Zooloretto is an old family favourite that has actually seen a small resurgence during the pandemic as we switched to a digital tabletop from its real world counterpart. However we finally got the real thing back to the table this week.
In Zooloretto players compete to build the best zoo by drafting trucks of animals from a central display. Each round a player may draw a tile placing it on a truck, take a truck of animals or take a money action.
This turn by turn building of the central offer is the crux of the game. Do you take tiles early but get fewer tiles than your opponents or do you hang in for another round and risk getting stuck with tiles you don’t want?
With the XXL expansion there are more animal tiles added to the bag, extending the game and adding a new way to score points. Now players can sell sets of animals to foreign zoos for fewer points than they would score if the player kept them. However, because there are more tiles in the bag you must sell at least some to make room for new ones.
This then adds a tipping point to the game where you try to determine if you should sell the animals and if you do can you manage to fill your enclosure again before the game ends?
Overall I like the extra decision space in XXL, it’s not the crunchiest of the Zooloretto expansions, but it changes up the experience enough without needing to teach or remember a bunch of extra rules.
Zooloretto is a classic design that is still as fun as it was in 2007. Although the game is largely out of print in english, it is language independent and can usually picked up in german from Abacusspiele for a reasonable price with English rules available for download online.
On the third day of Christmas, Santa gave to me, 3 stripey zebras.