Way back in April of 2021, I received a package from Thailand featuring a number of prehistoric animal models meant to be used with the Life game by designer Oumcraft. I detailed the figures I received in that package in two parts; the first featured the Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian animals; the follow up looked at the Devonian age fish that I received. I had mentioned then, that I only received some of the figures, as others were still being produced.
As I waited, I realized that there were so many figures in the series that I wasn’t going to get…so I decided to at least pick a few more. I was able to get my extra order in for those other models, but as the Kickstarter period was over they were full price. Still, totally worth it! I can’t even say why I didn’t pick out some of the sharks and tetrapods the first time around. It just seems silly! And lucky for me, I got my order in just before those remaining figures were to be shipped to me–so they all arrived together in July!
I also decided to make some really weird choices–for example, there are a lot of invertebrates in the game, but I just couldn’t go nuts. So I made the choice to pick just a few stand outs–an ammonite shaped like a triangle, a vetulicolan, a dinocariid that looks weirder than Anomalocaris! Plus, I even picked out a prehistoric plant, Zoosterphyllum. That said, for the most part, I went back to the range of fish and tetrapods, making sure to add most of the others!
Even with the choices I added, it still leaves a lot of species that I didn’t get; there is a huge range of other early, armoured ‘agnathans’ and placoderms that I didn’t get, with all kinds of bizarre head ornaments and apparatus. Plus, there are so many trilobites, ammonites, eurpteryids, orthocones, and echinoderms…to say nothing of the weird Ediacaran fauna, plants and other sessile organisms. If space allowed, perhaps, but I had to have limits! As I believe I mentioned, there are over 200 taxa in the game, with a figure for each one…it’s a huge collection!
I am personally pretty happy with the assortment that I did manage to get. They are generally very well-made, and clearly a product of someone with a good eye and passion for this type of project! I just find it satisfying to add some really incredible diversity to the collection; the small size means they’re easy to display, although the uniform grey means that they might kind of blend. I suppose someday I could risk painting but I don’t know if I’ll do that…
I also realize that these figures are meant to be used for the game; perhaps someday I will explore the game here a little more, but in short, it is a great game that works very well. There are token for every animal, and for me that seems to work better for the game anyway–at least the competitive evolving mode. There are exploratory modes that might suit the plastic pieces better. But that so much of this came out of a game from one person, is just incredible.
I can not recommend the figures enough. I do not know what the timing is like, but I believe that she can still take orders on the figure here https://oumcraft.com/. If nothing else, you can see everything that is on offer! A fantastic range of an age that is sadly under-represented in any kind of toy form. (Yes, I realize that I stuck to what might be considered the more ‘conventional’ taxa…we all have our collecting preferences!) I also really hope that the Kickstarter and ensuing work was a huge success (beyond just being fully backed) because I would love to see this game, and overall concept, extended into later Palaeozoic periods, and maybe even beyond!
Judging from the photos above, clearly these figures are not to scale with each other; that just wouldn’t work. But there is at least some size differences, indicating the ‘status’ level of the organism. It’s all part of the game of course. But it does mean some of the smaller species might scale well with more conventional larger models. Again, great figures from a great project and I am glad I was able to support it!