Designer: Michael Schacht
Play Time: 15 minutes
Zooloretto Würfelspiel is a lighter, faster, compact version of Zooloretto. It gives you the same feel as Zooloretto but without all the calories!
The game comes with 10 custom animal dice, a small square two-sided game board, a pad of specialized score sheets, and a pencil. Each die shows 5 types of animals and one coin. The number of dice used depends on the number of players: use 6 dice for two players, use 8 for three, and all 10 for four. One side of the game board shows 3 trucks – it will be used in games with two or three players. The other side shows 4 trucks – it will be used in games with four players. Each truck has 3 crates for animals. Each player takes a score sheet, representing his zoo (explained in more detail below).
The game is played in rounds by rolling dice and filling in checkboxes on the score sheets, according to what dice were claimed during the round. The goal of the game is to score the most points.
On a turn, a player may either roll two dice (from the supply) and place them in empty crates on the trucks, or claim all the dice in a truck by moving them to his zoo and ending his turn for this round. Players continue to do this until each player has claimed dice, thus ending the round. One big difference from Zooloretto is that after dice have been claimed from a truck, that truck immediately becomes available for new dice.
Opinions from the Other Opinionated Gamers
Mark Jackson: It is not the full Zooloretto experience… but there are a number of nice decision points built into the game: do I add more dice or take what’s available now? when I place my dice, how do I do so in a way that benefits me & hurts others? is there a way to “force” another player to take a decent truck in order to leave my better truck alone?
Erik Arneson: Just like the original Zooloretto, this is a very family-friendly gaming experience with a few evil moments thrown in. It’s often possible — and desirable — to hose your opponents by forcing them to choose between two distasteful options, but by doing so you just as often risk messing up your own fortune. I like the structure of the game (e.g., the coin mechanism, and the way alligators and lions show up equally, on average, but you have just one alligator box vs. five lion boxes), the speed of the game, and the theme of the game.
Dan Blum: It doesn’t have all the nuances of the parent game, but it does capture much of the feel, and as Mary notes it takes a lot less time. So I might actually prefer this. I haven’t played Zooloretto Mini, so I can’t compare that to the dice game. Regardless of exactly how one would rank the three games (four if one includes Coloretto, five if one includes Aquaretto), this is a very good translation of the game.
Dale Yu: This would be in the top half of the new dice games I played this month. I do like the fast play time, and I agree that this gives you a lot of the feel of the full Zooloretto. It’s a bit different because players can use an just emptied truck to load new dice into – but for me, this adds a new dimension to the decision making process as it makes it harder to know when is the right time to take dice or when you should roll instead.
Ratings Summary from the Opinionated Gamers
I love it!… Mary Prasad, Erik Arneson
I like it… Mark Jackson, Dale Yu, Dan Blum
Neutral… John Palagyi
Not for me…