Zooloretto: The Dice Game takes the basic Zooloretto / Coloretto game play – on a turn either add to the offerings on display, or take one set of offerings – and replaces the cards with dice so that you'll never know which animals will pop up for you to take. Each player has her own scoresheet, which represents her zoo, with space for five types of animals: one crocodile, two ostriches, up to five lions. The scoresheet also has space to collect coins and barns for animals that don't fit in the appropriate pens.
On a turn, the active player takes one of two actions:
- Take two dice from the reserve, roll them, then assign each die to a transport cart on the game board.
- Take all the dice in one transport cart, then tick off the animals/coins on those dice on your scoresheet.
Dice can be placed in separate carts, and the number of dice is limited to six, eight, or ten depending on the number of players. The round continues until each player has taken dice from a cart, then a new round begins. The first player to fill the pen of a particular type of animal receives a bonus; if a player takes more animals than she has room for, however, she ticks off the barn for each type of overflow animal.
The game ends once a player has filled all her animal pens or has space in only one pen. Players score one point for each animal and any bonus points they received; they lose two points for each barn ticked off, but for each group of coins collected, one penalty can be ignored. (Alternatively, coin groups are worth one point.) The player with the highest score wins!