Be the first player to score POINTS for all of your cards each round.  

The first player to reach 800 POINTS wins the game!


*If only 2 people are playing, it can be 1000 POINTS to win (optional)

*If 5-6 people are playing, it can be 600 POINTS to win (quicker)

                       There are 10 different animal Connect Cards / Upper Half:

The Upper Half cards have blending gray-to-black borders around them, and the Lower Half cards have blending white-to-gray borders around them.

If you pick the UPPER HALF of an animal, look to see if you have the LOWER HALF of the same animal in your starting cards. If so, connect both HALVES flush together (top-to-bottom) to form the entire animal.

*When Connect Cards are matched, they will always be worth 80 POINTSif scored.


Also, only the Upper Half Connect Cards list an animal category on the top of each card.
(This will be important to know for when you learn about the *Side Bonus Cards further down.)

BaCK TO TOP

There are 2 kinds of Wild Cards:

The BEAST cards are worth 0 POINT and have black borders around them (there are 5 BEAST cards).
and the one BEST BEAST card is worth 50 POINTS (also with a black border) .

MOLE cards can prove to be EXTREMELY useful towards helping you win the round!

These cards
aren’t worth POINTS, they are ONLY USED to perform a task.

A
MOLE card is specifically USED for getting access to PASSED UP or missed cards that get buried in the discard pile. It allow you to pick up the entire discard pile and "dig" through the deck to find & take out any matching animal cards & any Side Bonus Cards that can give you POINTS!

There are 3 different Specialty Cards:


The EARTHWORM card, the RACCOON card & the HYENA card.
Each card has a gray border around them.

The RACCOON card – This card is used to TAKE any other player’s highest POINTS cards.

The EARTHWORM card – This card is used to SWITCH any of your cards showing POINTS with any other player’s cards that are also showing POINTS.

• Separate the white deck from the black deck.

• Shuffle each deck thoroughly at the beginning of each round.

• Place the black deck face down in the middle of the play area to be a draw pile.   

• Choose a designated player to be the dealer of the white deck.


THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF STARTING CARDS THAT YOU CAN BE DEALT:

All the other players ONLY add up their Minus Cards and Side Bonus Cards
(if they have any) and score
just those points.

BaCK TO TOP BaCK TO TOP BaCK TO TOP

In the first round, the dealer is dealt the first card. After that, the player who wins the round is dealt the first card, with the option of giving the deck a "lucky cut" first! :)


• Going clockwise, the dealer places one card at a time face-up in front of each player until    everyone has a straight row of 6 evenly spaced animal cards in front of them.

~The remaining cards in the white deck are no longer needed for this round –
Put them out of the play area.

HOW TO DEAL THE CARDS FROM THE WHITE DECK:

These 6 cards are called your STARTING CARDS.

ZOPS - ILLUSTRATIONS

OK... time to get acquainted with the cards you’ll see in the black deck

If you can’t match your picked card, place it face-up next to the draw pile… this forms the discard pile.

When a card is discarded, it is available to the next player. If the next player sees that they can match that card they MUST take it, as well as any other cards that become revealed underneath it.

        When you are no longer able to take a card (or cards) from the discard pile,
                                                your turn is over – that’s it!

The player to be the first one to have POINTS (including minus POINTS) showing for
all of their starting cards wins that round!
Only the winner of the round gets to add up ALL of their POINTS and score them down.

A player cannot intentionally decide NOT to take a card from the discard pile that they can use - if they know they can use it, they MUST take it.

*Should a player honestly overlook being able to use a card from the discard pile,   then that card will be considered “missed”.


Number of players: 2-4

*It is possible for up to 6 players to play (even more than that, actually…)
but 2-4 players is the most optimum for game play.   


For ages 7 and up
(Equally fun for kids & adults)


Total number of cards: 126
52 in White Deck (white border) / 74 in Black Deck (black border)


Playing time varies depending on number of players
(approximately 15 minutes per round)

There are 10 different animal categories that you will see listed
on various cards in the game that ascend in point value.
*Each category is also visually represented by a select background color hue.

