With children’s games like Bulldog Dozer (also re-implemented as Bob the Builder: Scoop’s Construction Site Game) I never really know what to expect. These children’s games are usually really simple and rely almost entirely on luck, two things that don’t create a great combination for a board game. On the other hand I actually enjoy a surprising amount of these quirky children’s/family games even though they were not meant for adults. These quirky children’s games are fun because they have interesting dexterity mechanics that you don’t find in other games. Before playing the game I didn’t know if Bulldog Dozer was going to be the boring luck driven children’s game or the quirky surprisingly fun children’s game. Unfortunately Bulldog Dozer falls into the earlier category.
How to Play Bulldog Dozer
Place one I beam on each space around the edges of the board. Each player chooses one of the corners of the board and takes the corresponding floors. Place the bulldozer in the center of the gameboard. The youngest player gets to start.
Playing the Game
A player’s turn begins by spinning the spinner. The player takes an action based on what they spin.
Take One: The player chooses one I beam on one of the spaces around the board (not part of another player’s building) and adds it to their own tower. If the I beam is the third beam on the current floor you add the next floor to your tower.
Sawhorse: Take “Freddy the Foreman” and place it in front of your building which will prevent your tower from being knocked down by the bulldozer.
Bulldog Dozer: The player will get to activate the bulldozer to try and collect some I beams. Pull up on the smokestack to turn on the bulldozer. Hold it above the center of the board and gently drop it in the direction you want the bulldozer to go in. When the bulldozer leaves the board or stops moving, turn off the bulldozer and move it back to the center of the board.
The player who spun the bulldozer will take I beams as follows:
- Any I beams on spaces around the board that are knocked entirely off the board are given to the player who controlled the bulldozer.
- If the bulldozer knocks over any I beams from the tower of the player controlling the bulldozer, they take the I beams back and rebuild their tower.
- If the bulldozer knocks down another player’s tower, the player controlling the bulldozer gets to take any I beams that fall completely off the gameboard. Any I beams that are still touching the player’s building zone are returned to that player and they get to rebuild their tower.
End of Game
When a player has completed all three levels of their tower (three beams per tower), they place the top floor/flag on the top of their tower and they win the game.
My Thoughts on Bulldog Dozer
While I was hoping that Bulldog Dozer would be a good children’s game, it just doesn’t work for two reasons.
The first problem is that the game pretty much relies entirely on luck. There is essentially no strategy in the game. The only areas where there is any sense of strategy is in building your tower and the direction you point the bulldozer. As long as you put at least a little care into building your tower there really isn’t anything you can do to improve the chances of your tower surviving. If you just throw your tower together it might be more likely to fall down lowering your chances of winning the game but I don’t know why you would put so little care into building your tower.
As far as strategy in directing the bulldozer I don’t see much potential in that either. The bulldozer is key to winning the game but you don’t really have a lot of control over it. The bulldozer regularly turns before it starts moving forward so you can only guess how to angle the bulldozer. Basically you need to just get lucky and hope the bulldozer knocks a lot of beams off the gameboard. This is crucial since I honestly think the only way you can possibly win the game is to get the bulldozer to knock a bunch of beams off the board. You will never be able to win the game getting most or all of your beams by spinning the take one action. The winner will be the player who gets lucky and has the bulldozer knock a bunch of beams off the gameboard.
The other serious problem with the game is with the bulldozer itself. It might just be due to the wear and tear and the fact that the game is over 20 years old but the bulldozer just doesn’t work right. The bulldozer regularly stops moving and refuses to push any beams. The bulldozer also seems to always leave the board in the same spot every single time. It got so bad that we knew exactly what the bulldozer was going to do before it was even set on the board no matter how the players placed it on the gameboard. Since the game relies entirely on the bulldozer, when it doesn’t work right it pretty much ruins the game. If you want to pick up a copy of Bulldog Dozer you need to either buy a new copy or you need to make sure the bulldozer works really well. Otherwise the game really suffers.
Outside of the issues with the bulldozer, the game’s components are decent. The plastic beams are nothing special but they are sturdy and should take the beating of getting regularly knocked around. The cardboard pieces are pretty thick but they will take quite a beating with extended play. Otherwise the artwork is basically what you would expect out of a 1990s Parker Brothers children’s game.
It is too bad that Bulldog Dozer isn’t that good of game since the idea of knocking over other player’s towers with the bulldozer could have made for a good children’s game. It is kind of fun to see the bulldozer knock down the towers but there just isn’t anything else to the game. This is why I think Bulldog Dozer will only possibly appeal to three types of people. First young children (8-10 and under) could enjoy the game quite a bit more than I did. Second I could see parents enjoying the game with their younger children mostly because their children are enjoying the game. Finally adults who have had quite a bit to drink or under the influence of another substance might have some fun with the game. Otherwise I have a hard time believing that an adult or older children would get much enjoyment out of Bulldog Dozer.
Should You Buy Bulldog Dozer?
Personally I just don’t see Bulldog Dozer being a good game. The game had some potential since the idea of using a bulldozer to knock down other player’s towers could have made for a good children’s game. The problem is there is so little to the game. You basically just spin the spinner and hope to use the bulldozer to knock a lot of beams off the gameboard. The game relies almost entirely on luck. While young children and their parents might get some enjoyment out of the game, I can’t really see adults or older children getting much enjoyment out of the game.
Basically if you don’t have young children who enjoy these type of games, I wouldn’t recommended Bulldog Dozer. If you can get a good deal on the game though and have younger children to play the game with, it may be worth picking up.
If you would like to purchase Bulldog Dozer you can find it on Amazon. Buy Bulldog Dozer on Amazon, Buy Bob the Builder: Scoop’s Construction Site Game on Amazon