A preview by
- 2-5 Players
- 25 Minutes
- 9+ Age
In Zoomaka you and your fellow players are competing to open a new zoo. Do you have what it takes to create the best new zoo around?
Zoomaka is the first project created by Worldshapers. New game developers from Linkoping, Sweden. And it is immediately obvious they care about the games they create.
Zoomaka is a small form game. Inside your box you will discover
- 1 Rules booklet
- 9 Response Cards
- 3 Settings Cards
- 4 Add on Cards
- 16 Entrance Cards
- 19 Direct Cards
- 10 Multicoloured Animals
- 38 Animals
A game of Zoomaka is played over a series of turns. With each player trying to fill their zoo’s four enclosures, with the best animals. All the animals belong to at least one of the sections of the zoo. This is indicated by the colour borders and symbols on the cards. The number of animals needed to fill a Zoo section is based on the number of that particular symbol.
You start by drawing 2 or 8 cards depending on your current hand size. You may then take up to three actions “Labors” these can be
→ Putting an animal into your zoo.
→ Sell a card placing it into your bank.
→ Playing an action card.
→ Move a multicoloured animal between sections of your zoo.
When playing an animal card, if you already have an enclosure of that type you must group them together. When an enclosure is full you cannot add to it so plan carefully. Because you need four different sections you need to plan carefully. Multicoloured animals do as you would expect them to which is be suitable for more than one enclosure. Action cards add a huge dose of take that to the game of Zoomaka. They come in 4 flavours. Direct, Response, Add-on and Setting. These will allow you to steal animals, draw extra cards, take extra actions, charge fees or even stop something from happening.
When you sell a card by banking it. You are trying to build a cash reserve to protect yourself from some of the take that action cards. Each animal card has its own value which is indicated on the card. If you don’t have enough cash “Zoomas” you will need to use animals in your zoo to settle the debt. The twist is If you pay with the banked money it goes to the opponents bank BUT if you have to use animals from your zoo they go straight into the opponents zoo. This can easily lead to them winning the game if your not careful.
Zoomaka is an interesting little game that does not take long to play. The art style is very simple but effective with most of the animals easily recognizable from their silhouettes. I can see this being played as a nice family bit of fun. Unfortunately I do have some issues with Zoomaka which I feel need expressing. First is the symbols due to small card size the leaf and hoof icons do look incredibly similar especially if you are just glancing at them quickly. I do believe that the creators are addressing this by making the cards larger therefore making the symbols easier to recognise. EDIT- Following discussion with the designer they have confirmed that they will be using poker sized cards and not mini sized making everything clearer. They are also going to be looking into making the game more colourblind friendly. My second issue is one which is endemic not only to Zoomaka but also a lot of games in our industry. That is one of colour use. The colour scheme used throughout Zoomaka is mostly pastel shades. This in turn will make playing extremely difficult for most people with some form of colour-blindness. This is a shame as It is an issue that is very easily solved. I would hope that the developers will address this when they go into production.
Disclaimer: I was sent a P&P file in order to write my review. This in no way affected the review above.