Animix – Set Collection in the Wild
It’s time for a safari with Animix!
Will you take a ride with the elephants, or hang out with the monkeys? Perhaps you’ll blend in with the chameleons or dive with the penguins? No matter which mix of animals you choose to track, it will be critical to get to know their unique patterns of movement.
Animix is a card game of patterns and set collection for 2-6 players. It was created by Mathieu Bossu and published by Blue Orange Games. Quick and relatively light, play this strategy game in about 10-15 minutes.
Each type of animal scores points differently. Some walk in straight lines while others prefer to sit in pairs, for example. It takes planning and clever play to use each species to your advantage. Collect the most animals of each type and make sure the ones still on the table are arranged in their favorite patterns.
It sounds simple enough, but things easily get a little “wild” when your clever opponents keep changing the game on you!
Select the animal species you would like to play with (determine the number of species by the number of players). Each species operates a little differently from any other, so it’s fun to try out different combinations to keep the game fresh. Return unused species to the box.
Shuffle the animals together and place them face up in a grid in the center of the table. Grid size, like the number of species, depends on player count. Deal six of the remaining animal cards to each player, face down. Return unused cards to the box without looking at them. Place the mountain tokens nearby.
Players take turns in a clockwise direction. On your turn you may either:
- choose an animal from the cards in your hand and place it face down in front of you.
- take an animal from the grid and place it face down in front of you.
If you took an animal from the grid, choose an animal from your hand to place face up in the grid space left open. Finally, place a mountain token on top of the animal that you placed in the grid. This token locks the animal in place so it can no longer be taken.
The game ends when all players have no cards left in their hands. Now, each player reveals their face down cards.
For each species, only the player with the most animals in that species wins the corresponding points. In the case of ties, the players share the points between them.
Each species scores differently, based on the position of animals in the grid at the end of the game.
For example, Monkeys score 2 points for each Monkey card in the column with the most Monkeys. Lovebirds score 4 points for each Lovebird pair (2 adjacent Lovebirds). Wolves score 2 points for each Wolf card on the outside border of the grid. Since each animal scores in a unique way, players need to plan ahead and work to cleverly arrange the animals in the grid to maximize their points—and frustrate their opponents’ plans.
Each player adds up the points they won from each species. The player with the highest total is the winner!
This little game is a mind bender.
Though Animix plays quickly, it has a surprising amount of strategy. In fact, it might be a little too much if you’re looking for a simple light filler. This one will keep you thinking, scratching your head, counting cards, and generally trying to bend the game to your will as your opponents unravel your plans in front of you—quite literally (you’ll be staring at the grid on the table in front of you the entire game). With this in mind, you probably want to put this on the table with your older kids.
You can play with 2 players, but I think the game is most enjoyable with a higher player count. The more players there are, the more chaotic and fun the strategy and competition becomes. Animix with 2 players things get a little too predictable.
There are a total of 8 different animal species in the game, so it’s fun to experiment with different combinations and see what’s most fun and interesting for your group. It’s a great little game with very unique gameplay that offers a fun challenge!
It’s not hard to play, but the decisions will keep you thinking—always a good indication of top notch mechanics, especially given its short length. This quick filler offers some surprising strategic depth. Just don’t break it out if everyone is tired of thinking!
Our youngest players had a tough time with Animix. Even the older ones may not like the “think” that’s required. However, your family will love this if you want a unique mental challenge.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Animix from Blue Orange Games for this review.
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Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 2-6
Playtime: 10-15 minutes