Carlo Rossi

Publisher: Rio Grande Games

The wooden animal pieces are awesome and compatible with Animal Upon Animal

Zoowaboo is a kid’s game that tests some aspects of spatial orientation and distribution. The goal of the game is simple, every round 10 animals are standing around a raft trying to get on. The raft has a relatively large cut out in the middle meant for fitting in the animals, laying down flat on their sides. Your job is to figure out if all 10 animals can fit in the raft. You are given two discs, a thumbs up and thumbs down disc. Players simultaneously select and reveal their discs. If all players think the 10 animals can fit in snugly, then a new animal card is revealed and an 11th animal is added to the flock. Players then decide once again if the new addition can be added to the raft. At some point, one or more players will figure out that the maximum capacity of the raft is exceeded and choose the thumbs down disc. The remaining players who played thumbs up will have about 2 minutes to try and fit the animals on the raft by working together. All the players who worked together will get points if the animals successful fit on the raft. Otherwise, the thumbs down folks will snatch victory and claim the points.

The game plays for 6 rounds with 6 different rafts of varying sizes. Points earned escalate with round 1 scoring 1 point per player up to 6 points in round 6. The scoring does feel a bit wonky and lopsided, awarding so many point in the end dilutes the early game scoring. Players tally up points and that’s it.

Zoobawoo is harmless fun. There probably isn’t a lot of staying power even for kids. For adults, the game is probably good for one or two plays. We noticed that each raft probably comfortably fits at least 12-13 animals and runs into issues after that. Some animals such as the polar bear or elephant are quite large. If you have some of those in the line up, then bailing out early is a good idea. The animal pieces are awesome as there are 10 types of animals with 3 of each kind. Probably works very well with Animal upon Animal too, which is absolutely the best part of the game.

Initial impression: Average (family and kids)

Kid’s Corner

5 years 3.5 months: The kid has no issues comprehending the rules. I am not sure it’s easy to gauge the fit on the raft for either kids or adults. Kinda a grab bag for this. We teach her how to be efficient packing the animals in with minimal space wastage but I am not sure she totally gets it yet. Getting there though. Working together is tough since she just wants to do it by herself and we just let her. We don’t use the sand timer for this purpose. She does like to win in this game though.

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