Welcome to Zoo-ography! Here, your imagination is able to run a bit more wild than the animals inside. You’ll want to build exciting attractions for guests while also creating habitats for a variety of animals available. Make sure they have enough water, and that you mind the habitat rules so you don’t end up with a mess! In no time at all your planning and building will lead to a super star rated zoo that everyone will want to visit!
Let’s give it a look!
What Is It?
A somewhat abstract, quite strategic tile drafting and placement game where you work to build the best zoo fully equipped with animals, attractions, and eateries! Maximize your zoo’s rating by completing goals to earn stars!
Who Is It For?
Personally, I would say this would be great for ages 12+ because it is a little strategic in the drafting element and placement of tiles in your zoo, which involves careful planning that may not be great for younger audiences. However, I know kids are gaming younger and younger, so if you do play a lot of things with kids, a younger age could work. The theme is great for everyone (because honestly, who doesn’t love the zoo?) and I think it is an approachable game anyone could get into.
Quality of Components
I have a Prototype, Print and Play copy, so my components are not final quality. I have average quality cards and cardboard tokens, and a thin paper rulebook. But the game is awesome regardless of components and I would expect nothing less than great quality out of the final product. Plus, there’s a cute panda meeple for Kickstarter backers which I am pretty darn excited about!
- Very cute game overall; the art is very appealing
- Very strategic and “puzzley” which, in a small package, is super cool to me
- Goals change every game which is fun because you never know what to expect; same goes for tiles since they come out randomly, so it switches up a bit every time
- A lot of great mechanics pulled together into one game, and done well!
For these, I want it to be kept in mind that my prototype is only for 1-2 players. The full version I imagine will have more cards and animals, and I’m sure that will change some things, but my opinions here are based on only the version that I played.
- I question the replayability factor a little bit. Sure the goals change every time, but once you learn the deck (if you play often enough, because there aren’t very many cards) you know what to expect, and maybe learn when to “give up” on certain goals (i.e. if you know all attractions have been taken and you still don’t have enough to complete a goal)
- Connected to that, in our experience, not every goal seemed achievable by every player, which was just a bit disappointing more than anything. But it’s not the worst con to have, so not too bad.
I wouldn’t classify this as a super difficult game, but like I said it is a bit puzzley, which can kind of make it vary depending on the goals present and how the cards come out each game. For that, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 for difficulty. I think this will be a great quick game for lots of gamers!
Overall, I would just have to say that I really recommend this one! I think it’s a lot of fun and really gets my wheels turning trying to plan out the best zoo possible! I played a few games and, let me tell you, getting the full 10 stars is truly a great feeling! I hope to see even more greatness out of the full version once it is available, and I hope plenty of other people check it out as well!
Designer – John Olson, Bryn Smith
Artist – Marc Hampson
Publisher – Doomsday Robots
*I was provided a prototype copy of this game to do this preview*
*All components shown are subject to change*
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