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Board game review & gameplay of: New York Zoo

Game design: U. Rosenberg

Illustrations: F. Wermke

  • 8/10
  • 10+
  • 1-4 players
  • 30-60 minutes


In New York Zoo you and your fellow players are building a zoo from scratch. It's a tileplacement racing game, meaning that whoever finishes their zoo first, wins the game. 

Each player has their own playerboard for this. Rotating clockwise, players move the elephant and can choose one of two actions, either placing a tile, or getting new animals from the supply.

When getting new animals, they can be placed either on tiles that are already on the board containing that particular animal, or in the stables, if there is a free one left. If an animal can't be placed, you cannot take that animal. If an animal is the last to fill up a tile, you immediately get a free attraction-tile to place on your board. 

When placing a tile, you must already have an animal to place upon the tile, in your own 'supply'. The tile has to be placed within the boundaries of the board, besides this there are no specific rules for placement specific. When the tile is placed, an animal has to be placed on it either coming from the stables or from another tile, not taking away the last one. 

When crossing a breeding space, all players are allowed to breed that particular species on one to two spaces when these contain 2+ animals, placing one extra animal of that species on that tile.

Players continue until one of them fills their board and thus wins the game.


I like tileplacement games, so I was excited to figure this game out. The breeding part of the game felt new, although being used in other games from Uwe Rosenberg, combined with tileplacement it gives a new feel to this game for me. 

It plays really well and is rather easy to teach. I really like walking around with the (awesome!) elephant meeple and choosing one of two available actions. It feels like no unnecessary things are in the way of you just placing the tiles and trying to be the most efficient. 

I like the fact that all players breed at the same time, making the game a bit more engaging than if that element would be missing. Turns are quick, there is enough engagement because of players taking from the same pool of tiles. 

All in all I think this is a great game!


Also check my let's talk about story series about New York Zoo in my story highlights on IG!

A copy of this game was provided to me by White Goblin Games for the purpose of writing this review. My opinion however remains my own.

Boardgamegeek BGG

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