Replayable Episode Ark Nova

Ark Nova

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In Ark Nova players will design a modern, scientifically-managed zoo. You will need to build enclosures, acquire the best animals, increase your reputation, and perform conservation projects in order to win.

The core mechanism in the game is comprised of five action cards, laid out in a row. When a card is used for its action all of the other cards to its left move to the right. Finally the selected card is placed at the far left. Cards get more powerful if they are allowed to slide further to the right before being picked.

As animal enclosures, kiosks, and pavilions are constructed, they are placed on individual player boards. Players must thoughtfully select which enclosures to build so that they can later place animals in them. Some animals need to have their pens close to rocks or water, or be of a specific size. The more animals you have in your zoo, the more appeal it will have, which means more revenue that it will generate in ticket sales!

There are end-of-game goals for which players will be competing, called “conservation projects.” One such project might be to have a certain number of animals from Europe. Claiming one of the three available slots on this card earns that player Conservation Points. Conservation Points have their own scoring track around the perimeter of the board, advancing in a clockwise fashion. Conversely, your zoo’s appeal is monitored on a separate track that advances anticlockwise. When a player’s two tracking markers cross paths, the end of the game is triggered.

Ark Nova won the Deutscher Spiele Preis in 2022, and is currently ranked number 4 on BoardGameGeek. In this episode Todd, David, and Paul talk about this hugely popular game. Give us a listen!

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