Zooleretto ... what does it mean

Board Game Review – Last Christmas my daughter received Zooleretto as a gift. For some reason it sat on the shelf unplayed until recently. The premise of the game is each player is building a zoo and the goal is to finish your zoo before the other players. Basically it's a worker placement type of game with a few interesting twists.

To start all the tiles are placed in the center of the table (subtract all animals of a type for smaller games) and players take turns drawing tiles and placing them face up on the delivery trucks. During a players turn they can do one of the following: draw a tile, spend coins to remodel or buy animals, or take a truck. Once a player takes a truck they can not do anything else until all the trucks are taken and than play continues as before. 

Once all the tiles are gone players total up their score based on how complete their zoo is and the winner is determined by the highest point total.

Sounds really simple right?

The basic mechanics of this game could be re-skinned with any type of theme and they'd still work just fine and provide an entertainingly simple yet challenging game. What makes this an entertaining family game is the colorful zoo animal art and universally appealing nature of cute animals to children of most any age.

We've played several times with various numbers of players and each time the game is very different. The first few times my daughter focused on collecting the animals she liked rather than what would fill her zoo and therefore lost. Soon she figured out the basic strategy and can be really hard to beat. Zooleretto has become her go to game when friends are over.

If you're looking for a family-friendly game that involves a bit of strategy I recommend picking this one up.