Ok I admit it, I am a huge sucker for animal/zoo themed games. As a kid I wanted to grow up and be a zookeeper, that was before I figured out I’d have to clean a lot of cages. Still, I couldn’t resist this game. The previous game in this family, String Railway was a charming take on rail games. What would String Savanna bring?
First of all, a nice compact box, the same size as the 2nd ed of String Railway.
Inside, plastic chips, tiles, wooden cubes and of course, string!
There are three types of of tiles:
The long brown string is laid out forming the field. The field is seeded with the terrain tiles and 16 animal tiles. The remaining animal tiles form a draw pile. Five research tiles are placed face up. The remaining research tiles form a face down draw pile. Each player takes their research cubes (depends on the number of players), draws one animal tile and chooses one research tile. The VP chips are placed in a pile.
On a player’s turn they place their animal tile within the field. Next they try to enclose as many animals as possible meeting their research tile goal with the grey research string and score VP. The player then places one of their markers on one of the animals enclosed. This is surprisingly thematic. I recall doing some field work for my biology major like this!
Then they carefully remove the research string without disturbing any tiles. Draw a new animal tile and a new research tile.
The game ends after a set number of rounds dependent on number of players. VP collected during the game are added to VP on completed research tiles and VP on animal tiles with the player’s markers.
So String Savannah succeeds as a light filler for me. The artwork is adorable
and it certainly gives the flavor of doing field research. I am happy to play this game and think it would work well with those that like lighter games or family fare. Grab your pith helmet and set out for String Savanna!