Board games were a part of almost everyone’s childhood, though sadly for many of us they sat on shelves because of the number of people required to play them. Some of the lonelier kids tried to play as all the characters, but never with great success. Zooloretto (aided by the wonders of technology) delivers a great board game experience solo, or with friends if they happen to be around.
Zooloretto is an adaptation of the board game, which has won several awards. While we weren’t aware that board games had awards, we agree with the verdict on this one. As with all board games there are many rules, and though it comes complete with a manual which you can read at your leisure, Zooloretto also has a tutorial which eases you in quite well.
Get to mating, pandas!
In Zooloretto, you draw token cards which represent animals, money or concession stands, and place these around your zoo. Each person’s zoo is the same size, and the goal is to attract the most visitors to your own zoo by the number of animals and variety of stands.
Objectives are achieved by cooperating or competing with your opponents through the innovative delivery truck system. Each turn gives you the option of either managing your zoo in some fashion or drawing a card and placing it in one of the delivery trucks, the number of which correspond to the number of the players.
Each truck can hold up to three tokens. You can choose to take one at any time, though doing so ends your turns for the rest of the round. Once taken, you place your new cards in your zoo, where they spring to life in a fantastical fashion.
After each game is finally complete, ranks are given and points are attributed accordingly. From the main menu, you have the ability to shop and unlock two more characters, but nothing else. The game could stand to benefit from more unlockables, like achievements or trophies.
One nice detail is the sound design. While playing, joyful music runs in the background, reminiscent of the zoo and festivals in general. The sound effects portray animal noises pretty well, but a zoo full of noise can get tiresome quickly.
Zooloretto is a solid game, and it is very enjoyable to play either by yourself or with some mates. It has a stylized and cartoony design, making it easy on the eyes, and suitable for all ages. Board games are an old member of the gaming family, but with Zooloretto, the iDevice has a great new addition.