Games: animals in action

Who doesn’t like animals? Admit that there are few people who do not let themselves be moved by a hoe of a cat or a bear cub.

In short, the animal world is a source of inspiration for many people and the creators of board games are no exception.

There are a ton of games that have an animal or type of animal centered theme and that’s okay. It’s cute, it’s very thematic, and it’s a real eye-catcher on a beautiful game box.

So here are three games that are quite different from each other that focus on the animal kingdom in one way or another.

Wingspan

  • 1 to 5 players
  • 40-70 minutes
  • 10 years +

Elizabeth Hargrave is an ornithology and board game freak. She chose to combine her two passions by creating her very first game and she hit the nail on the head since Wingspan was one of the biggest hits of 2019.

And we understand why, since everything is magnificent there, from the dice tower in the shape of a manger to the superbly illustrated cards which also contain interesting information about each species that is depicted there.

In Wingspan, your goal is to create a collection of birds on your personal board which is divided into rows and columns.

To fill your board, you will need to collect bird cards and food, essential to attract them. You will then be able to place a card respecting the type of habitat (the lines).

This game is motor type, meaning you will build an motor since each new card placed in a habitat will trigger the effects of all cards that precede it on that row.

You will therefore need to play your cards cleverly in order to obtain effective combinations that will make you progress faster than other players.

You will also have to make your birds lay eggs since the eggs will be essential to your development.

Once all the rounds have been played, the victorious player will be the one who has been able to attract the birds with the highest point value as well as the greatest quantity of eggs.

Each player will also have a personal goal (s) that will allow them to earn more points.

It is a game that is easy to learn and has great educational and contemplative value. We play it calmly.

Mariposas

  • 2 to 5 players
  • 45-75 minutes
  • 14 years +

It is not for nothing that we tell you about Mariposas since this is Elizabeth Hargrave’s second opus and was eagerly awaited by gamers.

Already available in English, it will be published in French next month, so the wait won’t be long.

Mariposas means “butterflies” in Spanish. We therefore follow the migration of monarchs from northern America to Mexico and back, all spread over three seasons. This is an original theme to say the least.

Unlike in Wingspan, Mariposas is played on a central board where there are a multitude of boxes and relay towns.

You will have to move your butterflies according to cards that you will draw as you go in a common deck. But beware, there are movement constraints and you will have to manage each of your little winged animals.

Your movements will allow you to recover flowers which will then allow you, by discarding them, to give birth to new butterflies.

Essentially, this is an ode to the life cycle of the monarchs, those gorgeous orange and black butterflies that adorn the very pretty game box.

You will score points at the end of each season based on your achievements.

It’s not a very competitive game, but it’s still looking for a winner.

Another great achievement for Elizabeth Hargrave.

Evolution

  • 2 to 6 players
  • 60 minutes
  • 12 years +

Here you are, immersed in the universe of dinosaurs in the midst of evolution. Your goal is to develop species and give them traits that will add special rules and change them.

Thus, an ordinary dinosaur, with the addition of a trait card, can become a formidable carnivore that will eat the dinosaurs of your opponents.

The game is played in rounds which are divided into four phases. First we’ll deal cards to each player based on the number of beasts in front of them. You will then choose a card from your hand and place it face down on a pond, which will determine the amount of food available for this round.

In the third phase, players will play cards from their hand in order to add traits to their species or even create new species. It is also possible to increase the size and population of the species. Finally, we move on to the food phase since the herbivores must eat and there will have to be enough for all the animals or the population will decline until extinction. Then it will be the carnivores’ turn to feed themselves by wiping out species that are smaller than themselves. If there were only larger species, carnivores would decline for lack of food.

But herbivores are not defenseless against evil carnivores, as by assigning them specific traits, they can guard against attack.

As the rounds progress, the players will place the accumulated food tokens in a small bag and these will become victory points at the end of the game. To that, we will add the sum of the remaining populations of your species and the trait cards in front of you.

It is really very simple and this game has great potential to charm children who will play it easily.

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