077—Afterlife: The Card Game
Cyberpunk 2077 has been a video game several years in the making, and that’s an understatement. Now, it’s getting not just one, but at least two versions. CMON and CD Projekt Red have revealed Cyberpunk 2077—Afterlife, a card game based on the upcoming cyberpunk video game. In the card game, players take on the role of Fixers working in Night City to recruit cyberpunks and send them out on missions. Afterlife is set to come out sometime in 2020, presumably around the video game’s release date of April 16, 2020.
The little figurines based on nerddom’s biggest characters are now getting a board game world of their own. Funko has announced Funkoverse, a series of board games based on its versions of characters from DC Comics, Harry Potter, Rick & Morty, and The Golden Girls (what?). The competitive, light-strategy games are designed to be family-friendly, and expansions are already available for some of them. The basic games run around $40, with expansions costing around $25, and are currently available on <a rel="nofollow" data-amazonasin data-amazonsubtag="[t|link[p|1836672341[au|5876237249235885598[b|gizmodo[lt|text" onclick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Commerce', 'gizmodo – Playing Cool Games with Funko, The Adventure Zone, and More in Tabletop News’, ”);window.ga(‘unique.send’, ‘event’, ‘Commerce’, ‘gizmodo – Playing Cool Games with Funko, The Adventure Zone, and More in Tabletop News’, ”);” data-amazontag=”gizmodoamzn-20″ href=”https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/58E59F84-64FA-4387-9006-A88070BDE441?ingress=2&visitId=bf8a1571-7b74-4d4c-895c-0c0b2255b259&ref_=bl_dp_s_web_2592291011&tag=gizmodoamzn-20&ascsubtag=5406e92173b8030e382a4664cd321e2f8fba27a0″>Amazon.
Bloodsoaked Fjord Domain Pack and more (Sorcerer)
White Wizard Games’ Sorcerer, a dueling mages game, is getting three new expansions that range from $5 to $10. As reported by The Gaming Gang, there’s the Character Pack featuring Virgiliu, a pyromancer; the Sylvanei Lineage Pack that focuses on druids; and the Bloodsoaked Fjord Domain Pack, centering around the trolls of the north. The expansions come out August 13.
Fiasco, a light GM-less roleplaying game that plays like a series of fun catastrophe films, is getting a version that’s more accessible to those who aren’t experienced with roleplaying games. The new card-based edition replaces the dice and index cards with playing cards, enabling players to create characters and change scenarios much easier. There are plans to roll out “old favorites and new surprises” in the future, ensuring a lot of variety and repeated gameplay. They’re also looking into developing tools for players to develop their own cards and future scenarios.
Fiasco is on Kickstarter through September 4. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $10 and a box set is $30, and the physical version is set to ship by December.
What if evil corporations were, like, actually evil? That’s the plot of Techlandia, a new 1-4 player tabletop game where players are undercover reporters attending a press conference at Techlandia Corporation, the world’s biggest smartphone company. You’re not there to learn about phones, you’re trying to uncover a secret cult that’s hell-bent on global domination. I’ve had a chance to play it myself, and it’s a fun mix of quirky social commentary and Lovecraftian horror. Techlandia will be on Kickstarter through September 5. The minimum pledge for a copy is $39, and it’s set to ship in April 2020.
HEXplore It: The Sands of Shurax
The Sands of Shurax is the third game in the HEXplore It series. The cooperative game centers around heroes working together to battle the Ravager of Shurax, which is causing havoc throughout the land. Players battle, trade, explore, excavate, and do all kinds of cool shit. The Sands of Shurax is on Kickstarter through September 1. The minimum pledge for a copy is $64, and it’s set to come out August 2020.
Paws & Claws
Paws & Claws is a tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the animal worlds of Watership Down, The Builders, and the Redwall series. Taking place in the fictional realm of Wudlind, Paws & Claws has players take on roles within a thriving animal kingdom as you all work together to keep the balance…or perhaps you choose to seize power for yourself. The game will be on Kickstarter through September 1. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $20, and it’s set to come out September 2020. There’s also a free Quickstart Guide on DriveThruRPG for those who want to try it out before funding the campaign.
For a hot second, I thought this was a roleplaying game set in the universe of Disney Pixar’s Cars franchise, and I was both terrified and excited. Instead, The Carniverse is a campaign skirmish system for two players that takes place in a Jurassic World 3-style realm where dinosaurs rule the Earth. Governments have fallen and humanity struggles to survive the new Age of Dinosaurs. There are no branded models for the game—instead, it’s designed to be played with your own 28mm miniatures. If you don’t have any, you can probably use whatever toys you have lying around the house. LEGO Dr. Malcolm, anyone?
The Carniverse will be on Kickstarter through August 29. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $12, which will be released in October. A physical copy requires a $23 pledge, and comes out January 2020.
