This podcast is settling into a nice groove.
I haven’t played Dinosaur Island, but I do have Dinogenics. From what I can glean, the two games have some significant differences, despite having the same core mechanic (worker placement) and theme (build a dinosaur park).
Dinogenics is a very sandbox-y experience, similar to Caverna, and its dinosaurs have unique abilities that provide some nice flavor: brontos don’t need to be contained in a pen, t-rexes are twice as destructive when they rampage, etc. Rampages can cause lasting damage to your park, although they aren’t modeled in detail; the outcome is determined by a d6. (A lucky roll means that security contained the dino before it could cause real damage, and visitors think it was all part of the show.)
There’s also some direct player interaction in Dinogenics. The last time I played, I had a card that let me sneak into my wife’s park, steal DNA from her brontosaurus, and then create a clone in my own park. Which is a thematic way of saying that I duplicated someone else’s dinosaur. Another card caused visitors to flee from my competitors’ parks into my waiting hotel rooms.
While I’ve really been enjoying Dinogenics, I’d very much like to try Dinosaur Island. It seems like it might be a bit crunchier mechanically, and I absolutely love that bold graphic design.