Zooloretto Board Game
by Pamela Laurenne Laserna
Zooloretto Board Game
Rio Grande Games
Number of players:
A deserving winner of the Spiele des Jahres in 2007, Zooloretto is a deceptively simple game that’s delightful, engaging and family-friendly.
The game and gameplay
Zooloretto is a zoo management game. Each player acts as a zoo owner, and collects all sorts of animals and their young in order to attract visitors.
However, if a player has too many animals such that they must be stored in their barn, they get minus points.
Award-winning board games
See more reviews of the award-winning board games that scooped a Spiel des Jahres best board games award
During each round, players have three basic choices of what to do – flip a tile, take tile(s) or spend coins. This is where the “push-your-luck” element of the game comes in: where players have to make the tough choice of whether to take a partially-filled truck that contains useful animals or tiles, or to wait another round and hope to be able to claim a truck that contains even more useful items.
Players have to be wary during this part of the game, since other players may place undesired animals onto their trucks.
The game components are made of wood and cardboard, and are sturdy enough to withstand even the roughest players. One round of Zooloretto lasts for about 30-45 minutes, which perfectly suits the attention span of both young and old.
The animal theme certainly appeals to younger audiences and they can even enjoy it without the gameplay at all: that is, they can just build their own zoo with their own choice of animals. The strategy, scheming and luck elements of the game are what engage the more competitive older players.
Pros and cons
Zooloretto is a board game inspired by and derived from the famous card game, Coloretto. It may seem like a very simple children’s game but behind its deceptively incomplex exterior lies a gameplay that requires careful planning and strategizing, and welcomes a little bit of luck.
Yet all the planning and strategizing involved are nothing that kids wouldn’t be able to handle so you wouldn’t have to worry about it being too complicated.
Although at first the rules can get quite challenging for younger (and even older) players, they’ll get the hang of it as the game progresses. Also, its strategy isn’t as heavy as compared with other European board games.
If you’re looking for a way to get the entire family into Euro gaming, without the painful learning curve of some of the heavier games, then Zooloretto (and the many expansions) is a perfect entry game for you!
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