- 6 Director Cards
- 66 Basic Cards
- 12 Neutral Cards
- 20 Advanced Cards
- 6 Reference Cards
- 1 Sand Timer
- 1 Scorepad
Object of the Game
The age of dinosaurs is back-this time safely behind glass! The public can't wait to get a glimpse, and it's your job to satisfy their curiosity by building the best dino zoo.
You have 3 rounds to draft the most exciting attractions and slide them into place in this frantic, real-time puzzle game. Choose wisely, build quickly, and wow your guests. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins!
Before playing your first full game of Mesozooic, you should play a single learning round to familiarize yourselves with the game.
These orange sidebars contain special rules for the learning round; disregard them for future games.
When setting up a learning round, resolve only steps 1-4 of setup.
Place the sand timer and scorepad in the middle of the table.
Each player takes a reference card.
Each player take double-sided di card and the set basic cards with matching icons.
Players set their director cards asides.
Gather each player's basic cards and shuffle them all together with the neutral cards to create a facedown deck. Return all remaining cards to the box.
In Mesozooic, you build dinosaur zoos by quickly sliding cards within a grid to arrange them and score points. The game is played over three rounds, and each round includes three steps: choose, build, and score.
For the learning round, skip the choose step and start with the build step; you will use only the cards from your director's set.
You begin each round by choosing the features you want in your zoo. Deal 11 cards from the deck to each player, then set aside the rest of the deck; it is not needed until the end of the round.
Players simultaneously choose cards for their zoos. To do so, look at your cards and choose two of them to keep; place chosen cards facedown in front of you. You can look at your chosen cards at any time during the choose step.
Then pass the remaining cards to the next player. Repeat choosing two cards and passing remaining cards until you have chosen 11 cards (the final time cards are passed, you keep the last card).
In the first round of the game, pass cards clockwise. In the second round, pass cards counterclockwise. In the third round, pass cards clockwise.
Shuffle your cards. Then one at a time, randomly place your cards faceup in a 4x3 grid, placing from left to right starting with the top row and proceeding down.
The bottom-right space of your zoo is left empty for now-the empty space will move as you build, and after building you will place your director card in that space.
Orient all cards upright, and make sure to leave some space between the cards.
Example Zoo Before Sliding
All players have 45 seconds to simultaneously build their zoos by sliding cards to line up features and score points.
Before sliding begins, players should take a moment to look over their cards and plan their zoos. When all players are ready, one player counts down aloud: "3...2...1...GO!" Then flip the sand timer, and all players start sliding their cards.
The cards within your zoo move like the tiles in a sliding puzzle. Using only one hand, slide one card at a time into the empty space of your zoo (creating a new empty space) to rearrange the features in your zoo.
You can sl ide any of these
cards into the empt y space.
You can slide cards as quickly as possible and as many times as you like within the time limit. You cannot rotate cards or slide cards outside of your zoo.
When the sand timer runs out, you must immediately stop sliding cards.
Place your director card in the empty space of your zoo. Then you score points based on how well you arranged and combined the features in your zoo. Record scores for the round on the scorepad.
The various zoo features score differently, as explained below. Some cards may show multiple features, which each score separately. There are reminders of how each feature scores on the front of the reference cards.
The art for some features varies from card to card; these cosmetic differences do not affect how the features score. For example, within a completed enclosure, the dinosaur types do not need to match, and the three types of attractions score the same way regardless of their appearance.
Score 6 points for each completed herbivore enclosure (horizontal) or carnivore enclosure (vertical). For each attraction, score 2 points for each maintenance truck next to that attraction (not diagonally); your director has a truck.
Attractions & Trucks
For each attraction, score 2 points for each maintenance truck next to that attraction (not diagonally); your director has a truck.
You can score multiple times for an attraction if there are multiple trucks next to it. If an enclosure blocks a truck from an attraction, the truck does not score for that attraction.
Score 4 points for each monorail connection.
Score 1 point for each topiary anywhere in your zoo.
End of the Round
After finishing the learning round, you are ready for a full three-round game. Set up the game using the standard rules.
After you finish scoring, either prepare the deck for the next round or, if you have finished the third round, the game ends (see "Game End" below).
To prepare for the next round, players set aside their director cards as before.
Gather all cards from players' zoos and shuffle them together with the deck to create a new facedown deck. Then begin the next round.
End of the Game
After you have finished scoring the third round, the game ends. To determine your total, drop your lowest score and add up your two remaining scores. The player with the highest total wins!
In case of a tie, the tied players compare their dropped scores; the tied player with the highest dropped score wins. If there is still a tie, the tied players share the victory.
When playing with less experienced players, any player can choose to follow one or more of the following restrictions in order to level the playing field:
While building, use only your non-dominant hand to slide cards (if you are right-handed, use your left hand, and vice versa).
During the build step, when the sand timer is flipped, slowly count down aloud from five before you start sliding cards.
At the end of the game, drop your highest score instead of your lowest score.
For Young Players
You can use one or more of the following suggestions to simplify the game for young players:
Skip step 5 of setup and skip the choose step each round; all players build their zoos using only the cards from their director's set.
Return three of each player's cards (not directors) to the box and play using a 3x3 zoo.
When the sand timer runs out, flip it a second time to double the time allowed for building.