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Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First up: The Creatures of the Chinese zodiac go horn to horn in ZU Tiles: Hime
Next up: We jam some animals in cages for your entertainment in New York Zoo
And lastly: We take a stab at gathering wooden farm tools without injuring ourselves in Jack Straws

ZU Tiles: Hime

Designed by: Joshua Bakken
Published by: ZU Studios (2020)
Players: 2
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 25 – 50 min

ZU Tiles: Hime is a strategic tile placement game based loosely on the creatures of the Chinese Zodiac. Players choose a creature (or creatures) to build customized decks around. 

Players earn points by creating patterns of “compatible squares” using creatures or by battling and capturing opposing creatures. The first player to 12 points wins! Think Collectable Card Game meets Dominoes, that’s Zu Tiles!

New York Zoo

Designed by: Uwe Rosenberg
Published by: Capstone Games and Feuerland (2020)
Players: 1 – 5
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 30 – 60 min

In New York Zoo, you are designing an animal park. Players will build enclosures, introduce new animals, and raise their offspring. The first player to cover all the construction spaces on their zoo board with Enclosure Tiles and Attractions wins the game.

Gameplay is straightforward as you have only two options on your turn: build a new enclosure in your zoo, or populate your zoo with more animals. But be sure to time your actions well since you want your zoo to participate in as many animal breedings as possible.

If you love animals, this game is for Zoo

Jack Straws

Designed by: (Uncredited)
Published by: Parker Brothers (1888)
Players: 2 – 5
Ages: 6 & up
Playing time: 10 min 

Here is how you play Jack Straws…A pile of objects made of balsa wood (axes, rifles, brooms, crutches etc.) are dumped on the table. Players use metal hooks to extract an object from the pile, without moving any other items. If they succeed they keep the item and try again. If they move any object other than the one they attempt to pull out, their turn is over, and then it is the next player’s turn.

The winner is the person with the most points, once there are none left in the pile.

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