Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

Animal Circus

[Animal Circus]

Arvid Klaverstijn

Jumping Turtle

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Manuel Esser writes about the game:

The circus is in town! But not just any circus, it is the incredible Animal Circus. Let's face it, who doesn't love the circus? Both children and adults flock to see the animal artists performing their tricks. Each artist tries to outdo the previous actor with even greater tricks, and thus earn the most fame and applause.

Animal Circus wants to be a game for the whole family. The goal is to possess the animal with the best performance at the end of each round and thus collect the most victory points. For that, all players start with an identical deck of 22 animals with ascending values and each with a unique ability. At the beginning of the game, all players draw three hand cards, from which they can send their next performer into the race. A turn consists of two actions: first draw a new card (if you have less than two hand cards, four cards are drawn) and then play one of your handcards. Only animals with a higher point value than the previous animal can be sent into the ring (unless the ability allows otherwise). If no more cards can be played, the player who played the last card wins the ring. All cards played give the players one victory point each, except of the dog (-3) and the giraffe (+3). When played, all card effects be carried out, even if that has a negative effect to the player. These card effects represent the special attractions of the Animal Circus, and they can turn the game upside down and, if used skillfully, ease to a victory.

[Animal Circus]

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The Jumping Turtle, for example, can always be played on top of the ring, regardless of the value of the last card. Other animals have effects like immediately victory points by moving cards from the draw pile directly to the score pile or they help an opponent as cards must be given to another player. The Chameleon in Disguise allows you to use the ability of the top card of your score pile again, and the Power Mouse is the only card that can be played on the elephant that has normally the highest value, meaning that this player can still win the ring. Also, card effects can lead to a (temporally) rule change, for example when the ability forces the next player to play the card he draws at the beginning of this turn on top of the pile. So, the abilities are manyfold and have to be used wisely for the best outcome.

[Animal Circus]

Click on image to enlarge!

The game ends as soon as a player cannot draw another card from the draw pile. Then, the player with the most points wins and gets the glory for the best circus performance.

The concept of Animal Circus is not completely new. Some may know Beasty Bar, a huge success of ZOCH and already in the third version. But Animal Circus doesn’t need to hide. It is a funny little game for the young and old in the same way. For the children there are the lovingly designed cards with animal performers and for the older ones each round of animal circus is exciting again because of the randomly received cards and actions. So, all players are taken back to their childhood and remember circus visits of their youth. The more people take part in the Animal Circus, the merrier the game becomes, because all players will be massively influenced by all the various animal’s special skills.

[Animal Circus]

Click on image to enlarge!

The last thing I can say is: get your ticket for the Animal Circus and let the show begin!

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