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God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs… and then this LEGO set. Welcome to Jurassic Park. It has been 26 years since the iconic film was released in theaters and now there is finally a LEGO set worthy of it.
LEGO released a massive 3,000+ piece set themed all around the original Jurassic Park. Hold onto your butts and get yourself a LEGO Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage. Fans of the series will enjoy how nostalgia-packed the set is. It includes the adults from the film (sorry, Tim and Lex). And of all the versions of Jeff Goldblum they could have gone with from the Jurassic Park franchise, they obviously chose open-shirt Ian Malcolm. In Jurassic Park, we don’t need any women shedding their clothing, we need Jeff Goldblum shirtless. Along with the sexy Ian Malcolm, the set also includes minifigures for Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Ray Arnold, Dennis Nedry, and John Hammond, with his mosquito-in-amber walking stick.
Enjoy an advanced building experience and relive classic movie moments with LEGO® Jurassic World 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage. This collectible construction toy includes 3,120 building bricks and features the original Jurassic Park’s iconic gate and a large, fully posable, brick-built T. rex dinosaur toy which is ideal for display. The trigger-activated gate is framed by a wall incorporating 7 detailed, brick-built scenes inspired by the movie, such as John Hammond’s dining room, Ray Arnold’s control room and a bunker for Ian Malcolm. A must-have for Jurassic World fans, this toy construction set includes 6 minifigures and baby dinosaur figure, plus a minifigure display stand with T. rex facts plate.
Toys and CollectiblesAction figures, statues, exclusives, and other merchandise. Beware: if you look here, you’re probably going to spend some money afterwards.
Lego’s partnering with Universal for a new 13-episode animated mini-series called Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar that takes place before both of the Jurassic World movies. It’s a thinly-veiled attempt to sell more toys, but I’m totally fine with that since one of the sets features Jurassic Park’s much-loved T-rex battling a robotic doppelgänger. Did Lego somehow find a trove of my childhood drawings?
The toymaker sold me at Dino-Mech, which is how the robotic T-rex is described in this 716-piece set that will be available in the fall for $90. But I’m even more in love with the idea of this mechanical thunder lizard given it features the same color palette and designs as the tour vehicles in the original Jurassic Park: a film I will never tire of.
The set also includes a volcano in mid-eruption that opens to reveal a treasure chest inside, four new minifigures including Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing, a boat, and baby versions of Grady’s trained velociraptors—including Blue.
Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar will also spawn three additional sets including the $60, 447-piece Lego Triceratops Rampage, the $60, 434-piece Baryonyx Face-Off: The Treasure Hunt, and the $20, 168-piece Dilophosaurus on the Loose. They’ll also be available come the Fall, presumably closer to when the new animated series will air. They’ll each add more dinosaurs to your Lego collection, but only one comes with that magnificent mechanical park menace.
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This week, Jurassic World Evolution fans are dedicated to one simple mission: Flooding their virtual parks with stegosauruses. This isn’t because these fans randomly decided the world needed more big herbivores. There is a purpose to their sudden dinosaur obsession. Evolution developer Frontier Development are celebrating their 25th anniversary and are tasking fans with creating and releasing a community total of 25,000 stegosauruses into their parks. Fans have only until January 31st to complete the challenge.
The entire event seems to have successfully brought together the Jurassic World Evolution community. The entire subreddit is filled with stegosaurus related images, videos and posts.
So what do fans get for all this stego breeding business? A new cosmetic gene for stegos that adds some purple to the big herbivores. Previously, only a few dinosaurs in the game had access to these cool purple genes.
With some fans pumping out a few hundred stegos every day and players coordinating their efforts to create more, it seems like this challenge will be finished soon. Which is good. Who doesn’t want a purple stegosaurus?
Jurassic Park Trespasser isn’t a very good game, but it is a perfect game for a let’s play. Shadefyre’s excellent 10 part series is one of the best let’s play of Trespasser and one of my favorite let’s play on all of YouTube. Shadefyre has a very relaxing and calming voice. All of his Trespasser videos are filled with quiet moments where he lets game take the stage. But the best part of this series is all the information sprinkled throughout the video.
Episode one of Shadefyre’s Trespasser let’s play
A great example can be found in episode 1. After killing a dangerous dino, Shadefyre plays with the body and a nearby tree to show off the game’s advanced sound randomizer technology. It’s just one of many bits of advanced tech that exists in Trespasser. And Shadefyre does a great job in each episode of detailing how these parts of Trespasser work, why they were added and why they so often break.
He recently did a bonus episode about the Trespasser demo and how it differs from the main game.
This is the perfect lets play to watch on a lazy Sunday. Grab something to drink or eat, sit back and let Shadefyre walk your through a strange game. A game that assigns jumping to the Q button on a keyboard.