~Remember: Connect Cards do not cover each other, they connect with each other.

The player who was dealt the first card starts each round by picking a card from the draw pile.

Every card will show a different animal on it. Your goal is to match all of the animals you see on all 6 of your starting cards with the very same animals found within the draw pile.
(The illustrations of the animals will be identical.)

BaCK TO TOP


Category Cards





  Connect Cards




     

      Minus Cards


These cards have all-white borders around them. They display an animal with their specified animal category listed at the top of each card. Also, there is a number listed in upper left or right corner of the card. This indicates what the point value of the card will be worth – currently, these cards aren’t worth POINTS... YET!


These cards have white-to-gray borders around them. They display only the LOWER HALF of an animal and say CONNECT at the top of the card. All Lower Half Connect Cards have an indicated point value of 80 points listed in upper left or right corner of the card.


These cards have red-shaded borders around them. They display an animal and say MINUS on the top of each card. They also display minus POINTS in the upper right corner of the card.

(Lower Half)

~ Use this colorful chart above to directly jump to a particular section of the rules:) ~

(White border)

(Black border)

WHITE DECK
(deal)

BLACK DECK
(draw pile)

ALLIGATOR card
(green background)

BUTTERFLY card
(yellow background)

Category: INSECT

Category: REPTILE

MAMMAL……………..….10 Points (Browns/Tans)

OCEAN………………......15 Points (Blues)

BIRD…………………......20 Points (Pinks)

INSECT………………......25 Points (Yellows)

SEMI-AQUATIC…….....30 Points (Aquas)

HORNS…………….…..…35 Points (Oranges)

REPTILE………………….40 Points (Greens)

MARSUPIAL……….…....45 Points (Mauves)

ARACHNID…………..….55 Points (Reds)
MYTHICAL.…………..….65 Points (Purples)

*Example card

*Example card

*Example of player’s cards - 6 STARTING CARDS (dealt face-up)

CONNECT CARD

     (Lower Half)  

CATEGORY CARD

MINUS CARD

Currently worth
-75 POINTS

Indicated point value

Animal category

If it’s your turn, you must COVER your KANGAROO card - (now it’s worth 45 POINTS)

    draw pile                 discard pile

*Example #1 of a player having POINTS for all of their cards - WINNER! (Tallied up Score= 275 POINTS)

   (Lower Half)  

COVER matching card (Fully, directly over) COVER matching card (Fully, directly over) CONNECT matching upper half & lower half cards (Flush, edge-to-edge) Now worth POINTS Now positive POINTS

CONNECT CARD

CATEGORY CARD

MINUS CARD

*Example #2 of a player having POINTS for all of their cards - WINNER! (Tallied up Score= 200 POINTS)

*You can win
the round even if you have a
Minus Card showing

BaCK TO TOP (not yet  POINTS) No POINTS Doesn’t get to score these POINTS Got STUCK with a -75 Minus Card

*Example of a non-winning player at the end of a round - (Tallied up Score= -75 POINTS)

Doesn’t get to score these POINTS Doesn’t get to score these POINTS (not yet  POINTS)

                          There are 36 different animal Category POINTS Cards:

The Category POINTS Cards are the most common type of card in the black deck.
For every Category POINTS Card, there is a matching Category Card. They both display the exact same animal illustration on them.

The main difference between the two types of cards is that all Category Cards have white borders around them and display indicated point values, while all Category Points Cards have black borders around them and prominently display —you guessed it— actual POINTS!

Category POINTS Card

All Category Points Cards have the following info:


• Animal Category – Listed at the top of each card

• Actual
POINTS Displayed – Listed in the upper corner

• Animal Image – Prominently illustrated on each card

• Animal Name – Listed below each animal image

1-



2-



3-

They can bring this to your attention and have you take or use the card you missed allowing you to continue on with your turn. (They may do this just to be nice or to have a “friendly” game)


They can MAKE you take or use the card you missed – having you continue on with your turn. (They may do this if it works to their favor, or if they think you’re avoiding the card)

OR they can simply decide to say nothing at all and let you miss a card – It’s their turn now, Haha!

