Zoomaka Set Collecting card game

Name: Zoomaka by Worldshapers difficulty: Medium Rules, Easy Gameplay Age: 14+
Replay Value: 7/10 Players: 2- 5, best with 3 Time: 30 minutes

zoomaka

Quick Summary:

Zoomaka is a set collecting card management card game for players looking to start their own zoo. It is replayable when players are looking for something that is unforgettable once learned and is geared toward players who are new to gaming or looking to play a quick round of a card game. Do not expect much variety with the gameplay as the cards create a slight turn but do not change the route of the game.

Zoomaka:

zoomakaZoomaka defines simple mechanics with a simple theme. This game translates what it was trying to do well. That is turning a deck of cards into a fun friendly-aggressive zoo simulator. For example, in this game, we are building a zoo by developing sections of it through out each turn while also de-railing competitor zoos in the area.

While that sounds elaborate–your really just placing cards down from your hand to the table in a certain fashion. Build your exhibits with an array of colored mammals, reptiles, birds and more. Each card provides detail for the size of the section, The animal category, and the animal value. Each turn has 3 actions which are but not limited to playing a card to the zoo, selling a card to the bank, playing a non-animal card, and discarding.

At a glance, this game utilizes card management to create sets of animals, or in the games language, sections. Similar to the way a route in Ticket to Ride needs a specific number of same-color cards to finish it, Zoomaka needs similar animals to create a section. The game includes variable cards that help change the way the game plays like creating player interaction and changing weather.

Gameplay:

To win in Zoomaka, your zoo needs to have four complete sections. What does this mean? A butterfly exhibit needs two of their type to be completed. Once the butterfly exhibit is complete (you’ve eventually placed 2 of that card type), That would be one of four sections complete. What is the value on the card then? The value on the top of the card is your bank value when you sell cards. Selling cards will create a bank you can use when players have fees warranted toward you or other players. Other types of cards create the variation in the style. Non animal cards that will be played will be add-ons to sections, fees for opponents, settings changers, and so forth—creating a nice change to the gameplay. During our play of two players we were able to understand the gameplay instantly.

The rules are written to maintain consistent game understanding while not throwing in too many new concepts before defining the previous ones. I felt like I was learning something new, learning about that idea, then graduating to a “how it works” before moving on to the next rule.

My only gripe is that the additional cards that are not animals seem to force a character interaction. While I like the cards that force use to have a bank–I think some of the cards act as more fillers than others.

zoomaka

Final Thoughts:

I love that the card design in Zoomaka doesn’t distract from the theme while being able to relay so much information. The minimal graphics create a clutter-free atmosphere where the only thing in your way from winning is strategy and luck. But, your a zookeeper now, let’s explore the animal kingdom. Play down some of your favorite animals, learn some new animals, and create the exhibits of your dream.

You will like this game if you enjoy minimal distractions and pure gameplay. It’s a simple set collection game that gets the point across and has great art work to translate it.

You will not like this game if you’re looking for more than hand management. A big issue I come across is the variable cards do not create much of a tactical outlet. The game is pretty straight forward.

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Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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