Animal Movement
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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I'm interested in games that involve a very conservative definition of Animal Movement. Specifically, games that feature mechanisms and design inspired by the way animals actually move. So a strong thematic/mechanism link in that regard. See my first 2 entries to see what I mean.

I'm not interested in any old game that has animals that happen to move. That would be way too large. I want the WAY they move to be representative of/inspired by how they move in the real world.

Also for this list I'm not making it broadly about animal behavior, where their choices are specific behaviors such as eating, mating, etc. This is locomotion only.

As a biologist who studies animal behavior, I'm particularly interested in games with this "movement" connection. I could only think of 2 off the top of my head so I was curious if there are any more.
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1. Board Game: Shear Panic [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1202]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Inspired by watching a herd of sheep, and trying to design a game around that. A lot of the different types of moves do a good job of simulating the chaos and group movement of a herd of sheep.
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2. Board Game: Volo [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:4933]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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From description:

"Volo, which was inspired by the beauty of birds flying in flocks, is an abstract game with placement, movement, connection, and territory elements."

I have long been struck by both the beauty and the biology of flock flying behavior, so this game is on my wishlist.
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3. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:442]
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
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Though technically protozoa, these amoeba move very randomly at first but will become more efficient later on as they acquire better genes. A very fun game. Alas, others in my gaming group do not like it much
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4. Board Game: Adaptoid [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:3499]
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
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These little critters move and feed depending on the type and number of appendages present. This is a really neat, underrated little abstract game
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5. Board Game: Sisimizi [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:3881]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Your individual ant pieces don't move, but the connecting lines that get drawn between the various anthills on the board look a lot like actual trails of ants running to and fro.
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6. Board Game: Wind River [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3514]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Simulates [sort of] the interaction between wild bison herds and nomadic native American tribes.
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7. Board Game: Feed the ducks [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Simulates the feeding behavior of ducks racing toward food tossed in the water.
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8. Board Game: High Tail It! [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1368]
Mark Saya
United States
Los Angeles
California
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A kangaroo race: be the first team of 'roos to circle the waterhole via a series of moves from small hops to large bounds.
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9. Board Game: Xiangqi [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:693]
Justus
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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There are two animals in this Chinese version of Chess.

There is the classic Knight (or Horse). However the Chinese Knight is not as good at jumping pieces as the Western Knight, if you shove a guy right in front of him he can't jump it. Here is a wikipedia image of the rule, and it does add an interesting wrinkle to the defending against/attacking with the knight.



There is also the elephant / minister (the two chinese characters sound the same so the are used for the same piece). This one is a little less exciting in that all it does is move diagonally exactly two vertices (chinese chess is played on the vertices, not in the spaces of the grid). However it cannot cross the river in the middle of the board (not sure why knights can but elephants can't but I guess it might be much asking about theme). BTW this guy can also be blocked if you place a guy in the middle vertice.
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10. Board Game: SeaSim [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:5243]
tim p
United Kingdom
Margate
Kent
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"Highly original abstract attempt at simulating a bit of sea life."
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11. Board Game: A Shepherd and his Dog [Average Rating:4.55 Unranked]
tim p
United Kingdom
Margate
Kent
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I've played this one. Completely simple rules which shouldn't be sheep like at all but the awkwardness of getting them to go in the pen when the other player wants them to go the other way, reminded me of the way sheep behave. I should say that I've never finished a game, just spent ages watching sheep wiggle back and forth.
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12. Board Game: Wildwechsel [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Ien C.
United States
New York
New York
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A charming little family game from Germany. Four players each play a different animal in a shared field trying to collect 5 different colored berries and get home first. Each animal -- fox, rabbit, boar, and deer -- has a unique, thematically-inspired way of moving, e.g. the deer hops, the rabbit zig zags, etc., as well as its own special power.

Players also each have a random hand of tokens, which allow you to move non-player characters on the board, such as the wolf which blocks other players. Each turn you play one token and move your animal. Any square in the field's grid that is passed through twice becomes impassable, which can make getting around, and especially getting home, more challenging. To track this, you actually mark the laminated board with a dry-erase marker.
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