2 - 4 players
Ages 8 & up
Playing time: 45 minutes
Author: Amanda Milne, Julia Schiller
In the strategic tile-laying game Komodo, players are zoologists attempting to build new habitats for Australasian animals imperilled by an incoming asteroid. Each player holds two animal cards stating the type and amount of terrain needed, five multi-terrain tiles, and wild cards. On a turn, she may lay up to three tiles, place one or both of her animals in free-form contiguous blocks of appropriate terrain, and use all or some of her wild cards. The starter tile has two blocks of each of the four terrain types: forest, grassland, desert and water. The number of blocks of terrain needed by an animal is equivalent to the number of points you can score by placing it. When the tile supply is exhausted, each player takes a final turn, then loses points for an unplaced animals still in hand. The player with the highest score wins.
Komodo can be played competitively in both basic or strategic mode. In the former, wild cards are obtained randomly; in the latter, players can choose their wild cards. Actions permitted by a wild card include: releasing animals to free up their terrain; bartering or stealing terrain tiles; remodeling tiles already placed; and forcing an exchange of animals.
In the cooperative version of Komodo, all 32 animals must be housed and each player must place at least one animal during her turn. The game is played open-handed, and the wild cards hinder the players.
Here is an overview of the game: