Michael Schacht


No. of Players:
2 - 5



What is a Zoo without visitors? As it seems, it was exactly this question which had inspired author Michael Schacht to the Exotic-expansion for his awards-winning Zoo-management game Zooloretto, and so the paths in the players' Zoos now will be populated with meeple-ish visitors who have come to see the new exotic animals which will be available on the new jungle-path extension board.

To set this expansion up for play, each of the players has to assemble an angle-shaped "jungle path" expansion board which is added to the lower right corner of each player's Zoo board. As a result, the Zoos now feature a fourth enclosure which is reserved for up to five jungle animals, and so a number of jungle-animal tiles will be mixed with the Zoo tiles from the basic game to create a combined drawing pile for the players.

Thus, it is now possible for the players to reveal and place jungle animals on the wagons for new animals, and whenever a player receives a jungle animal tile he may place it at one of the five spaces available in his jungle path enclosure. In contrast to the basic game, up to three different species of jungle animals can be placed in the jungle path enclosure, but as usual all excess jungle animal tiles once again must be placed in the barn where each species of jungle animals will cause a penalty at the end of the game.

However, the jungle path board is not just a place where jungle animals can be placed. It actually serves as an extension of the visitors' footpath which can be found on the main gameboard, and so each of the players' Zoos now features a footpath which leads over a total of five lookout-points to the exit of the Zoo. During setup, one visitor figure of each colour will be placed at lookout point number "2", and from here the visitors will move either forwards or backwards on their way through the Zoo.


The players aim for their visitors to leave the Zoo by the exit following the fifth lookout position, since each different colour of visitors who have exited the Zoo will generate victory points at the end of the game. In addition, the first visitor of a colour who leaves one of the player's Zoos will award a special token for that specific player, and at the game's end that player will receive additional victory points for each visitor of the same colour who has exited his Zoo.

Visitor movement is triggered by the placement of vending-stalls and jungle animals, but both of these Zoo-tiles are dealt with in a slightly different manner. In case of the vending-stalls each different type of vending-stall is associated to a specific colour of visitors, and the placement of such a stall means that either a visitor of that colour within the Zoo can be moved forwards by two lookout points, or a new visitor of that colour an be added to the Zoo on lookout point number "2". The jungle animals on the other hand are jokers, so that they can be used to trigger the movement (or entry) of a visitor of a colour of the player's choice. However, their effect is even more nasty since all other players must move a visitor of the same colour one step backwards (provided they have a matching visitor). This may even result in a visitor leaving the Zoo by the entrance, and such a visitor of course will not bring victory points at the end of the game.

Although the rules of the whole Zooloretto Exotic expansion can be fully summarized on just two small pages, the introduction of the visitors certainly means a major impact on the gameplay. The players now have a whole new dimension to consider, since they now may not just focus on getting matching animals for their enclosures, but they also must try not to fall too far behind in the visitors' rankings. Thus, without introducing too many new details, Zooloretto Exotic cleverly expands the scope of the basic game and moves the whole playing experience a step closer towards the strategic side.

In comparison the one-tile-mini-expansions which are handed out at various conventions, Zooloretto Exotic really is an enrichment for the game because of the good strategic impact. Following an atmospheric coherent path, the managing of the visitors smoothly integrates with the rules of the main game, and as a result this expansion really can be recommended to anybody looking for a new challenge in Zooloretto!

[Gamebox Index]

Google Custom Search

Impressum / Contact Info / Disclaimer


Copyright © 2011 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany