Adventure is waiting... at home? Stevie and John look for baddies laying in wait in the basement, the attic, or even the outdoors! It's time for these hosts to join the Nomnisaurs to dawn their armor and their imaginations and go on an adventure in Dungeons and Dinos, a Dungeon Crawler Card Game.


Episode cover art for episode 24. Image with three packs of cards labeled Dungeons and Dinos

See for listening options.


Important Timestamps

02:09 - First Impressions
02:34 - Getting Started
03:55 - Play Mechanics
07:53 - Enjoyment of the Game
11:19 - Favorite Cards
16:29 - Length of Play
16:54 - Special Notes
19:16 - Final Thoughts


jaunty tavern theme music plays, then fades

John Welcome to 20 Minute Tabletop, a podcast sharing the love of all things tabletop gaming in bite-sized pieces. I'm your host John Wickie, here today with my co-host, Stevie.

Stevie Adventure is waiting... at home? Bad guys lay in wait in the basement, the attic, or even the outdoors. It's time for our little nominosaurs to don their armor and their imaginations and go on an adventure in Dungeons & Dinos, a dungeon crawler card game.

John So, let's turn to the back of the box to find out what Dungeons & Dinos is all about.

Adventure awaits. Go on a make-belief adventure with the Nomosaurs. Take a bite out of baddies, loot everything that isn't nailed down, and steal trophies from one another in this mostly cooperative game.

Stevie Hold on now, it's not yet time for first impressions. We're not just covering the original game, so let's turn to the back of the Nomster manual expansion.


Your adventure grows. Al and Dente add song and dance to your heroic nominosaur party. Take control of their slightly undercooked antics to annoy, I mean inspire, your friends. The Nomster manual also adds a powered up dungeon, featuring a cast of all new villains inspired by your favorite RPG like Teacat, the ferocious five-headed feline.

Stevie But wait, there's more. We also have the latest expansion that we picked up at Pax Unplugged. So, let's turn over the Wild Things expansion.


Touch grass, beefcake and toadstool have come to wreak havoc, I mean play outside. Mow down all new baddies, hoard new loot, and even bribe, I mean recruit buddies. Friendly neighborhood critters turned heroes alongside the campy duo in Wild Things.

02:09 - First Impressions

Stevie So, let's now talk first impressions. John?

John I think Dungeons & Dinos is just a cute, fun, game with great imagination feel in those cards.

Stevie Yeah, I thought it was a really cute introduction to the concept of dungeon crawls and role playing games because it's simple to learn and it has all of the features you expect in a dungeon crawl just in a card game.

02:34 - Getting Started

John So, let's talk about that start and set up of the game.
This game takes the friendly little nomosaurs from the game Snack Attack and they go on an adventure at home in through their dungeon and tackle their local baddies. The set up and rules come in a handy card included in the box, so you know it's quite simple as it fits on a card.
Step one, pick your big bad.
Step two, assemble your dungeon.
So, you combine the core cards marked with the apple core and the dungeon cards that match the symbol of the big bad that you chose. Then you shuffle those card up and you place them on top of the big bad.

Stevie Next, you're going to assemble your loot marked with a handy chest icon. Again, you combine the core cards with those that match the icon of the big bad. You shuffle, and you place that pile face down next to the dungeon deck. Everyone gets two loot cards to start, so after you shuffle, you'll deal those out.

John Next step, you assemble your party. Each player picks three nominosaurs. You can only have one of a particular nominosaur in your party, but they can appear in multiple parties. So, we each are going to pick them. You have to pick three different ones, but we can both have the same one in our individual parties.

Stevie Right, like I can't have two Meatballs, but you could have Meatball, and I could have Meatball, and that would be okay.

John Step five, if you have any gear in your loot, your nominosaur can start wearing it.

Stevie And then you're ready to play.

03:55 - Play Mechanics

John So, since we're ready to play, let's talk those dino mechanics.

Stevie Play is pretty straightforward. You reveal three dungeon cards. Whoever last ate a snack gets to go first.
On your turn, all your nominosaurs can each do one action. Using a power, each card will have two different actions that do different things. Generally, they deal bandages or booboos to one or more baddies or heal nominosaurs.
Some have other special abilities, but they're all laid out in simple instructions. For example, Meatball, the warrior, has a sword and board power. From the images, it does one damage to one baddie. It also says, Only take one damage from one baddie this round. So you're hurting the baddie, but also blocking future damage. Meatball's second power is Windmill. This does two damage to one baddie and one damage to another baddie.
Meatball's second power is Windmill. This does two damage to one baddie and one damage to another baddie. It's very easy to understand with simple instructions and lots of icons and arrows to help players out.

