For 2-4 players, ten years or older (best with 2 or 4).
Each player attempts to "catch" as many of the available cards as possible and combine them with cards in their hand. If they are not able to catch anything, they must "release" one of their own cards "into the wild" ie onto the table. Naturally, there are some animals (cards) that one doesn't want to catch.
The cards are shuffled and four dealt to each player. Additionally, four cards are placed face up in the middle of the table. The rest of the cards are left as a face down pile next to these four. With 4 players, players should play in partnership with the player opposite. With 2 or 3, players play as individuals.
Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, each player takes their turn consecutively. The player whose turn it is must play one card onto the table. They may use this card to "catch" another card, or they may let it "go free".
There are three methods of catching a card: adding, totalling or pairing.
If the numbers on two or more of the four "wild" cards add up to the number on the player's card, then they may take the cards so "caught" and place them face down in front of them. If the number on the card played can be arrived at in more than one way, then the player may decide which combination of cards they catch, but may only catch one such combination. The player's card remains on the table , it is "released into the wild".
If the number on the player's card can be added to one or more of the cards on the table so as to make a total of 17, then the player may catch the table cards and put them face down in front of them. The card that they played remains on the table.
If the player plays a card with the same number as one or more of the cards on the table, they catch one of the table cards and their own card.
A player may use one, two or all three of these methods to catch cards in one turn but may only use each method once per turn.
A player who is unable to catch a card, or who chooses not to, must instead "release one of their cards into the wild". A card cannot be released though if it would allow another card to be caught, ie you may only release cards which do not catch table cards by any of the three methods outlined above. If a card would catch cards in more than one way though, the player need not use all possible methods, but must use at least one if it is available. Should a player overlook a possible capture, and their opponents do not immediately point it out, then there is no penalty. A player must release a card if the previous player has caught all the cards on the table.
If there are "0" cards on the table, and a player chooses to catch cards by addition or totalling, then they must take at least one of the "0" cards.
After 4 rounds, the players have no more cards in their hand. The next player should now deal a further four cards to each player, and a further four cards face-up onto the table (if there are more cards available). Then the player to the left of the new dealer starts the next round. In this way, every player gets the chance to play first.
When all cards in hand have been played and there are no more to be dealt the game is over. Cards remaining on the table are not scored. Points are scored as follows:
The player with the most unicorns (blue) +24 points The player with the most hedgehogs (yellow) -12 points Each baby animal ("0" cards) -5 points Each triangle on the cards caught +1 point (including "0" cards)
If two or more players have the same number of Unicorn or Hedgehog cards, then the points are split equally between them.
Players should play several rounds to a previously agreed score for example 100 points. the first player to reach this score, or if several achieve it, the player with the most points, wins.
A posssible variant game is one where you attempt to release as many animals as possible. Players attempt to score as few points as possible. The same rules apply as in the main game, but with one exception, where a card could catch "wild" cards using more than one method, the player to the left of the player who played the card decides which one method should be used. With four players this should again be played as a partnership game, each player making a team with the player opposite. The following scoring system is used:
The player or team with the most cards in total +24 points The player or team with the most hedgehog cards (yellow) +12 points Every triangle on the cards caught +1 point.
Players should play a previously agreed number of rounds. The player or team with the lowest score wins.
The Game Cabinet - email@example.com - Ken Tidwell