O Zoo le Mio
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from 9 customer reviews
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All players are zoo directors and try to attract the most visitors to their zoos. Success comes to the player who creates the largest attractions. Players will want to build spacious areas for the various kinds of animals and also attractive pathways for their visitors with park benches and lots of trees and bushes to appeal to botanical senses.
I purchased this game because the box looked neat. And I'd have to say, it's the best one in my collection right now.
The rules are easy to learn. The replay value is high. The game is light-weight so you won't spend forever playing it. The dynamics change dramatically when you have 2, 3 or 4 players. It's mostly skill but there is certainly some luck involved.
If you dig Carcassone and bidding games, you'll be happy with O Zoo le Mio.
My wife, in-laws, friends and enemies all enjoy the game. I mean, what could be better than building a zoo called 'Porky Park' with nothing but aquatic and bird exhibits!
My only problem with the game is you fold some of the cardboard pieces to build your zoo and some of my pieces are already wearing out. I guess I'll have to buy another copy someday!
Get Your Zoo On
I love this game. Just got it myself and really like the mechanics of it. WHich really reminds me of Kardinal and Konig (web of power). The animal theme is nice I think and I like the auction part as well. It gives it a little tension and depth on how much you are willin to spend to help yourself or screw your neighbor.
After burning out a bit on war and money games, I'd been on a search for a less-dry strategy game and this was a great find. The pieces are beautiful and the rules are fairly simple - your goal is to build the most beautiful zoo. Great with 2-players, as you have a bigger zoo to maintain and develop. The blind auction is a great twist and after a couple of plays, you realize how much long-range strategy you have to apply to win. Overall, a fun game with easy mechanics and beautiful design. I've introduced it to both gamers and non-gamers and the response has always been good.
You start with eight coins and a random place on the list. Five parkland tiles, illustrating pathways and zoo animals valued from 1 to 3, are revealed and auctioned in order each round. Highest place on the list wins ties, and moves to last place.
Add tiles to your array, with adjacent pathways connected. Put a Spectator on an animal whose species is higher in value in your zoo than in competitors' zoos. Your species' value is that of its highest individual animal, unless you can add the values of adjacent animals not separated by pathways. Spectators float around the zoos; their placement constantly changes the status quo. At round's end, earn one coin for each tile, plus points equal to the round's number for each Spectator. Enclosing an area with pathways earns you a permanent Spectator. Highest score wins after five rounds.
Challenge your spatial and financial abilities as you enjoy this worthy contribution to gaming from Cwali, a tiny Dutch company.
There comes a point when a company can no longer hide behind the epithet "independent", which somehow implies small and occasionally tawdry. In Cwali's case, that time is now. It should have come last year when the perplexing Titicaca was born. Whilst I love this game, I simply haven't got a clue as to what is going on.
But no such problem with Zoo Sim, which shares the outstanding component production with its predecessor, but has an entirely intelligible set of rules and an orthodox procedure.
Participants in this game are owners of a small zoo and must stock their compound with a variety of wildlife. This is achieved by bidding for land tiles which will abut previous construction and provide a visual feast of the five groups -- fish, apes, reptiles, birds and assorted mammals -- available.
Having constructed your entrance (a screen to conceal coins -- eight each to commence), the 25 zoo tiles are shuffled, and five drawn to form the first Season. The contest concludes when all 25 tiles have been distributed.
Each colour-coded tile features a pathway, plus visual reference to one or more attractions. Additionally, the animals (the term used in the rulebook to facilitate all types) are rated by a star system. What you are hoping to achieve is a grouping of like animals, with a higher concentration of stars than your opponent. Eight usually does it, but this requires dexterity, solid spatial technique and a well-judged commitment when bidding. So, count me out.
Having exposed five tiles, the first is bid for, using the simple "in the fist" method, ie select concealed coins from your stock, simultaneously reveal, with the highest total winning. Ties are resolved using a unique "flagpole mechanism", onto which your company motif is placed (random to start). The highest flag on the pole wins ties, and is then demoted to the base. This is crucial towards the end of a Season when the dosh is running low.
So, what to bid for, and for what benefit?
Apart from the intrinsic financial value of the tile, players earn "visitor" tokens for their respective animal pens. Additionally, these tokens are awarded for completed walkways (loops) and the most trees (as depicted on the tiles).
Constructing settlements looks straightforward, but only provide value when adjacent. And because the tiles feature multiple groups (eg fish and apes), the options can prove confusing (not unlike Carcassone).
Let's assume you've won the first auction (at a cost of four coins) and have placed a three star aviary (birds, you fool!) and two-star ape house. The next tile you really fancy (and the last in sequence) is two-star bird and reptile combination. You'll be strong in the feather department, whilst making a foothold with our slimy brethren. And it's vital to grab tiles, because they are your only source of additional funding (added to that you have retained).
In an ideal world, you will seek to win at least two of the auctions, thus providing a solid base for future income, but will almost certainly have come close to exhausting your initial capital in doing so.
When visitors (the scoring mechanic) are initially placed, consider their loyalty tenuous. They will switch from site to site in this competitive marketplace, only likely to stay when a player builds an overwhelming pound.
Upon the inauguration of a specific animal house, the player shows control with a single token. Once two or more entrepreneurs are competing, additional visitors join the jamboree. This boils down to two points for the most stars, and one for second place. Trees are scored in an identical manner, whilst completed walkways provide permanent victory points. A generously illustrated leaflet provides clear examples of all likely scenarios.
At the end of each season (five auctioned tiles or "game rounds"), currency is distributed (one coin per tile) and visitors counted. From the second season onwards, multipliers are introduced, starting with 2x, then 3x, etc. For example, in season two, 8 visitors would equate to 16 points.
I had a certain unease about the possibility of a player striking out and establishing an unassailable lead. This has happened, but not consistently, so should not be considered a faultline.
Although I am probably the last person in the world to proffer advice, you will need strength in at least two animal groups, and because they cannot be challenged, walkways are effective.
Oddities? None really, although empty spaces are allowed, because tiles can be placed "half on half" as long as pathways connect. Frustrations? Plenty, as you try to assimilate your new purchase to maximise established holdings. Enjoyment? Undeniably. Zoo Sim could have easily come from the Kosmos or Hans im Glck factories, and Corn van Moorsel (in the guise of Cwali) is now on the frontline.