John The second option that a nomosaur can choose is to consume a loot card. For example, you can consume a healing potion that looks a lot like an apple juice box to heal one omosaur by three. Or you can consume and use the Wand of Mage Hand, which looks a lot like the little claw grabber toys, and it lets you grab a loot from another player.

Stevie Finally, you can choose to wear your loot. Instead of using a power or consuming, you take your action to put on a loot and gain its benefit. For example, you may grab Sir Stitch's the Teddy Bear and the next three damage done to that Nominosaur will instead be done to Sir Stitch's.

John After all three of the players Nominosaurs goes, the next player to the left acts. After all players have gone, then all baddies attack. Maybe you're up against a goblin that looks awfully like a chipmunk that will use an acorn attack to damage one Nominosaur for each player. Or the classic gelatinous cube that strangely looks like a jello mold that deals one damage to two Nominosaurs with its slime attack. All baddies attack all players, but you decide which of your Nominosaurs take those damage.

Stevie When a baddie has band-aids or ouchies equal to its HP in the heart icon, it's defeated. However, baddies have an on defeat section. That gelatinous cube, while it's so delicious, it actually heals one heart to a Nominosaur. If you defeat the Stubber of Toes, the Doomba, you get to draw a loot card. The card and trophy goes to the player that delivered the final blow. That baddie is immediately replaced.

John The big boss is similar but tougher. They have more HP and often tougher attacks. Take Tiacat, the Purrocious Predator, in the Nomster Manual. Their furball breath does two damage to one Nominosaur, and all others take one, so everyone is getting some damage. They also have 17 HP before they are defeated.

Stevie Now, that sounds like a lot of ouchies and band-aids to go around. How do these tiny Nominosaurs make it through such a gauntlet? Well, anytime a Nominosaur's ouchies or band-aids match their hearts, you flip their card over to the other side. From there, they are considered tuckered out. On their turn, they have two choices in their powers. They can use an ankle bite, which does one damage to one baddie, or get up and revive their HP, which consumes their entire action.
Now, there are exceptions to the rules. f we look at Toadstool, the druid from the Wild Thangs expansion, their basic powers are not that powerful. But when Toadstool is knocked down, they can choose to either truffle trounce and deal one damage to all baddies, or utilize the sticky s'more and pick one baddie until your next turn, and all Nominosaurs that attack that baddie heal one heart. So while Toadstool only does one damage, which is with his normal magic leaf power, when he does get knocked down, they give quite a buff. After they use one of these powers, they are flipped back over as well.

07:53 - Enjoyment

Stevie Well, that's more than enough mechanics, so let's talk enjoyment.

John Honestly, I love it. It's easy to play, there's straightforward instructions, and the cards are very clear on what they do with their icons for all the directions, making it very easy to match things up and know what to do.

Stevie Yeah, I also really like that getting knocked down isn't the end of the world. It just kind of delays you a bit. It takes a lot of stress out of it for younger players. So while it says it's for 12 and up, it's definitely friendly for kiddos younger than that. Like you said, it uses those icons and arrows. So you don't even have to be a super phenomenal reader to play this. You just got to be able to follow the turns.

John I think it was in their Q&A they call out that if you're having trouble defeating a baddie, you can all choose to just stay down and ankle bite until the baddie's defeated, and then you can move on. So it has that level to fall back on if you're having a real hard time with something. You can just stay down, do that, and then get back up. So it's definitely not the end of the world when you get knocked down.

Stevie For sure.

John Also, the baddies are so cute. The amazing names, often puns of which, you know, I am a big fan of. They have great names and little subtitles to go with it. The artwork is amazing. It's very cute and staying true to the concept of these are little dinos making their own baddies in loot to play with their imagination. So all these real things, like I called out, that looks like a jello mold. It really plays upon that. And the powers often have some fun theming to it and a good balance of easier and harder baddies to keep play interesting. So it really leans into that imagination and I just love the feeling that it gives with that.

