Re: Great game for a young family
I bumbled into a copy of Coloretto yesterday. I'd heard it was similar to Zooloretto and thought it would be worth a try - especially since it was relatively cheap at $11 CDN.
So we've just finished playing and the consensus was that we all enjoyed it too. Everyone quickly understood the rules since there are obvious similarities to Zooloretto: instead of different kinds of animal tiles you have differently coloured cards, instead of "trucks" that bring the animals to the zoo you have row cards, instead of filling a zoo with limited numbers of enclosures you are collecting 3 colours that will count for you and any other colors will count against you.
But Coloretto is actually a much simpler game than Zooloretto (or some might argue a more pure form) - Zoo introduces coins that allow you to remove animals you don't want or buy animals from other players. You can also use them to expand the zoo which lets you collect (and score) one extra kind of animal. The other aspect of Zooloretto is that you must commit immediately to the kind of animal you will be attempting to score with by placing it in an empty enclosure. In Coloretto, its only at the end that you decide which colors you will use to score for/against you. Also, Zoo scoring is a bit different and introduces vending stalls which can improve your ability to score points for partially filled animal enclosures. Then there is the ability for animals to have babies.
Some people may think this is a stretch but Zooloretto kinda of reminded me of Alhambra at least in the sense that you can rearrange your Alhambra after you have already commited pieces to it but at a cost.
Anyways, I think because Coloretto was so much simpler, my kids more easily grasped what it would take to win. With Zooloretto, I could see that they had a harder time comparing the relative merits of all the extra choices they could make. I have a feeling this is why they have so far tended towards a more cooperative style of play.
Anyways, 2 of 3 girls prefered Zooloretto, 1 couldn't decide and father-like-daughter I couldn't decide which I liked better either. I could see myself picking Coloretto when I'm feeling a bit brain-dead after work but I could just as easily see myself wanting the richer set of options offered by Zooloretoo.
Two great games frankly and the fact that Coloretto can be had for so little $$$ makes me suggest that there's no reason not to own both.
Finally - I'd like to offer a challenge to Michael Schacht - a Coloretto/Zooloretto style game with with a cooperative twist (Cooperetto?). Now that I've seen the girls play together it seems like it could be super fun for the players to have to work together/coordinate with each other in order to win.