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Zooloretto Panda

Each player uses small, large, wild and exotic animals and their young to try and attract as many visitors as possible to their zoo. But be careful - the zoo must be carefully planned. Before you know it, you have too many animals and no more room for them. That brings minus points! Luckily, your zoo can expand. A zoo of a family game in which less is sometimes more ...

User Reviews (9)

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Intermediate Reviewer
Professional Grader
26 of 27 gamers found this helpful
“We own a zoo?”

Zooloretto is a game that we have owned for sometime and even though we don’t play this one as often as some other games it is a family favorite.

First of all the mechanics are pretty easy. You take turns drawing tiles and putting them on “trucks” then when a truck you like fills up you grab it before someone else does. The tiles on the truck are animals, money or vendors that go into your zoo. If someone takes a truck on their turn that you wanted you might be forced to choose a truck you didn’t want.

This allows for lots of strategy of where you place the tile you draw and when you pick a truck. There is also strategy of where you will place your animals in your zoo. You can only have one type of animal in a pen at a time. You have limited pens and lots of animals to choose from. You can also expand your zoo to make room for more animals, but it will cost you. The animals you can’t use go into your barn and count against you at the end of the game.

There are many ways to score, which is nice because it keeps players engaged in the game til the very end.

The game has room for up to 5 players and plays well with 3 or 4 nicely.

I also like the amount of time it takes to play, about 45 min. The variety of the game is it’s best quality. Lots of replay value. And the animals are cute to boot.

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Eminent Domain Fan
78 of 85 gamers found this helpful
“Don't let the cute animals fool you, this can be a cutthroat game!”

Zooloretto is a Set Collection game in which players take turns “Loading” delivery trucks with various animal tiles, vendor carts, or money tiles. On a players turn he may choose to do 1 of 3 things: Load one of the trucks with one random tile drawn from a bag, Take a truck that has already been loaded (even if that truck is not full), or use a money action (to expand your zoo or to move/buy/destroy animals). Once you decide to take a truck, you place your animals in your zoo and your turn ends.

Each pen in the zoo can only have one type of animal. Generally speaking, you score points at the end of the game for each pen you have completely full, or are one animal short. Some pens give you money immediately when you fill them.

If you take in more animal types than you have room for in your zoo, you must store them in your barn. Animals and vendor carts in your barn at the end of the game score negative points. And this is where the strategy comes in…

When you are picking the random tiles to place on the trucks, you get to decide which truck to place the tile on. The goal is to try to fill a truck with only animals/items that you want, and to place tiles that are undesirable on trucks that other players may be forced to take. Of course, the other players are trying to do the same to you! Many times it is to your advantage to take a truck before it is completely full, in order to avoid it being loaded with non-desirable tiles.

Speaking of desirable tiles: each group of animals has 2 fertile males and 2 fertile females. Whenever a fertile male and fertile female are in the same pen, they will produce an offspring. That offspring can be immediately placed in the pen with them, thus getting you closer to filling your pen.

The game is for 2-5 players and scales well with all numbers of players. In fact, the 2 player game requires a special set up that can be quite fun. The delivery trucks are designed to hold 3 tiles. In a 3-5 player game, you use 3-5 trucks. In a 2 player game, you use 3 trucks… however, 1 truck has 3 open spots, 1 truck has 2 open slots, and 1 truck only has one open slot to place tiles on. This makes for some very tense moments as these limited spaces are filled up.

The quality of components is fanstastic. The art on the tiles and game board are cartoony, but very well done. And the baby animals are adorable! The bag provided for the tiles is adequate, if not a little too small for someone with big hands. The only complaint is the Delivery Trucks are just wooden blocks with slots on them for the tiles. It would have been nice to have them look a little more like a truck, but they serve their purpose just fine.

Zooloretto will appeal to a variety of gamers. Most of all to the Family, Casual, and Social Gamers, but it can even appeal to Avid and Strategy Gamers as well. Though to be fair, I usually don’t play this game with my gaming group. I usually play with my wife and my very competitive mother! Don’t let the cute theme fool you… there is a cutthroat game hiding in this one!

A solid 7/10.

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Professional Reviewer Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
59 of 65 gamers found this helpful
“Family fun for all ages!”

Zooloretto has broad appeal in that it attracts younger kids to play, yet has good strategic depth for older players. Zookeeping may sound boring to you, but inside this gem is a competitive masterpiece.

Beautiful artwork
Easy to learn
Good give’n take strategy

Rules a little confusing at first
Takes a while to setup the animal tiles

In Zooloretto, players are competing to build a better zoo that scores more points in the end. Each player can choose one of three actions during their turn for each round: add a tile to a delivery truck, perform a money action (5 kinds), or pick a delivery truck therefore ending your turns for that round. Once each player has picked a delivery truck, the round is over. Players then place their tiles (animal, money, or vending stall) in the appropriate location, then put their trucks back to start the next round. Last player to grab a truck goes first the next round. That’s pretty much how the mechanics go.

Strategic Overview
Now, the strategy involved centers around what you can put in your zoo. You can only have one kind of animal in each of your fenced in areas. If you don’t have room for an animal because of wrong type or too many, that animal has to go in the barn. Any type of animal found in the barn at the end of the game is negative two points. Each vending stall found in your barn at the end of the game is negative two points instead of positive two. You really have to manage your zoo allocation well to maximize your points and to get more coins. Some fenced in areas give you coin bonuses if you fill them out completely with animals, so long at the last animal in is not a baby. Even though you start with 3 coins, money is hard to come by in this game, and you’re going to need the coins to either get rid of those animals in the barn or buy an animal from a player to finish an area. Vending stalls are vital to maximize your points in areas where you have few animals.

Even though Zooloretto could devolve towards multi-player solitaire if everyone wants to play nice and not care who wins, it can get kind of “cutthroat” for those who are competitive. The key part comes down to when you pick up a delivery truck that someone else might want or putting tiles on trucks that hose over a truck that someone would have wanted. It has some mild “take that” factors indeed. There can also be some negotiation going on towards the end of the game when players are trying to figure out how to get rid of animals in their barns and try to convince other players to purchase some.

I really enjoy playing this game with 9 yr old daughter. I bought it for “her” on her birthday, and she immensely loves it. She was a big fan of Zoo Tycoon anyway, so it was an easy pick. I’ve taught it to a few others, and so far they have enjoyed it as well. I did have trouble understanding the rules at first, but as we played it became clearer. It does take a while to setup all the animal tiles, especially with lesser players where you have to remove some animals while you setup. However, with others helping setup, it’s not so burdensome.

I highly recommend this very fun little game.

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Gamer - Level 3
Rated 25 Games
78 of 86 gamers found this helpful
“One of the best family games I own”

I bought the Rio Grande Games version from Target recently, because my daughter thought it looked like fun. We watched a short video online detailing the gameplay, and thought it would be (at the least) a cute game for family game nights.

First impressions were mixed, as some of the cardboard tokens/boards weren’t scored well, and at least two ripped slightly and had to be taped. I immediately broke out the knife and made sure to “fix” that problem with the rest of the boards. Animal tokens were fine, however, and no issues there (1 money action card, and 1 Zoo board had small rips). Had I not scored the rest of the Zoo boards, at least 2 others would have ripped as well. Please check yours carefully before you punch the boards out!

My daughter, watching the whole time, was patiently waiting for me to finish getting all of the pieces situated. We set everything up, and started the first game. My wife first commented that she thought the game was “dumb”. That is, until everyone started taking trucks, and she started to “get” the game. Second round, my wife and daughter (7 years old) started to get that they weren’t always going to get the truck they wanted, and realized that once they took a truck, their participation in the round was over. This made for some pretty funny “Ah Hah!” and “Darn You!” moments. My daughter took a few trucks with only one animal on them, and my wife and I (unwisely) ignored her, figuring she was just “building a pretty zoo”.

Final round comes, and we realize, our daughter is probably going to win. Every stall full of one animal type each, quite a few vending machines, and I think two animal types in her barn. She won at 30 points. Wife and I both had 28 points.

After that first game, we immediately wanted to play again, as we realized some other strategic things we missed during the first play. For a purchase we had passed over a few times due to seeming too light, this turned out to be a fantastic purchase.

Light Auction (animals in your barn can be bought by other players), strategy/planning, light math, and set building all present in the gameplay. It’s very easy to learn, but there is surprisingly some depth to the game as well, much more than most other “Family” games we have in our collection so far.

Highly recommended for families, but one that even the adults can enjoy, honestly! I am very pleased with this game, with the only gripe being the poor scoring of some of the sheets/cards.

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Treasure Map
75 of 83 gamers found this helpful
“Good Overall Game”

This is a review not a description of play.

This is a great game. The play style is very unique. Multiple levels of gamers can play including, kids, new gamers, and those who like to think.

The Good:
1: I can play this game with my 6 your old nephew, he GETs it and we both have fun.
2: I can play this game with my wife (who is newer to non-Monopoly and Uno gaming) she GETs it, and we both have fun.
3: I can play this game with my two competive high-powered attorney strategy-oriented brothers . They Get it we all fun. Is it our go to lets outsmart each other game? No. But it still scratches that itch while involving others.
4: The animal drafting|loading-truck mechanism is really cool. I love that you pull a random animal from a bag and don’t just get to keep it. You place it on a truck so everyone has an opportunity to grab it.
5: Not a very long game.
6: Great theme. Art is great. The game really gives the experience of building a Zoo and your decisions make sense with reality.
7: Has multiple ways to attain points and win.

