Score : 7
Fun, portable and quick card game
Very family friendly
Lots of "take that"
Take that nature won't appeal to all
End game can feel like a grind
We were racing to finish our zoo first and all of us had three sections completed. At the end of the last round I had drawn the mythical unicorn, such a magnificent attraction of course that it would count as a whole section on its own. All I had to do now was to get to my next turn and I could win the game. Assuming of course no one played a capture card on the unicorn as it entered my zoo and claimed the win for themselves...
Zoomaka is a lovely set collection card game. The aim is to complete four sections of your zoo by collecting sets of animals such as fish. Cards will either depict an animal or an action, with a numerical value on them, and for animals, an icon to depict how many of that type comprise a set.
On each turn you can take three actions which include playing animals from your hand to your zoo, moving animals within your zoo, banking (selling) cards or playing an action card. Placing animals within your zoo builds towards the objective, but does leave them open to being captured. Opponents can charge you an entrance fee to one of their sections via an action card. Having banked cards which aren't that useful allows you to pay fees from here without paying with your zoo animals.
Action cards fall into various categories, such as the aforementioned entrance fees, add-ons to your zoo sections which improve the value and add perks, or cards which allow you to capture other animals, draw extra cards or cancelling the effects of a card played on you.
Once you have completed your actions, you then draw two cards back into your hand, unless your hand is empty in which case you replenish back to six.
Zoomaka is generally a fun, quick game. The rules are clear and the action moves fairly fast. The art, whilst simple has its own style and card layouts are clear. The printing method is even eco-friendly. There are no real agonising decisions and the theme should appeal to whole family, as long as they enjoy the take that and back and forth nature.
The main criticism we have is the games can outstay their welcome a little. What we mean by that is that often, someone will close to winning and everyone else will start capturing their animals to prevent them from winning, then the new leader will be targeted and so on, meaning games can go on a little long. It seems to suffer a little from the Munchkin problem, where often it simply comes down to the winner being determined by the person to go next after everyone has run out of cards which stop them.
However, in the main it is a really fun game as a lighter, quick game or for playing with the family.
Note this copy was kindly donated by World Shaper Games for review purposes.
Designer: Pablo Jomer, Tove Jomer
Number of players: 2 - 5
Play Time: 25 - 45 mins