A game for 1 – 4 players
Playing time is around 40 – 80 minutes
Publisher is Birdwood Games
As the local dog walking service, you know there are plenty of pups eager to stretch their legs. Put on your shoes and take treats and toys because we’re going to walk your favorite dogs at Dog Park.
Setting up the game
Place the board in the middle of the table, shuffle the Forest cards and place 1 card face up in each of the Forecast spaces. Return the other cards back to the box.
Shuffle the Breed expert cards and place them from the top op the bord open in 1 of the Expert award spaces. Shuffle the Dog Cards, place half of the deck to the side and return the other cards back to the box. Place on the fields the number of Dog cards per player count;
for a Solo, 2 and 3 player game you will place 3 dogs, for a 4 player game there will be 4 cards on the table.
Reveal the location bonus card, place the tokens indicated by the card on the Park board. Place the round tracker on the round track.
Every player chooses a color and receives a lead board, offer dial, walker, reputation marker. Also the players receives 2 sticks, 2 balls, 1 treat and 1 toy token. The players also receive a standard and experienced objective card and choose to keep 1.
As soon as everything is ready, we can start playing.
Dog Park, a mid-weight, set-collection and point-to-point movement game. In this game players will take on the role of dog walkers and recruit, walk, and care for their dogs over four rounds. During each round, the players will walk with 3 of their dogs through the Dog Park and collect resources and earn reputation.
Each round is split into four phases:
Recruitment Phase: Players compete in two rounds of offers to add dogs to their kennels. Offers are made with players’ reputation (victory points), so must be placed wisely. You use the Offer dials, ranging from 1-5 to bid on the different dogs.
Selection Phase: Players decide which dogs to place on their lead to walk this round. When you want to walk with a dog to the park, you have to pay the costs to walk with this dog. You can choose up to 3 dogs per round. When the dog has been placed on the Lead, you also place a walked token on this dog.
Walking Phase: Players journey through the dog park with their fellow walkers, collecting resources, earning reputation, and interacting with other walkers. You can walk from 1 to 4 spaces, when you reach a space then you receive the location reward and possible Location Bonus. When another player is also on the same space, you have to pay 1 Reputation point. When leaving the Park, players immediately claim
a Leaving Bonus. When there is only 1 player left in the Park, this phase ends and that player is removed
from the Park and lose 1 Reputation.
Home Time Phase: Players earn reputation for their walked dogs, and lose reputation for any unwalked dogs in their kennel.
In 2-player games, the Auto Walker places Offers alongside other players. The Auto Walker will always Offer on the Dog that’s breed category is the highest valued in the Breed Expert awards. If there are multiple types of this Dog, they always Offer on the Dog furthest to the left.
After all other players have Offered, the Auto Walker is always placed in their desired Offer queue. Offers are resolved as usual, if the Auto Walker is contested, a player rolls the Auto Walker’s die. The result is the Auto Walker’s Offer, compare this result to the Offers of any opposing players and resolve as usual.
Ensure the Auto Walker’s Dog is placed into their Kennel, as they will be taken into account in the Breed Expert awards.
The game ends
The game ends at the end of round 4.
Before scoring, players can assign resources to Dogs with resource-based final scoring abilities by placing resources from their supply onto relevant Dog cards. Once these resources have been assigned, they can’t be counted again in any other scoring condition. When every player is ready, add together the following for each player:
- Park board Reputation
- Reputation from Dogs with final scoring abilities
- Reputation from won Breed Expert awards
- Reputation from completed Objective card
- 1 Reputation for every 5 remaining resources
The player with the most Reputation wins.
Conclusion & final score
Difficulty: 1.50/ 5
My score: 8 out of 10 dice
Dog Park looks great, when you open the box the first thing you see is all the great looking game components this all put in a super cool insert. The resources are in 2 trays shaped like a dog bone. The game contains a lot of play material making it very replayable. The meeples you use both while walking through the park and the hands you place on the scoreboard look so fun!
Dog Park is a very fun family friendly board game, the game rules are very clear and not very difficult either. If you want to make the game a little more challenging or just make the game easier you can adjust the rules in this as well. The bidding on the dogs is a nice twist in this game, it makes it fun to start right away. Walking through the park is also fun, just make sure you know which resources you want/need to collect so that you can bring enough dogs to the park the next round. Some dogs give you extra resources as soon as you walk them through the park, so be careful when you take them with you. The Breed Expert awards are important, make sure you have a number of dogs that are high on this list, during each game this will be different as these cards are shuffled and then placed on the game board.
When choosing and bidding on the dogs, you want to make the best possible combination, sometimes this will be easier than other times. You also want to go for the target cards but at the same time make sure you can walk all the dogs.
The only downside is the variety of cards, in this we would have liked to see a bit more different abilities than those currently in place. I do understand that the basic game is not finished yet, because this makes it very accessible for a large audience, which makes it really a family game.
The artwork is beautiful, the dogs are very funny and nicely illustrated on the cards as well as the images on the game board. So, this game is really recommended for dog lovers!
Solo is this game also fun to play, you then play with 2 automa players, with 2 players you also play with 1 automa player from 3 this one no longer participates.
Mark finds this a very nice family game and likes to play both the real game on the table as well as on BGA, Wouter finds the game a little less fun and does not like to play it, which is mainly due to the theme.
An expansion for this game is coming soon, so keep an eye on Birdwood Games!
My thanks to Birdwood Games for this review copy and the opportunity to write about this game.