The bad.
1: Kids really like this game, but they aren’t very good. They won’t really have a chance of winning until they are older or you throw the game.

I haven’t played a round of this I did not enjoy. I also don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. Great family game.


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Amateur Reviewer
72 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“Cute, fun and easy to play”

Stick or twist? That’s what the majority of Zooloretto is about. You are a zoo keeper, and you want to beat the rival zoos by filling the most enclosures with animals. The problem is, in the world of Zooloretto, the animal transit system is completely bonkers. Thankfully, it’s very fun and easy to play, and children will just love this game.

The premise is simple. You have 3 or 4 enclosures in your zoo, and score points for filling them up. Each enclosure can only contain one kind of animal. Any animals you acquire that you don’t find a home for can count against your final score at the end. In the middle of the table are some trucks, and a bag of animals. On your turn, you either draw an animal and place it in a truck of your choosing, or you take a truck. If you take a truck, you can no longer participate in the round. The fun part of the game is taking a lucky dip into the bag of animals, and trying to work out which truck to place it in so as to make trucks that will suck for your opponents (by giving them animals they don’t need) but be beneficial to you. If you take a truck, the next animal out the bag might be just what you need and you’ll miss out! There are a bunch of other rules, such as being able to move animals around your zoo for the cost of coins, and the ability to buy and sell animals to the other players, but these are easy to pick up.

Also, animals have babies. Sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse, having male and female animals in the same enclosure means you get free baby animals.

This game is absolutely ideal for children – the animals are cute, the action is simple but exciting and anyone can win. The games only last about 30 minutes, too – it is one of the best family games I can recommend.

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Gamer - Level 9
Explorer - Level 6
Guardian Angel
76 of 90 gamers found this helpful
“Excellent mixer/tier 1 game”

This is another very good tier 1 game. There is enough strategy for th regular gamer and still light enough on the rules for the nongaming gamer. This game uses the same basic mechanism that drives the card game Coloretto. The idea is that you start with a zoo with some exhibit areas that are empty. each area can only be filled with one type of animal and can only hold a set amount of tiles. There are a wide variety of animals pictured on tiles. There are also tiles showing money and vendor stands, etc… The majority of the animal tiles show a picture of an animal, but some also have a male or female symbol on them. If you get a male/female they immediately have a baby to put into the enclosure. There are 5 “trucks”, wooden pieces that hold up to 3 tiles each. You start the game with a board with exhibit spaces and a barn space on it as well as additional boards that you can pay to develop during the game, and a small mount of money. All but a few tiles(enough are set aside facedown for 1 complete final round and covered with a wooden marker) are then placed in a cloth bag. You use as many trucks as there are players in the game and they go inthe middle at the start of a round(empty). On your turn you may take an action-1)Draw a tile and put it on a truck. 2)Claim a truck, even if it is not full. 3)Pay to remove an animal from your barn space. 4)buy a new exhibit area. 5)Buy an animal from another player’s barn and put it in an exhibit area. 6)Pay to move animals to the barn or another exhibit area.
Most of the actions are straight forward each turn and will be pretty obvious early on. The tension comes in later turns when trying to decide the timing of your actions. Money is always tight in the game and is earned by claiming trucks with money tiles, selling animals to other players or completing some of your enclosures that grant a onetime payment when completed. Scoring at the end is positive-completely or almost completely filled enclosures, different vending stalls,etc… and negative-different animals in the barn. This is a game about pushing your luck vs. timing your actions. The game is popular enough to still be in print and to have several expansions and spawned a spinoff Aquaretto.

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I Own a Game!
68 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“Simple Auction Game.”

Pretty straight forward game. Generally speaking, you spend your turn either drawing a random element (good or bad for various people) and adding it to one of the pots, or you take one of the pots as-is. The mechanics of getting points are simple enough to learn, and the game is cute.

Once of the main issues of the game is that you very often draw a tile that can be used to really screw over the other players’ strategies, so things can get a little heated if you’re really trying to win.

I’ve played this game significantly more than I expected to after the first two or three plays. We started feeling like we were done with it, but once a month or so, we look through the games and think “oh, hey, that game’s good for a quick game,” and then we play a hand or two.

Worthwhile if you like a simple, casual game that can be introduced to new gamers easily. Probably not the greatest game if your group of friends doesn’t like cute fluffy animals or can’t handle it when you screw them out of a good round.

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Gamer - Level 3
69 of 90 gamers found this helpful
“Great gateway”

While many board games have been scaled down to become decent card games, this is an example of a great card game being scaled up to a very good board game. I have strategically used Coloretto in combination with Zooloretto to progress many of my friends into the world of strategy games. It’s easy to learn and great for the whole family. The artwork in this game is beautiful and the components are high-quality; and the rules are easy to read and clearly worded. I recommend this game as a solid light strategy game for all ages.


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