Once upon a time there was a dodo
by Jochen Peters
When I was asked whether I wanted to test the long-awaited children’s game DODO from KOSMOS, I didn’t hesitate and was very curious whether this hyped children’s game would keep what it promises with its rolling wobbly egg.
Since our 6 year old is just as enthusiastic about board games as the rest of us, I sat down with her and unpacked the game first. She had a lot of fun playing a game for herself as a child, assembling the Inselberg and the boat and attaching the eponymous dodo to its place on top of the mountain. The Inselberg looks imposing when it is set up.
After the mountain is standing, the boat is waiting downstairs, the egg is up in the nest and the building tiles are shuffled face down and ready to go, the dodo has heard a noise and leans so far over the edge of the rock that his valuable egg comes out of the Nest rolls and makes its way downhill over the first wobbly bridge.
Now it is up to the players to roll the dice, find the part they rolled under the tiles and place the required number of them on the bridges. Once the required number of components has been found, the new bridge must be quickly placed on the mountain on the edge of the rock so that the ball has a way to roll on again. If all six bridge parts have been successfully built, you have to put 4 (in the simple variant or 6 in the expert variant) components on the jetty whereupon we can drive the boat to the last bridge and receive the egg.
The 2-4 players have a great feeling when the egg lands safely in the boat and the islanders bring the dodo and its egg to a less dangerous nesting site.
The game works in all numbers of players, the key really being the agreement between the players. If everyone wants to roll the dice for themselves, you have to remember to pass the dice on to the next player as quickly as possible so that he can continue to roll the dice quickly.
Then there is the memory part of the game. The player rolls the dice and must find the component that the dice indicates. If he has found it, he can put it on the bridge; if it was a different component, he has to put it down again and it’s the next player’s turn. Here it is an advantage if you have teammates who can easily remember where the bamboo, hammer, board, nails or rope was now. Because agreement is everything here and so we gradually find the necessary components and try to get the egg a safe way down the mountain. Fortunately, there are a few island children who act as wild cards and make our search a little easier.
If you want to make the game a little more challenging after a few rounds, you simply mix less or none of the ten joker tiles under the building tiles on display. If you like it even more difficult, you can play with the skull storage areas, which you now have to fill on bridges and the jetty.
The premise of throwing the dice, collecting, building sounds like it was made for a family game, the temporal stress factor that the rolling wobbly egg brings with it is too stressful for some players, but since failures are also part of the gaming life, you can learn the failure together behind to let go while you start another round. The Inselberg is set up and dismantled quickly and the egg is always a big eye-catcher for every player.