Zoff 20im 20Zoo

Zoff im Zoo (a.k.a. Frank's Zoo)

http://www.ludism.org/scpix/20020511/09_zoffimzoo_hand1.jpg http://www.ludism.org/scpix/20020511/10_zoffimzoo_hand2.jpg

What can I say about this game? It's become a Seattle Cosmic staple, one of the GamesWePlay -- the game you pull out when nothing else tastes good. It's a game by Doris & Frank in which players try to take high-scoring tricks by playing animal cards. "Zoff im Zoo" means "Trouble in the Zoo" -- the animals are loose and they're all gobbling one another up, trampling on each other, and generally behaving like brutes.

Doris and Frank weave a complex ecosystem -- little fish are eaten by big fish, which are eaten by crocodiles, which can be squashed by elephants. Almost everybody can eat the mice, but the mice can scare the elephants, at the nominal top of the food chain. The Chameleon is a Joker and can be played as any other animal, while a mosquito can be played as an elephant because of the German saying "to make an elephant out of a mosquito" (English equivalent: "to make a mountain out of molehill"). And round and round it goes. But once you get used to the quirky, dare I say "organic" Doris & Frank rules, play is really fast and fun.


BoardgameGeek page for Zoff im Zoo