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Dog Park Board Game Review

Let's be honest, does this review matter? If you saw the cover of this game, the title, THE COVER, and the title, then you know you NEED to play it. When I was in Australia over the summer I saw this game in a local board game store there (so many cool board game stores in Sydney) and all thoughts of my 3000 dollar vacation flew out of my head. I thought "I need this game." But Australia is pretty tough on animals coming through customs so I didn't want to take any chances. I bought it a few months later back in the good(?) old USA, and dove in. And let me tell you, this game's bite is just as good as it's bark.



The first thing I noticed about the game was the beauty of it. Then the dogs. But mostly the beauty. The art is gorgeous, the board is perfect, the pieces are adorable, this game was made with love and you can tell. Just look at the token holder!


The token holder (which is obviously incredible, look at it) holds the collars you put on your dog to show you walked them, and it holds the resources of the game, ball, treat, stick, and toy (pictured from left to right). Essentially you need to "recruit" (or "lure" if you are feeling creepy) a dog to your kennel each turn. Once that is done, you need to pay resources to convince dogs from your kennel to go on a walk with you.


As you can see in the photo above, the bottom row of dogs is the dogs you can recruit at the start of each turn. At the end of the game, whoever has most of a certain breed gets the points on the vertical row of dogs on the right side of the board. So if you end the dog with the most terriers, you get eight points, if you have the most hounds its two, so on and so on. It's a good way to keep variety, as the breed expert points change each game. The middle of the board is dedicated to the "Dog Park" of "Dog Park". You start on the left, then you can choose to walk 1, 2, 3, or 4 spaces on your turn. If you land on a spot with a resource you get that resource, and some of the spaces jsut give you victory points instead. The first person to leave the park gets three victory points, so it incentivizes players to leave the park first, which adds a LOT of strategy to the dog walking portion of the game. The game also has a lot of replay value, as there are forecast cards which change the rules for each round, and location cards that improve a few of the spaces on the dog park each round. I've played this game four or five times now and each game has felt different. It's also easy to pick up, I've played with casual board game players, high schoolers who have literally only played UNO, and hard core board game players and each group really enjoys it.




And then there is the kennel! You start the game with a random objective that gives you bonus points at the end of the game, was was three victory points if I have a collar on six different dogs at the end of the game, which I very much did not. But as you can see on the dog card it tells you what resource is required to walk them, and each dog has an unique ability, like the Deerhound, which gives me a free stick whenever I put it on the lead to walk it. I mean come on. If you are a dog lover get this game. If you are a board game lover get this game. It is usually 50-60 on Amazon , and it's high replay value alone makes this game a must have!


Summary

A great designed box (by GameTrayz), beautiful art, and a quick and easy gameplay sequence makes this one of the best quick competitive games in recent years. It is easy to teach, addicting to play, and a new experience each time! Dog Park's bite is indeed as good as it's bark.


Score

11/10

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