30 May 2009

Review: Aquaretto

Many moons ago I wrote a whole bunch of reviews for our favorite board games. I haven't written one in a while, and that is sad because we got two new board games for Christmas.

One of the games we got is called Aquaretto. Eric's Mom bought it for us, and she bought it's predecessor, Zooloretto, at the same time for Eric's brother.

Let's be honest. We were not impressed with the cover. We read the back:
Create your own aquarium and attract visitors with exotic aquatic animals. Particularly attractive to visitors are the shows featuring the feeding of dolphins, whales, and seals. The player who best takes care of his animals can hope for repeated visits by satisfied customers.
Not impressed? Neither were we. It just sounded so juvenile. But, Eric's mom bought it because the game store people said it was the great game these days.

Shortly after Christmas we set about to learn the rules and decide if this game was as good as the game store people said it was. And really, it is. It's just a great little game, and it's not nearly as juvenile as the box makes it seem. The object of the game is to earn points. You earn points by collecting animals, but you can only have three types of animals in your park, unless you buy an expansion which will allow you to add new types of animals. If you take a truck that has animals you are not collecting, then that animal goes in the holding pen, and you are penalized at the end of the game for it.

Even that is a very simplified explanation. The game is actually quite competitive, and it takes a lot of looking around at your opponents' boards to determine what animals everyone is collecting. It's also a game where you can see exactly how everyone else is doing, and you can count your opponents' points. Although, we've found that even though it is generally apparent who is doing well and who isn't, nobody keeps exact score until the counting is done at the end.

I'd highly recommend Aquaretto. It is very refreshing and entertaining strategy game.

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