I have yet again cheated on this format of writing these quick look review with a first play perspective. I immediately played the game the following day after playing the first time. This may be a common occurrence so I will write these with the idea that these reviews will be within the first five game play sessions. I think this will maintain the fresh look perspective that I was looking for here and not the in depth look that the full reviews will be. Let’s now look at Animals on Board with these new lenses.
I’ve logged only two plays of this game as of this post which consist of a two player game and a four player game. Each instance provided a very similar feel that didn’t effect game play as much as I would have thought. I’ll get into those differences momentarily.
The game itself upon first glance is very well produced. The token stands that looked like arks are very cool and thematic. They also help when trying to figure out the game end scenario which I appreciate. Anything to make things easier is always welcome and refreshing. The animal tokens all have point totals on them that range from 1 to 5. A nice touch they added was having the animals get older as the point total increased. The oldest animals were the 5 point tiles.
The game play was very interesting and challenging. The game revolves around collecting animals for your ark in groups of 1, 3, 4, or 5. Groups of 2 will result in zero points. You accomplish this by splitting groups of animals on the table and collecting food. Once you have collected enough food then you pay the food depending on the size of the group of animals and place them on your ark. This simple choice is surprisingly difficult as the other players are trying to accomplish the same goal. Each time you split a group of animals up becomes increasingly tense as you don’t want your desired animals to be picked up by the other players. What makes the situation even tougher is that the sets of two animals will result in points lost. I noticed in this degree of difficulty more as the player count increased. Smaller player counts is really just a test in luck than strategy. I would assume this was just a fluke as it was the first time I have played so this may change in future plays.
This game is very quick and simple to break out. I would strongly recommend this one if your looking to purchase for a family. Hardcore gamers may find something in this one too but I’m not sure if it would have the legs to last longer than a dozen plays though. Only more plays will really tell the tale for me.