     
There will be times when a missed card can be beneficial to a player, and other times not.
     So, it is the sole decision of the next player as to what will happen when a card is missed.

MORE ABOUT MISSED CARDS
If you miss a card (for whatever reason) and the next player after you notices this,
they have a few options to consider:

No matter what… it’s always a good idea to not only keep track of your cards, but to
also keep a good eye on all the other players cards as well – stay aware ;)

WINNING THE ROUND

(You will learn about *Side Bonus Cards further down.)

                              There are 6 different animal ANTI-Minus Cards:

The ANTI-Minus Cards have black borders, and Minus Cards have red-shaded borders.

If you have a Minus Card in your starting cards, then it already is displaying
POINTS...
minus POINTS, that is! This is one less card that you’ll need to match to win the round.

However, you will certainly want to match your Minus Card with an ANTI  Minus Card because it will turn it from minus POINTS into positive POINTS when covered!

-

At the end of each round, ALL players stuck with any Minus Card(s) still showing in their starting cards have to subtract that card’s minus value from their scores.

1-


2-


3-


4-


5-


6-


You will cover it with its matching ANTI-Minus Card, thus turning it into positive POINTS.

You will cover it with a BEAST Wild Card, thus turning it into 0 POINTS.

You will cover it with a BEST BEAST Wild Card, thus turning it into 50 POINTS.

You will use an EARTHWORM Specialty Card and switch it with another player’s card.

You will use a HYENA Specialty Card and give it to another player.


Or you will get stuck with it at the end of the round and score minus POINTS.

DURING THE ROUND IF YOU HAVE A MINUS CARD IN YOUR HAND…
there are a 6 possible outcomes that can happen:

So now you know that… Minus Cards can be covered by any Wild Card,
and they can also be switched or given by using a Specialty Card.


(You will learn more about *Wild Cards & *Specialty Cards below.)

Completely cover The Skunk MINUS Card (red border) with the matching Skunk POINTS Card (black border)

Completely COVER your Minus Card

with an ANTI-Minus Card

Now it becomes worth 75 POINTS! Still -90 POINTS until matched & covered with an ANTI-Minus Card

*Example of matching a (SNAIL) ANTI-Minus card with a (SNAIL) Minus Card - completely cover

 – FIRST A QUICK OVERVIEW –
 Card Reference List

Here is a brief and simplified explanation of every type of card in the black deck:

EARTHWORM cards have you switch cards with another player.

RACCOON cards have you take a card from another player.

HYENA cards have you give a card to another player.

Specialty Cards:

MOLE cards let you search through the discard pile for
any passed up or missed cards.

Dig In Pile Cards:

They give you a side bonus if you have a card with the
same category listed on it.

Side Bonus Cards:

Category POINTS Cards: They cover Category Cards.

Connect Cards / Upper Half: They connect above Lower Half Connect Cards.

ANTI-Minus Cards: They cover Minus Cards.

Wild Cards: BEAST cards cover any of your starting cards of your choosing.

Full explanation of each type of card below:)

When a Wild Card is picked, you must place it over one of your starting cards of your choosing: this is any Category Card, Minus Card or Connect Card (Lower Half).

Once you cover one of your starting cards with a Wild Card, it cannot be removed. So, when you cover a starting card with a BEAST card it becomes worth 0 POINTS – permanently. The same rule applies to the BEST BEAST… except with this card, when you cover a starting card

it becomes worth 50 POINTS!


After picking a Wild Card, you get to continue your turn & draw again.

COVER any  Starting Card
with a BEAST Card
to turn it into
0 POINTS

COVER any Starting Card with a BEST BEAST Card
to turn it into
50 POINTS

*Example of covering a Category Card and a Minus Card with a Wild Card

Typically, your best choice is to select a Category Card listing the lowest indicated point value on it. *MAMMAL cards are the lowest possible Category Card to cover with an indicated point value of 10… then OCEAN cards (15), then BIRD cards (20), etc…

Minus Cards seem like an obvious card choice to cover, BUT they have the potential of becoming worth big points when matched with an ANTI-Minus Card.
At the same time, a player doesn’t want to
risk getting stuck with a Minus Card at the end of the round.







Lower Half Connect Cards are always worth a potential 80 POINTS, so there really isn’t any good reason to cover one… unless it happens to be your only remaining card choice. In which case, you must cover it with your Wild Card.

When deciding which starting card you should cover with a Wild Card,
there are a few things to consider:


This decision can also be influenced by the stage of the round…
Is it early in the game?
Is another player getting really close to winning the round?

These are factors to consider.



Also, if one of your matching animal cards has already been picked by another player and is now buried in the discard pile, this may influence your card choice.

(You can’t put a Wild Card here because it is Already
matched
& covered)

*Example of which of your stating cards you should cover with a Wild Card

You really shouldn’t cover a Lower Half Connect Card with a Wild Card unless you must

*This Starting Card is showing the lowest indicated point value (That isn’t a Minus Card)

You can either wait and hope to match this Minus Card with a ANTI-Minus Card… OR you can cover it now with a Wild Card.
(It’s a risk/reward consideration)

(You can’t put a Wild Card here because it is Already
matched
& covered)

NO NEED

POSSIBLY

(It’s your call)

NO NEED

CAN’T COVER

CAN’T COVER

BEST CHOICE

BaCK TO TOP

There are 6 Dig In Pile Cards:

The Dig In Pile Cards (also called MOLE cards) have brown-layered borders around them.

CARD GAME ZOP ZOO BaCK TO TOP BaCK TO TOP

MOLE CARD

When it’s your turn… if you see a MOLE card on top of the discard pile, you don’t have to try to use it if you think it’s not going to be necessary or beneficial. Rather, you can opt to pick a new card from the draw pile instead - it’s your call.

~Remember:

(You will learn more about *Side Bonus Cards further below.)

It is always a good idea to pay attention and try to keep a “mental note” of all your missed or passed up cards that get buried in the discard pile by other players ;)

-Pro Tip:

You can’t cover any of you starting cards with a Wild Card if they already are covered or connected with their matching animal card (thus showing black borders).

~Remember:

BEAST cards are ultimately good cards to pick, because even though they turn potential points to zero, they also help a player get that much closer to winning the round:)

*Note:

Once a starting card is covered with a Wild Card, it cannot be removed. This means that the staring card can no longer be paired with it’s matching animal card for POINTS.

*Note:

Know that Minus Cards and Anti-Minus Cards don’t list an animal category on top of them – their animal categories make no difference and are inconsequential to the game.

*Note:

Only Category Cards and Upper Half Connect Cards list an animal category on the top of each card! All the other types of cards in the black deck don’t.

-Keep in Mind:

The best indicator of knowing how well your round is going is by looking to see how many of your Category Cards are still showing white borders. When you match a Category Card with a Category POINTS Card, the white border will be covered by a black border. This will visually alert you that you now have POINTS for your Category Card, and also that you are getting that much closer to winning the round! Quite exciting indeed:)

*Note:

After each round, all the playing cards will need to be turned face down and sorted back into their 2 separate white and black decks… then shuffled thoroughly again.

*Note:

Once you’re finished taking a card (or cards) from the discard pile, you cannot
then pick from the drawing pile during that turn.
In other words, each turn you will either pick a card from the draw pile OR take/use a card from the discard pile… (it’s one pile or the other – never both).

~Remember:

You are to match the same animals together, not the same categories together.
For example, you don’t match a BIRD card with any other BIRD card, but rather you match an OWL card with the other OWL card. *It will help to pay attention to the written name of the animal on the bottom of each card:)

-Keep in Mind:

Only Category Cards and Lower Half Connect Cards have indicated point values
displayed on each card, while Minus Cards display minus  POINTS on each card.

~Remember:

When matching a Category Card or a Minus Card, you place the matching card directly over the other card and cover it completely (face-up).

If you’re matching Connect Cards, you connect both cards together, placing the UPPER HALF of the animal directly above the LOWER HALF.

Each time one of your starting cards gets covered or connected it is now worth POINTS!

               Whenever you pick a card from the draw pile that you can match,
                                         your turn continues – draw again!

MOLE cards DO NOT allow you to retrieve any Specialty Cards in the discard pile.

*Note:

However, there will be times when you don’t need to use a MOLE card – meaning that you have no passed up or missed cards in the discard pile. Therefor, you should only dig in the discard pile if you think it’s necessary. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your time digging. Not only that, but you will also be wasting your turn by not being able to dig-up any cards with POINTS.

If only 2 players are playing the game, MOLE cards won’t prove to be so important, because both players will always have alternating access to the top of the discard pile to take or use any cards they see. In other words, cards don’t get passed up and buried when there are only two players. However, it is still possible for a player to miss a card (if they’re not paying attention).

-Keep in Mind:

EARTHWORM CARD

RACCOON CARD

HYENA CARD

BEAST CARD

BEST BEAST CARD

0 POINTS

50 POINTS

The HYENA card - This card is used to GIVE any of your lowest POINTS cards to any player.

Side Bonus Cards highlight one specified category on them (e.g., OCEAN, BIRD, INSECT). They already are displaying POINTSbonus POINTS, which is always a plus to your score!

When you pick a Side Bonus card from the draw pile or see one on top of the discard pile, CHECK THE TOP OF YOUR CARDS to see if you have that same category listed on any of them. If you do, TAKE it... and place it to the SIDE of your starting cards to be added to your score at the end of the round, regardless if you lose the round or not.

Each Side Bonus Card is worth a different point value… and they are all worth guaranteed POINTS! :)

BaCK TO TOP

Whether you pick a Specialty Card from the draw pile or see one face up on the discard pile, you MUST always use them if it is possible for you to do so.

• If you pick a Specialty Card from the draw pile and use it successfully, your turn continues…
                                                                                                                           - pick again.


• If you see a Specialty Card on top the discard pile and use it successfully, your turn is over.
                                                                                                                        - next player.

If you CAN’T use a Specialty Card successfully, then you discard the Specialty Card on top of the discard pile – it is now there for the next player to use if it is possible to do so (In other word, you MUST use a specialty Card if you can).


The next player then MUST use that Specialty Card off the top of the discard pile and do the task, or they can just opt to pick a new card from the drawing pile instead.

*Keep any newly acquired POINTS cards aligned in your row of starting cards.

When using a MOLE card, there is no limit to the number of cards you can dig for as long as the cards you are retrieving will give you POINTS. Sometimes you’ll have just one passed up or missed card to retrieve from discard pile… other times more.

You will never add MOLE cards to you starting cards – they are NEVER KEPT.

*Note:

If you pick a MOLE Card from the DRAW PILE and you successfully use it to dig-out POINTS cards, your turn continues – discard your MOLE card and pick again from the draw pile.


If you see a MOLE Card on top the DISCARD PILE and you decide to use it, there is no need to remove it… just leave it on top of the discard pile and pick up the entire deck.
After you are finished digging-out POINTS cards… your turn is instantly over.


The MOLE card now remains (once again) displayed on top the discard pile available for the
next play to use – if necessary. *This will repeat, until a player prefers to pick a new card from the draw pile instead (which will eventually go over the MOLE when discarded).

If you switch/take/give any cards that are covered or connected to each other, transfer both cards. Otherwise, you will transfer just a single card – these cards will be either a single Minus Card or a single Side Bonus Card.

You never keep a Specialty Card – you always place them on top the discard pile.

~Remember:

There will be times when it’s not possible to use a Specialty Card. This usually happens early on in the round when players don’t typically have POINTS showing for any of their starting cards yet (unless they have a Minus Card, which is always showing POINTS).

*Note:

Minus points… zero points… and even side bonus points… are all considered POINTS and can be switched, taken or given by a player using a Specialty Card.

-Keep in Mind:

Specialty Cards are the only kinds of cards in the black deck that have a task written on them that you MUST do – if possible to do so.


These cards aren’t worth any POINTS, they are ONLY USED to perform an action.


