Guest Author - Lynn Little
Ages 4 and up
Players 2 to 4
Playing Time 10 minutes
People aren't the only creatures to take vacations. In Animal Express, the animals have decided to pack their bags and head to Noahland. The only problem is that they all won't fit into the wagon. Make your animals fit into the cramped quarters without knocking other animals out of the wagon.
Setting up the playing area is easy. Empty the contents of the box, then place the wagon onto the bottom of the box. The playing pieces are all wooden animals and suitcases in four colors. To determine which wooden piece you must place in the wagon, you roll the special die that shows all of the colors. If the color of a piece is rolled, then you must take one of that colored animal to place in the wagon. If you roll the engine, then you can take any piece from the extra pile to place into the wagon.
To begin the game, each player takes one animal and suitcase of the same color. Then players take turns to slide their two game pieces into the wagon. Use the flat side of the game piece. It is against the rules to stack pieces on top of each other. Once everyone has placed one animal and one suitcase into the wagon, it is time to begin the game.
Decides who will go first. That player rolls the dice and then has to place a colored piece into the wagon. If any pieces fall out, then if they are an animal, that player places the piece in front of them. Suitcases are placed back into the extra pile. If you roll a color that there are no pieces in the extra pile, then you do not have to put a piece into the wagon. When a player has four animals, then they are out of the game. The last person standing wins the game.
Animal Express is from the toy maker HABA and is a very delightful game. It's easy to learn and quick to play. You do not need a lot of room to play this game since the wagon fits nicely onto the box. The all wooden playing pieces are charming and durable. Animal Express is a well crafted game that is fun for all ages.