At Everything Dinosaur, we are always amazed by the variety of prehistoric animal themed products that are available to fans of prehistoric life. Take for example, a new board game in development that has been inspired by palaeontology. We were contacted by Brett, one of the developers of “Holotype”, a fast-paced, worker placement game designed for 2-5 participants. Players get the chance to role play the life and work of a vertebrate palaeontologist.

Holotype board game.
“Holotype” an American designed board game for 2-5 players. Picture credit: Brexwerx Games.

A Kickstarter Project

This innovative, light-strategy board game has its own kickstarter funding page and the project has already received hundreds of backers.

Brett very kindly provided more details to Everything Dinosaur, commenting that the object of the game was to further the field of palaeontology by collecting specimens, undertaking research and getting findings published in scientific journals. “Holotype” focuses on the major fossil formations and prehistoric animals associated with North America, but other regional variations of this game, such as a version exploring the prehistoric animals of Europe, have been proposed.

The board game Holotype contents
The contents of the North American board game “Holotype”. Picture credit: Brexwerx Games.

Throughout the gameplay, players deploy their palaeontologist, graduate student and field assistant workers to perform various actions. Players can search for fossils by rolling fossil dice on field expeditions, conduct research at the university library and access museum collections to exchange fossils and to further their ambitions.

By making discoveries and expanding scientific knowledge, players ultimately aim to have their research on holotypes published in prestigious scientific journals. Victory points are awarded as the player’s career in palaeontology advances.

As the game progresses, special milestones are unlocked to make each player’s gameplay unique. Semi-collaborative global objectives and private personal objectives ensure that every game will be different.

With a playing time estimated at around 1-2 hours, the winner is the person who has gained the most points through their research which resulted in published holotypes and the achievement of personal and global objectives.

The media release sent to Everything Dinosaur states:

“The goal of the developers was to create a game that would appeal to avid board gamers and palaeontology fans alike. The game features 60 unique dinosaurs and marine reptiles from the Mesozoic Era across North America, fossil-bearing geologic formations, and objectives referencing modern palaeontology concepts such as cladistics and taxonomy.”

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