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Cranium Zooreka!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Sweating the Small Stuff! rss

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United States
Chula Vista
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My girls love to go to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park with their mother. I tag along once a year to both...mostly because if I think about it too much I get depressed at seeing these wonderful animals penned up even if it is in one of the best and most ample zoo's in the USA. My best friend is a security officer in the Zoo, and I believe he got them this game.

So here we go to the Zoo! All Images are from Ironmoss

The Object of the Game
To build four habitats by trading in collected resource goods from movement around the zoo track.

Game Ratings are on a 1 to 5 Star Scale.


Board - Mounted on heavy cardstock, square fold out, sturdy.

Movement Tokens - Colorful plastic pieces representing forms of travel. Blue Balloon, Jellow Jeep, Mint-Green Motorboat, Scarlet Sneakers.

Lets make alliteration work at the cost of spelling!!!

Prediction Beads - Glass Beads used to predict die roll outcomes that correspond to the colors of the movement one extra color for extra guesses.

I already did the alliteration so once is enough!!!

Resource Cards - Small 1.5 x 1.5 inch cards representing Food (Bannana) Animals (Paw Print) and Shelter (Palm Tree)

Trading Post Cards - Cards representing trading values for when one gets to the Trading Post with their Trading Cards. 3 Bananas = 1 Paw Print, 2 Paw Prints = 1 Palm Tree, 4 Bananas + 2 Paw Prints + 1 Shelter = 1 Habitat.

Event Cards - These are Stormy Weather and Sunny Weather Cards that represent Bad and Good events in each players attempt to build zoo habitats. These cards will take away or add to your resource card stockpile.

Dice - There is one extra large six sided dice with the standard pip markings...and one extra large six sided die with Resource Markings (banana, paw print, palm tree)

Overall Components - These components are kid friendly. They are sized for kids and are just enough to engage kids without overwhelming their audience.


Board - All representations on the board were simple, colorful, and cartoonish. The track went around the edges of the board with different outcomes (Trading post, Lucky Day, Clear Skies, Stormy Weather, Roll Again, Team Play) nicely represented.

Resource Die - Has 3 Food, 2 Animal, and 1 Shelter outcome on a extra large six sided die.

Resource Cards- Keeping it simple...Bananas, Paw Prints, and Palm Trees. Cartoonish...Kid Friendly...easy associations.

Trading Post Cards - The representation was almost Algebraic, using symbols in equations. As a math consultant...this is the way to introduce variables to kids in the primary grades.

Event Cards - My seven year old was reading the flavor ten year old "got it" when she would read the benefits or consequences, in bold print, of the card...and then go to the flavor text.

Movement Tokens - Fun and colorful. Better than Monopoly pieces!

Overall Graphics were superb for the target audience of kids.


1 Everyone puts their glass bead on what they believe the outcome of the die roll will be. You get one choice unless you have the Lucky Day Extra Glass Bead. Play the odds and go for the bananas. No wood for sheep here!

2 The active player rolls the regular and the resource die together.

3 Everyone that guessed the resource correctly gets that resource card.

4 Active player moves their token on the board and engages in the action on which their piece fell.

5 No matter how many resource cards you have, you cannot trade in for a habitat unless you land on a trading post. You can also trade excess resource cards for resource cards you are lacking at the trading post...animals for shelter (is that like sheep for wood?).

Overall Game Play was basically dependent on die rolls and chance. Details of the mechanics took it two steps beyond simple die rolls and made it interesting for my girls. They thoroughly enjoyed the game.


thumbsup This game was a lot of fun for my girls. They were laughing and having such a good time it was almost annoying.

thumbsup The details of this game found in the trading resources and the explicit prediction of die rolls forced my daughters to think of algebraic equality and of probability. It was interesting to see them engage in both with such ease because of the construction of the game.

thumbsdown They made so many free associations in their fun that they obsessed with them and then it went on and on and on! gulp

thumbsdown Somehow the phrase..."Bananas from the Amazon!" repeated by my Ten Year Old caught on and I cannot get it out of my head! cry

Being that only one die is rolled, I would change the uni-directional movement rule be changed to allow kids to choose in which direction they would like to move on a given roll.

This is a game that is truly fun...and well designed for kids. My daughters can and do play Settlers of Catan, Chess, Dominos, Othello, Blokus, Magic, and other games of that caliber...and do enjoy them. My seven year old often chooses to play chess with me. But I have never, and I do mean never, seen them have so much fun playing a game like they have Zooreka!

Personally, I found the silliness gravitated to the annoying...but having said is a game for kids for Pete's sake!!! The details of Trading Resource Cards, and Predicting Resource Rolls saved the game for the Adult in me...and the fact that they had pure fun with me saved the game for the Father in me. Alas...I will play this again!
Daddy needs to enjoy the silliness of his girls before they become stinky teenagers! shake
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Marc B.
United States
Palm Bay
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Agree agree agree. 100%

And these:

"Daddy needs to enjoy the silliness of his girls before they become stinky teenagers!"

Words to live by!
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