Game: Zoned Out
- Publisher: Grey Fox Games
- Designed by: Keith Rentz
- Illustrated by: Jake Blanchard
- Ages 10+
- 2-4 players
- 30 to 60 minutes
“I’ve done it! I have found an area of land to develop on. It has some run down homes and a few parking lots, but there is so much potential. I think I will build some homes and a library here.”
“The houses are built, but I wasn’t able to build on the parking lots and tear down the creepy house in time, but I did work a little on a skyscraper. It’s looking good and I have built some commercial buildings… What!?! Why are they in my zone putting those industrial buildings there. Now they are adding to my skyscraper?!? This is inconceivable!”
About the Game
In Zoned Out, players build and develop their zones by playing square cards on top of others, covering at the most three blocks. When one plays their card, they would place their developer/architect onto one of the buildings: the residential homes and libraries, the commercial buildings and stadiums, and the industrial buildings and train stations. Each building group has different densities. Those densities are one to three buildings. The other buildings like the library are like wild densities and take on the density of nearby buildings. So if a train station is beside a commercial building with a density of 2, that train station is worth a density of 2. We’ll come back to density and its affects on scoring.
When the architect leaves their development area, they will place their architect on a new building space related to their newly placed card. Then, they will develop the zone that they had originally worked on. Each space that has that specific building type grouped together will have their plastic building pieces stacked according to their density. Then one will score for their number of blocks and any surrounding museums, parks, parking lots and abandoned houses. The larger the grouping of houses, the more points. Once stacks of buildings have been made, the player who built will add to the downtown zone for their skyscraper.
The end of the game is triggered when either a player has played all their pieces or there are no more cards to draw. Then the next set of scoring begins.
Each player is given a card at the beginning. This card is a secret objective that will be scored by all, but that specific player has the upper hand at knowing what is to come. They may play their cards and buildings so they may achieve more points.
Each player will reveal their card and score for them together, one card at a time. Some will be related to density, some to the skyscraper and even to having a majority of groupings. Then there will be the community cards which are known and will score. Finally players will score for the 1st and 2nd most pieces on a skyscraper for each zone. Whoever has the most points wins.
The artwork has vibrant colors and designs. The downtown acts as the center and lays on top of four cards with their parking lots covered. The cards have a nice feel to them and are easy to shuffle from game to game.
The pieces that stand out the most though are the plastic stackable buildings. They are easy to pick up and it feels like the person who designed that had it in mind. Each piece curves nicely to fit between one’s fingers. As for stacking them, it is simple to place it and just as easy to take them off. Our kids even built different looking towns with the pieces as we were learning the game.
Our Family’s Thoughts
Abigail: It’s a good game. Simple and easy to learn, Fast-paced which makes it fun. It has a fun design to it. I say buy it. Recommendation: BUY IT!
Beth: this was easy to explain to the kids and the colorful cards appealed to them. I appreciated that the turns went quickly so that we didn’t lose their interest. There is enough strategy to keep the adults interested, but sometimes it may not matter and the luck of the card draw advances someone more. The redraw option shouldn’t be feared once or twice because it could advance your points by much more. I had a difficult time understanding the written directions for this game even though that is my preferred learning method. I was left with a few unanswered questions, but playing the game helped some of it come together for me. Recommendation: BUY IT!
Chris: This game was easy to play. There were some hiccups in understanding at first, but as we played through the game, we quickly caught on and enjoyed our time playing this one. Those pieces and the ease of play make this a quick filler. I highly recommend this to be played by families. Kids have just as much a chance to win as the adults. Recommendation: BUY IT!
Daniel: I like how the building pieces stack and the art of the city block cards and how it looks when its all together. I like how its quick and easy and I say buy it. Recommendation: BUY IT!
Elijah: I like how I am actually allowed to stack the pieces in this game. They don’t usually let me. It doesn’t take much time. Recommendation: Try it.