Zooloretto is a surprising game. At first glance, it appears to be a kids game through-and-through (“awww, look at the Panda!”), but after the first turn or two it becomes obvious that there is a lot more to it than that first impression.
Zooloretto is certainly not simply a family game. It has the remarkable combination of kid-friendly theme and rules, yet has deeper strategy which keep adults engaged.
In Zooloretto you play the role of a Zoo mogul – trying to create a more diverse and attractive Zoo than your competitors. This is accomplished by filling in your fenced in areas with animal tiles.
Of course, you can’t mix animals within a certain habitat. No monkeys with the elephants. No lions with the flamingos.
You have to be careful not to have too many animals which you can’t find room for since, at the end of the game, extra animals are worth negative points.
The game winner is determined by a simple scoring system based on how well you filled in your animal pens.
On the surface, Zooloretto is simple; easy to teach and a fairly quick play. However, underneath the surface there are some tough decisions to make which sets Zooloretto apart from your typical family game. These deeper strategies will become apparent as the players progress through the turns- and make for a game with high replay value. Add in numerous expansions and you have the basis of a game which can easily turn into a family tradition for years to come.