Stevie Yeah, it's very whimsical. And I think Jin, the artist, did a great job portraying that through her artwork.
There's also an option to play co-optionally, as they call it. The winner is the person with the most trophies at the end. You gain the trophies by landing the killing blow on monsters. Doesn't matter if it was a 20 HP boss and you did one damage, if it knocks that baddie out, you get the trophies. The boss baddies are worth extra. So generally, you need to work together to beat the baddies, but you can utilize strategies to try and make sure that you get that final ouchie.
Some abilities are even geared towards this. For example, in the Nomster Manual expansion, Al has the off-key offense that has one band-aid icon pointing to two baddies, meaning that power does one damage to two different baddies. Al's second power is Tone-Deaf Tune. They pick one Nomnosaur and they cannot act next turn, but you heal one. So with this, you can play in a way where you do things like this to hinder others and increase your own chances of getting the loot and the trophies by keeping them from acting. But it also makes sense in that they're healing themselves in a very distracting way. And if you don't want to hinder anyone else, you can distract one of your own Nomnosaurs.

John Yeah, and we don't often play that way, but you can also just play simply to defeat them and not try and hinder each other. But that's why some of the abilities are that way. Personally, I just think of that as a bonus at the end and not the goal. But if you have players who are comfortable with that mode of play, I can see why it adds another layer to the chaos.

Stevie Right, it even calls out in the rules that it's supposed to sort of be cooperative, but the person with the most trophies, quote, wins the most, which I think is a great way to put it, especially when, like you said, you're adding that sort of extra layer of competitive cooperativeness to it.

11:19 - Favorite Cards

John So why don't we jump into some of our favorite cards to kind of give more feel about what's in the game?

Stevie All right, do you want to start with your favorite bad guy?

John Sure, this is kind of a hard choice. There are so many creative and cute choices, from the name and amazing artwork down to the themed abilities that make them so great. I'm going to go with the Nomster Manual for the Tinyrasque, the World Nibbler. The artwork is a turtle with the Stegosaurus-style triangle plates taped on to them while they eat a leaf that has a small flag with World WRL written on it. They only have 6 HP, but they have a pass ability that all powers in the loop only deal one damage to the Tiny Rask, while the power is a nasty nibble doing 2 damage to a Gnomisaur while healing itself for one. So you really do need to focus fire to take it out, or it'll definitely hang around for a while. But also, you know, it's their friendly little pet turtle.

Stevie Yeah, my favorite is the Gobwin King, aka the babe with the power. And the art looks like a squirrel that is crossed with Jareth from Labyrinth. And this is actually a boss because it has 20 HP, it has a passive ability that all players draw loot when other baddies are defeated. So if you're down to the last three from the deck and one of them is defeated, that's when the big bad gets revealed. So you still have potentially a couple other baddies in play. So when they get defeated, you gain loot while you're working on this boss as well. However, I will say that our Gobwin King looks awful lot like a squirrel and his ability is going nuts, which is just hysterical to me for obvious reasons. And the art is adorable and the Gobwin King comes from the original Dungeons & Dinos pack.

John That Gobwin King gives us some loot, so let's talk about our favorite loot.

Stevie Yeah, my favorite is the Wand of Mage Hand, not just because I love my Mage Hand cantrip when I'm playing my magic wielders in regular games, but also because it's adorable. Like you said, it's that little claw grabber and it allows you to take loot from another player. So if you really need a healing potion and someone like our son is hoarding a bunch of healing potions, you can utilize your Mage Hand to just grab that. And that comes from the Nomster Manual expansion.

John Or even like in the case of just if they happen to get a lot of the knockouts and get a lot of loot cards, it's all on one person and you need to share the wealth sometimes.

Stevie Exactly.

John Even if it's not voluntary.
So I'm going to throw a curveball and I'm going to go with the Mimic that has the quote of "Oh, noes, not chorez!" The classic image of a Mimic is a chest and this is replicated as a box with its lid open with cleaning supplies, a duster, a mop, and chores with a Z written on front. And secretly a baddie hiding as loot as a Mimic does. But I love the thought of chores getting the way of them playing their game, which is something that happens all too often in our house.

Stevie I like their Mimics because they're cute and it does take one of those classic D&D things and replicate it, like you said, in the imagination of the Nominosaurs.
>Okay, now the most important one. When you are assembling your team, who's your favorite Dino?

John Derek, the dog developer. It should be no surprise if you know that I am a developer myself. This one is one of the special cards we got from them at one of the several conventions we've seen them at, though I can't recall exactly which one. Derek has a bug fixer power that deals only one damage but if you defeat the baddie, such as fixing a bug, you get health back. The other attack is overwork where you do two damage to all baddies but also one to yourself for working so hard. Now, given that Derek only has 3 HP, that's quite a hit. However, when they're down, they also have the developer hacks, which Derek clearly snuck in to do two damage instead of one to a baddie while they're down. Or they can take a dog nap with their puppy and revive and heal too.

