Zooloretto is a huge hit with our family. This game has a great theme that fits well with the mechanics.
- 2-5 players
- 30-45 minutes
In Zooloretto each player has their own game board that represents a zoo with 3 enclosures (you can buy one more during the game), a barn, and spaces for vendor stands. Throughout the game you collect tiles that represent animals, vending stands, or coins. You score points for each type of vending stand, enclosures that are full, and enclosures that are 1 space away from being full. You can only put one kind of animal in each enclosure. If you get animals that don’t fit in your enclosures, they can go in your barn. At the end of the game you lose 2 points for each type of animal in your barn.
On your turn, you can take one of 3 actions: place a tile on a truck, take a truck and deliver its goods to your zoo, or take a coin action.
One of the mechanics in this game that fascinates me is the way in which you get animals to your zoo. All of the tiles are placed in a bag. When you draw a tile, it does not immediately go to your zoo, and may never go to your zoo. You place the tile on one of the trucks in the middle of the table. There is a truck for every player, and each truck has 3 spaces on it.
The coin actions all cost 1, 2, or 3 coins, and they allow you to do things like: move animals around within your zoo, expand your zoo, and buy animals from someone else’s barn.
If you take a truck, you place the animals and vendor stands in your zoo. You can place the animals in an enclosure or in the barn. Once you take a truck, you are done for the round. Once everyone has taken a truck, you start the new round.
Some of the animals are of the right age to produce offspring and are marked with male or female symbols. If you get a male and a female in an enclosure, you automatically get a baby animal. This is great because it fills in your enclosures faster, and they are adorable. Everyone really enjoys getting baby animals.
Zooloretto has one of the most fun themes of any of our games, and it has good mechanics. It is a light game that is good for kids, but it is also fun for adults. The box says it is for ages 13+, but our 5 year old had no trouble playing it. I think they put a higher age on the box so that people didn’t think of it as a “kids game”.
What I like:
- The graphics are nice (especially the baby animals)
- There is no confrontation in the game, but there is a lot of interaction
- It is simply fun. Win or lose, it is fun to decide what to put in your zoo
- The rules are simple, but there is strategy in the game
- My kids all love it
- Each turn goes very quickly, so even with 5 players, you don’t have to wait long.
I hope you have fun in your new occupation as a zookeeper!