I previously played Zooloretto and wanted to try out this game which was similar.
John was the only person who played this previously, and we had a good idea how the game worked from Zooloretto. All three of us were first timers.
I started out getting fish eating animals, and Cathy was contemplated with the animals you can train. I think there was one time she had the choice of picking untrainable stubborn dolphins over some other junk; but she ended up picking up the untrainables. John, the veteran, accidentally boxed in his aligators giving them no room for expansion while we all left decent room for more animals.
Near the middle, I got stuck with extra Polar Bears in my storage pool; which was lame when I found out the price for moving them was pretty high. In fact, I started out pretty horribly and missed a few good oportunities to get money and perfect animal matches because I wanted to wait for a 3rd animal on the truck. This game is all about grabbing the perfect duo matching animal truck over the chance of getting a triple. After playing Zoo and Aqua, there has been maybe 1 out of 25 trucks that had a perfect match after the middle of the game. Next time to prevent filling up my storage and getting those nasty negative points. I'm going to settle for a truck with only two matching cargo's over the chance of getting three matches.
In the end, John couldn't afford to fix his mistake and paid the nasty price. Last place with something like 13 points. I think I had something like 18pts. Wayne ended up winning the game.
It was a good game, but no match. Zooloretto is still the better game of the two. It just seemed too hard to fix a mistake after it got put into your storage. I mean, even with the extra money; I was always short and didn't buy all the expansion pens for more animals.
South Saint Paul
Wow, first review that I've read that rated Zoo over Aqua. After reading about both, I'm glad I went with Aqua first. I'm interested in getting Zoo eventually, but really only to play the combined game.
It only costs one coin to move from your depot into the zoo. So a 'mistake' can really just become a delayed gain.