Posted August 1, 2014 by Amy in Board Games

Dino Meal (Family Fiends) Review

Dino Meal Product and Game Right Angle
Dino Meal Product and Game Right Angle

“Get the eggs before the dino gets you!”

Goliath Games brings a roaringly fun time to your family game table with its dinosaur themed game Dino Meal. With spooky sounds effects, colorful game pieces, and a cringe inducing egg stealing dinosaur as your motivation, it’s a game kids will immediately gravitate to.

The Dino Meal box shows a tyrannosaurus rex in full roar, standing guard over a nest full of eggs. Although you might assume it is a mama dino protecting her babies, the truth of the matter is far more nefarious. This t-rex has stolen a number of eggs from other nests, with the full intention of enjoying them with fava beans and a nice Chianti, if you get my drift. It’s up to you, the two to four players, to sneakily rescue the helpless babies one at a time – without getting caught. It’s a great little backstory, and one my kid testers (ages 5, 8, 10, and 13) fell in love with instantly. The story comes along with the simple instructions that give you the story, the assembly instructions, and how to play – all in a single page.

As mentioned above, there is some assembly required, but it’s very minimal and can be quickly done by even the least tool savvy of people. The game pieces consist of a large gray rock. The front of this rock is hollowed out to hold the nest, with a large green leaf laying across the top of the nest. The leaf is hinged, allowing it to be lifted to retrieve the eggs. At the back of the rock piece, you’ll snap on legs of the dinosaur who will try to stop you from getting the eggs. After installing two AA batteries and turning the switch to on, you are ready to play.

To play the game, simply roll the included die and attempt to retrieve the color of egg that shows up. In addition to the four egg colors (blue, green, yellow, and red), there is a square showing all four colors (meaning you may retrieve any egg), and a skip (which of course means you skip that player). To retrieve the eggs, the player must carefully lift the leaf and use a set of tweezers to snag an egg without getting caught. The eggs are colorful and have cute little baby dinosaurs sticking out of them, which both makes them cuter and a bit easier to retrieve as the rounded side is difficult to grab with the tweezers. The tweezers themselves are shaped like a dinosaur mouth, and my five year old tester immediately informed us that this was the mama dinosaur, all set to rescue her babies.

All that sounds like a fun little game on its own, but it’s the ambience that makes Dino Meal a great family game. Once it’s switched on, the game makes eerie sounds – crickets, wildlife, and the rumble of dinosaur roars are a constant backdrop to the game, and they add a lot to the tension of stealing those eggs back. The biggest draw for the kids, though, was the big green dinosaur just waiting to “get them”. As I mentioned earlier, the dinosaur is standing watch over the eggs, literally. If the dinosaur “catches” you, it lunges forward with mouth open and a giant roar. It’s awesome, a very giggle inducing. It’s a bit like a prehistoric game of Hot Potato, and like that game, if you get caught you’re out of the game, with the player who is last to get caught emerging triumphant (there is also an included set of alternate rules, if you prefer to play for most eggs captured). It’s really a lot of fun, and since one game only lasted around 15 minutes or so, it’s easy to fit in one game on a busy afternoon (or a marathon of games when you have the time).

Dino Meal was a big hit with our kid testers in a range of ages, appealing to a variety of ages with its great sound affects and simple play. While the spooky sounds can be a little scary for young players (the five year old wouldn’t play at first), the game is fully playable with them turned off as well (a plus if you run out of batteries as well). The dinosaur standing guard appealed to all the ages universally, and even the adults enjoyed the unexpected dinosaur attacks. If you’re looking for a fun addition to your game night library, Dino Meal is a perfect fit.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)