Skip to Content

Zoo Builder Game

1 reply [Last post]
Greggatron's picture
Joined: 04/21/2012

Before I begin, I just want to say that I will give figures and numbers to explain the game that will most likely change so disregard those in your feedback for now. I am more focused on feedback for expanding the gameplay and strategy. I hope that the zoo theme will entice both kids and adults with the animals (and factbook for each animal in the game) and the game play/strategy keeps the adults interested. This game pulls quite a few elements from the online games such as dream zoo/zoo tycoon.

The basic premise of the game is to build your zoo using tiles on a board with animal exhibits, land bonuses, expansions, and attractions to make money. The first player to hit X amount of money wins the game. In this game you will need to balance spending money to buy improvements that payout more and saving money to win the game.

Keep in mind I am still playtesting the game so all these numbers are most likely going to change.

Each player gets a 7x7 grid board and starts the game with 10 zoo cash.

Animals: There are 6 habitats with 5 animal exhibits per habitat. The animals costs and payout every turn vary between them. You may pay for a animal mate (instant) and baby (takes 3 turns to be born and only 1 baby can be awaiting birth at a time). The habitats can not touch so you need to place paths/dividers between them in order to build them side by side.

Also, as the payout of the animal increases so does the likelihood of needed maintenance (cleaning/feeding) which costs 1 zoo cash each time you have to complete those tasks. It may make more sense with the table below:

Link to table:

At the moment I have the player rolling 2 d6 dice per exhibit to determine if you have to clean and/or feed those animals but this could get a little cumbersome with 20 exhibits on the board.
I thought about just 1 roll for all animals but would have to mix up the ranges (which shouldn't be too hard such as payout 2 animal = 1-2/3-4 for 1 habitat but 5-6/7-8 in another and so on) so its somewhat balanced.

In addition to the animals you can buy the these also help create the zoo and make money:
Link to table:

Expansions: are required to clear the space and build the foundation for a new animal exhibit, path, land decoration or attraction. These are essential to expanding your zoo.

Paths: as mentioned above, these are needed to separate habitats since they can not touch.

Land Decoration: are used to give all animals in a certain habitat a payout bonus. Each land decoration that is touching an animal add 1 zoo cash payout bonus per turn. So if you had a land decoration in the middle and all the animals surrounding it, they would each make you 1 extra zoo cash per turn.

Attractions: can also act as dividers for your habitats and really draw people to your zoo. Attractions would be things such as a snack shops, info booth, gift shop, restrooms, etc. For each attraction you have, it brings in 1 person token onto your zoo. Each person token pays out 10 zoo cash per turn, which is why the attractions are so expensive. I may expand this feature and have it where you can only have x amount of people tokens in the game so players steal people away from other players if they have more attractions than the other players.

To clarify, on your turn:
1) First, receive zoo cash from each animal, land deco bonuses, and attractions in your zoo.
2) Check on your zoo maintenance (This is when you will roll for cleaning and feeding and pay 1 zoo cash (1 for cleaning and or 1 for feeding) for each habitat that requires it.
3a) Buy animal exhibits or add mates & babies (only 1 baby can be waiting birth in your zoo) to your zoo.
3b) Buy land decorations for a particular habitat which gives 1 zoo cash payout bonus to each exhibit touching it
3c) Buy expansions will will allow new exhibits, paths, land decorations, or attractions to be built on it.
3d) Buy paths or attractions for your zoo

This is the core game at the moment. I may add an activities card pile where there may be certain disasters or special events that harm or help the player's zoo.

I apologize for the long post, and most likely, numerous spelling/grammar errors.

I would love any suggestions and feedback that you may have to add to the strategy of the game. Thank you for your time!

Joined: 10/13/2011
I eat my own body weight in food each day!

It looks like you have a great framework here!

Could the random element of maintenance and feeding be removed, but then adjust maintenance values so that some animals are more or less expensive to maintain?

If you want to preserve the random element, could maintenance and feeding be fixed with some kind of "extra" maintenance cost that is random? (ie Visit from the Vet, Limited Diet, Destroyed Habitat, etc.)

Good luck with your design!

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut