11 July 2018 Mesozooic

A Well-Crafted Dinosaur Zoo

Strategically select the best features to optimize your zoo

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You glance down at the diagram on your clipboard before looking back at the zoo beginning to take shape in front of you. The herbivore enclosure will fit perfectly in the top corner of the grounds. Maybe a large topiary should go next to it. You look at the diagram again, making a few changes to optimize the layout. Adding another section for the monorail track to zoom guests around the zoo would be a good idea. You adjust your plan and hurry off to talk to the workers. You can't wait for opening day.

It's your job as the director to plan and construct a dinosaur zoo to surpass any others. Strategically select the features you want and race against the clock to quickly piece together your zoo’s layout in this real-time card game. Mesozooic is available for pre-order now through our website or your local retailer and will be available in stores in Q4.

Can’t wait to build your own dino zoo? Come see us at Gen Con this year. We’ll have a giant dinosaur-sized demo of Mesozooic running the whole weekend at booth 1429!

Strategically Select Your Features

Over the course of three rounds, players will try to create the best dinosaur zoo. Each round begins with a draft, giving players the opportunity to strategically choose which features to add to their zoo. Players will simultaneously choose cards, selecting two at a time and passing the rest of the cards to the next player.

A hand of cards might have the left and right side of an herbivore enclosure. You could choose to snag both halves, so you know you’ll have the chance to complete at least one enclosure. You could grab one half of a vertical carnivore enclosure, hoping the next hand of cards passed to you will have the other half you need. Each round you’ll get to decide if your zoo will be full of enclosures, monorails, attractions, or a mix of all of those features.

Players keep choosing two cards at a time and pass the rest until they have eleven cards. The final time the cards are passed, you will keep the last card handed to you. Then it’s time to construct your zoo!

Players will shuffle their selected features and randomly place them faceup in a 4x3 grid, placing from left to right starting with the top row and proceeding down. The bottom-right space of the zoo is left empty, for now. Once the timer is flipped, everyone will have 45 seconds to simultaneously slide the cards in their zoo, one at a time, to line up features and score points.

Match Enclosures and Monorails

Dinosaurs need a safe space to roam around. In order to score points, enclosures have to be complete. Herbivore enclosures are horizontal while carnivore enclosures are vertical. Different species can be together in an enclosure, but the herbivores and carnivores won’t mix. Connecting an enclosure will score 6 points for your zoo.

Monorail tracks can spread throughout your zoo to zip guests around. The monorail cards will have different tracks, so think about what you grab during the drafting phase. If a monorail only has horizontal connections, you might not want to grab one with a vertical route. Each monorail connection will score 4 points.

Add Attractions and Topiary

During the draft phase, you may select attraction cards. The attractions will score the same in your zoo, even if the card shows a different attraction. You could have a zoo filled with aquariums if you want! Attractions need to be regularly maintained for your guests, so they need a maintenance truck next to them in order to score. Each attraction will score 2 points for each maintenance truck next to it. An attraction can score more than once if multiple trucks are next to it.

The topiary cards add a little decorative flair. Each topiary will score 1 point, regardless of where it’s located in your zoo. Some monorail cards have a topiary on them, automatically giving 1 point as well as the chance to get 4 more points if you can connect the monorail.

Score Your Zoo

Once the time is up, all players will stop sliding cards and place their director card in the empty spot that's left. The director card has a truck on it, so leaving the empty space next to an attraction card will help with your final score when you add the director. Then it's time to score your zoo!

In the example below, the zoo layout scores 20 points. The player was able to match up the top and bottom cards for the vertical carnivore enclosure for 6 points. Three of their attractions are next to a maintenance truck. Each attraction adds 2 points for a total of 6 additional points. One monorail connection adds 4 points and the two topiaries add another 2 points.

If the player had been able to match the horizontal herbivore enclosure up they would have added another 6 points. With only 45 seconds to optimize your zoo, you have to quickly decide if you want to keep sliding the cards or leave them the way they are. Sometimes pushing your luck to match up more cards could instead break the layout you had. Each round you'll have another chance to select your features, quickly build your zoo, and score the most points!

Next time we'll cover the advanced cards and the exciting effects they add to change scoring, so stay tuned!

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