You and your fellow explorers are tracking the animals of the Costa Rican forest! Explore the streams, forests and highlands of the tropical land, and try to count as many animals as you can.
As expedition leader, you choose which direction your group goes-but if you choose to press forward, others in your group may take credit for what you've found. And, if you encounter too many threats, your expedition may come to a premature end.
- 72 rainforest tiles
- 30 explorer markers (in five colors)
- 1 expedition marker
Object of the Game
Earn credit for animals (the more, the better) and for finding at least one of each of the animals. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner!
Shuffle the tiles together, with their faces (the animal side) down.
Build a hexagonal board from the tiles, with five tiles per side. Set the extra tiles aside after building the board; they will not be used during this game.
Take a set of explorers in one color. Place one of your explorers at each of the six points of the hexagon, so that there are six explorer groups at the start of the game, and you have one explorer in each group.
Choose a starting player (the player who has most recently visited a rainforest (Costa Rica wins all), or use the explorers in one group to randomly select a player). They are the first expedition leader. Give them the expedition leader marker.
Terrain and Threats
There are three types of terrain in the game: mountains/highlands, coast/wetlands, and forest. Each terrain has its own types of animals.
Each terrain has a common and a rare animal type, and each terrain has a different chance to find two animals instead of one, as well as differing levels of danger.
Mountains/highlands: common toucans, rare jaguars, lots of animals, but with the most threats
Coast/wetlands: common basilisks, rare frogs, fewer animals, and fewer threats.
Forest: common monkeys, rare beetles, fewest animals, but with the lowest danger
The threat symbol shows a mosquito, which may seem tame, but can be very dangerous! Finding one threat is not a problem, but finding two on the same round means the end of your exploration!
Each round, the expedition leader chooses which expedition will move, and where it will go. They will also have the first chance to claim the tiles revealed during the current round. However, they will also be forced to take tiles (or possibly get no tiles at all) if they reveal two threats!
Red may only choose to move
an expedition with one of her explorers in it.
If you are the expedition leader, choose an expedition that has one of your explorers in it.
If you do not have an explorer in the group, you cannot move it. If all of your explorers have been returned to you, your game is over and the expedition leader role skips you.
Choose a tile next to the expedition you have chosen. The very first time that an expedition moves in a game, there is only one tile that you can reach.
As you move inland, you may move to any adjacent tile (use the expedition leader marker to track where your expedition currently is if your path is unclear to other players).
When you choose a tile, flip it over. It will show one or two animals, and it may show a threat.
You may now decide if you want to keep this tile, or pass. If you pass, players with an explorer in the expedition, clockwise from yourself as expedition leader, may also choose to keep the tile or pass.
If you claim the tile, take the tile and your explorer from the group and place them in front of yourself. All of your claimed tiles remain face-up for all players to see.
Then, move the remaining explorers to the space where the last revealed tile was located. In a later round, when the expedition moves again, it may move onto any adjacent tile from its current location.
If another player chooses to take the tile, they take the revealed tile and their explorer.
If any player claims tiles, the round is over. The expedition leader passes the expedition leader marker to the next player clockwise, who becomes the expedition leader for the new round.
Passing and Revealing More Tiles
If everyone passes, the expedition leader chooses another tile adjacent to the previously selected tile and reveals it. The leader may now choose to keep ALL tiles that have been revealed or pass.
If the leader passes, players with an explorer in the expedition once again decide (clockwise from the expedition leader) whether to claim all of the revealed tiles, or pass.
Again, if a player claims the tiles, the tiles and their explorer are removed from the board and placed in front of them, and the remaining explorers are moved to the spot on the board where the last tile was revealed.
Blue decides to take the tiles. He removes his explorer and the revealed tiles from the board. The remaining explorers are moved to the space where the last revealed tile was.
If a threat is revealed, play continues normally, but if second threat is revealed, the round is over. The expedition leader discards the two tiles with the threat symbols from the game, but gets to keep all remaining tiles from this round.
They remove their explorer from the group, move the remaining explorers to the spot where the last tile was revealed, and the next player clockwise becomes the expedition leader. Once threats are in your scoring pile, they have no effect.
The expedition leader MUST take all non-threat tiles, discarding threat tiles. The expedition is over!
More on Explorers
If an expedition has no tiles adjacent to it, it has been cut off and cannot explore or claim any more tiles! Remove the expedition from the board.
If you are by yourself on an expedition, you may simply reveal tiles until you choose to stop, or find two threats. Being the last person in an expedition is very powerful!
The game continues until all of the explorers have been removed from the board, or all of the tiles have been removed from the board.
Tile and Animal Data
This is a common version of the toucan, found in Costa Rica and many other places. Adults are around 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) high, with males being larger than females.
They are primarily frugivores (meaning a fruit- based diet), although they will eat small insects and reptiles.
The largest feline in the Western Hemisphere, they prefer swamplands or a water source in their habitat. They are expert swimmers and climbers.
Although jaguars can be found throughout Central and South America, they are threatened by habitat loss, and death due to human interactions.
The common basilisk can grow to almost 30 inches (76 cm) long as adults, but close to three-quarters of the length is the tail. They can run over 7 miles per hour (11 km/h) on land.
If scared, they often flee to nearby water, where they are fast enough to run on the surface for a few meters before submerging.
Red-eyed Stream Frog
This nocturnal frog has a distinctive, deep bell-like call (which sounds like "boop boop boop boop"). Females are slightly larger than males, but usually do not exceed 1.5 inches (4 cm).
These frogs are highly endangered (due to disease and habitat loss), and efforts are underway to introduce tadpoles from other areas to boost the Costa Rican colonies.
These monkeys are very social, living in groups of 16-20 and living for over 50 years in captivity. They are capable of making and using tools, and will eat a wide variety of plants and insects.
They are considered a great benefit to rainforests, as their diet encourages seed dispersal.
These beetles grow to over 3 inches (8 cm) in length, and have fearsome-looking horns that they use to fight other males for dominance over food or females.
They live for four years, but half of their life is as a grub, eating decayed wood (the old forests required to sustain colonies is one of the reasons for its rarity).
Although mosquitoes are not directly life threatening, in Costa Rica they can transmit dengue fever, which is a dangerous illness with symptoms similar to severe flu.
Visitors to Costa Rica are encouraged to wear long sleeves and pants when exploring the rainforest, and to use insect repellant.
You score points for each of the six animal types:
In addition, you score a bonus 20 points for having at least one of each of the six animals. You score 20 bonus points for every set of six different animals that you have.
End of the Game
The winner is the player with the most points. If there is a tie, the tied player with the most animals of one type is the winner. If still tied, the players share the victory.
3 jaguars = 6 points, 1 toucan = 1 point, 5 monkeys = 15 points.
Total: 22 points.
There are no changes required to the rules or the board for a two-player game. However, if you would like a longer two-player game, give each player two colors.
When you end an expedition, you may remove either of your colors from an expedition, but the tiles you collect must be separated by the colors used.
At the end of the game, score each color separately, and then combine your two colors' scores for your final score.
Strategy and Tips
You must claim many more tiles in a 2- and 3-player game than in a 4- or 5-player game!
The 20-point bonus for all of the animals is particularly powerful as the player count increases.
Watch what the other players are collecting. Sometimes, it's better to take tiles so that someone else doesn't get them!
You might need to end an expedition early in order to prevent another group of explorers from getting cut off!