Stevie Now, this should come as no surprise, but my favorite is Gabu, the rogue, because if there's a rogue, I'm going to play a rogue. Gabu isn't the strongest in terms of HP. He's only got four, but he can do a fair bit of ouchies. So he can either do pocket sand, which deals one ouchie to two different baddies, or sneaky attack, which is my favorite, which deals three ouchies to one baddie. However, you can only use that on a baddie that's already injured. And like I said, if there's a rogue in a game, I'm probably going to pick it up and play around with it.

John You should never underestimate the power and surprise of pocket sand.

Stevie I also have to give a special shout out to Dente the dancer, because that character is, I believe, a bard? Because you have Al the bard and Dente the dancer. So I'm thinking Dente translates to like another type of bard based on the fact that the attacks are Joyous Jig and Butterfoot Boogie. But I'm not 100% positive because unlike your traditional barbarian druid, bard, rogue, fighter, Dente doesn't really match one of the iconics perfectly. But he's super cute with his little ribbon.

16:29 - Length of Play

John So let's talk about length of play.
So the game is for two to four players with 20 to 30 minutes to play and just five minutes to learn. Like I said, those instructions all fit on the cards. >It's pretty quick to learn and know how to jump into the game. I think fits pretty well with how long it takes us to play.

Stevie Yeah, and if I remember correctly, there are QR codes that can also take you to some videos so you can learn how to play there as well.

16:54 - Special Notes

Stevie Special Notes.
Dungeons & Dinos is ADHD and dyslexia-friendly. So this actually started with the first game from Nominosaur Games called Snack Attack where words were replaced with symbols whenever possible to make it accessible to all regardless of their reading level. With Dungeons & Dinos, they took this a step further and mixed the iconography with a dyslexic-friendly font to make the words that are there easier to read.

John And for ADHD, they designed their game to onboard new players in a gentler manner using principles like the Rule of Three to eliminate option paralysis. And I think it's just a great design. It definitely helps limiting it to ease them in, but does get you to more intricate ideas as you go along and play. They also offer animated tutorials to allow you to learn in the way that best fits you, be it the card in the box or a friendly little video.

Stevie Nomnosaur Games also offers an FAQ on their site that lists FAQs for each of the dinos to add clarity if you need it on certain abilities. For example, it clarifies that you can use Juice Box's Band-Aid power on other players' nomnosaurs in addition to your own nomnosaurs. But you cannot use them on tuckered out noms as they can only target a nomnosaur that already has at least one HP.

John And online, they also offer full how to play videos. You can download the full rules. They have a demo you can print and play to try it out. And it is even available to play on Tabletop Simulator.

Stevie Yeah, one of their key goals as a game development company, we've happened to meet the guys who run this several times, both at PAX and at Megacon. And they're just, their goal is to make gaming more accessible to kids or people who have certain struggles, whether it be ADHD, dyslexia. One of their other games, Snack Attack, can even be made blind and low vision friendly by altering the cards slightly. And they give you instructions on how to do that.
And that's one of my favorite things about this company, is not only are they insanely creative, but they're working really hard to bring new and interesting games to the world that are catered to people who have differing needs.

19:16 - Final Thoughts

John Okay, I think it's about time to wrap up with our final thoughts.

Stevie Super cute game. Great introduction to the concepts of a dungeon crawl and RPGs and obsessed with the art.

John Agreed. I really enjoy this. It's quick and easy. There is fun strategy with a lot less pressure. And it's easy to teach someone new how to play the game. And I love that they keep adding new cards and expansions to kind of keep it fresh and fun.

Stevie Yeah, their creativity is like never ending over there.

John Well, I'm your host, John Wickey, and you can find me on threads and Instagram as john_wickee_games. That's W-I-C-K-E-E.

Stevie And I'm Stevie, and you can find me on social media at stevies_games.

John 20 Minute Tabletop is a Morkor Studios production. Theme song by Arthur Rowan, Morkor art by Sita Duncan. Subscribe to 20 Minute Tabletop on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcast.
Like what you hear? Leave us a review while you're there or tell a friend. Find out more on our website, that is the numbers 2 0 m i n Or connect with us on threads and Instagram as @20mintabletop, thats at 2 0 m i n tabletop.
Thank you and roll with fortune.

jaunty tavern theme music continues to end

Stevie If we look at Toadstool, the druid from The Wild Thangs expang sion.
The druid from The Wild Thangs expang sion.
I can't say thangs and then expansion.