You will never add these cards to you starting cards – they are NEVER KEPT.

Each Specialty Card can only be used ONCE.After that, the card becomes void to use to all other players.

*Note:

Here’s an Ideal Example of Giving:


You can GIVE a player
one of you Minus Cards

and not have to worry about

getting stuck with it.

Here’s an Ideal Example of Taking:


You can TAKE a player’s
Side Bonus Card

which will be worth POINTS

no matter if you win of lose.

Here’s an Ideal Example of Switching:


You can SWITCH your BEAST card
worth 0 POINTS
with a player’s (connected) Connect Cards
80 POINTS.

There are 8 Unique Side Bonus Cards:

You cannot collect a Side Bonus Card for having just the LOWER HALF Connect Card, because only the UPPER HALF Connect Card has the category listed on the top of it. The entire animal must be FULLY connected together (Lower Half & Upper Half) in order for you to be able to TAKE a Side Bonus Card for it. *You always need to see the category written on top the card.

Make cards
FLUSH
to display a
completed animal

Upper Half
Connect Cards

show
animal categories

80 POINTS
(only if you
win the round )

Align the
UPPER HALF card
directly
above
the
LOWER HALF card

CONNECT CARDS
(Upper
& Lower halves)

CONNECT CARDS
(Upper
& Lower halves)

SWAN BONUS CARD

MYTHICAL BONUS CARD

(PLUS) 20 BONUS POINTS

(PLUS) 65 BONUS POINTS

The CATEGORY for
this Side Bonus Card
is -MYTHICAL-

The CATEGORY for
this Side Bonus Card
is -BIRD-

You only need one of your cards to match the category in order to TAKE a Side Bonus Card. If you happen to have more than one of your cards matching the category, it makes no difference – it just takes one matching card to be able to TAKE a Side Bonus Card.

*Note:

The Minus Cards, Wild Cards, Dig In Pile Cards & Specialty Cards DON’T have a  category listed on top of them. So, these cards don’t apply to Side Bonus Cards.

-Keep in Mind:

*Example of being able to TAKE a BIRD Side Bonus Card

You have a
BIRD category
card

You happen to have a 2nd
BIRD category
card

Put you
Side Bonus Cards

TO THE SIDE

(Here)

BIRD
Side Bonus Card

There are no MAMMAL Side Bonus Cards or MARSUPIAL Side Bonus cards.

*Note:

You can DIG for a Side Bonus Card in the discard pile using a MOLE Card.

~Remember:

You can SWITCH or TAKE  or GIVE a Side Bonus Card using a Specialty Card.

~Remember:

*In the RARE occurrence that none of the players are able to finish
getting POINTS for all of their starting cards before the black deck runs out of cards… then EVERY player gets to tally up ALL their POINTS and score them down… this includes Minus POINTS and Side Bonus POINTS! Everyone gets to score! – Yay!

*The player with the highest tally for that round is
dealt the first card in the next round:)

Below is a simple chart to reference for when you SUCCESSFULLY
match, connect or use a card – depending on which pile the card is selected from.

BaCK TO TOP

Category POINTS Card – Match same animals


Upper Half Connect Card – Connect animal halves


ANTI-Minus Card – Match same animals


Wild Card – Cover any starting card


Side Bonus Card –  Match same category





YOU MUST TAKE THESE CARDS IF YOU CAN:

DISCARD PILE

DRAW PILE

Dig In Pile Card – Use to Dig for POINTS cards

Specialty Card – Use to Switch/Take/Give POINTS cards

Pick Again

Pick Again

Pick Again

Pick Again

Pick Again

Pick Again

Pick Again

Your Turn Ends

You pick a card from the

You see a card on top the

7 TYPES OF CARDS IN BLACK DECK

Your Turn Ends

Your Turn Ends

Your Turn Ends

Your Turn Ends

Your Turn Ends

(won’t happen)

YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF USING IF NECESSARY

YOU MUST USE IF POSSIBLE TO DO SO

DISCARD PILE

DRAW PILE

DISCARD PILE

DRAW PILE