Eldest (6) had spotted the stack of new games and asked for "Noah's game", so I quickly gave in since I wanted to get a feel for the game! 'Tis usually easy to persuade me...
Anyway, the third player was middle child (3), so probably not the most competitive game! (Quoted age range is 8+)
Despite the suspicion of fiddly rules, they all make sense in terms of the theme, so you can easily understand the rules and how to apply them. The difficulty we found was in remembering to apply them!
All rules were played (well, I was treating this as a dry run for introducing the game!), but the pets weren't introduced until the second rain card and the end game differences were kept back until the fifth rain card. I didn't explain the scoring until the end (don't try this at home!) and looked up the special abilities as they were played.
Three-year-old's play was limited to choosing to pick up cards or play. On pick up, he chose which face up card to receive, and on playing, chose the card to be played and which legal slot to use.
Six-year-old kept her cards hidden and played for herself with some occasional, "where can I play this?" questions. She did go on a run of picking up cards for no apparent reason, but this didn't affect her score unduly.
In the end, the scores were 30 (thirty-something), 30 (three-year-old), 28 (six-year-old), but my spare action discs won the game.
We overlooked applying the rules consistently on two or three occasions (played the Fox with another carnivore, played hot and cold provisions together, probably missed adjusting the ark balance once), but with three or four alert adults/older children, this is unlikely to occur...
Definitely a game worthy of future plays, but I'll give it another outing or two before I weigh in with a rating.