The Serengeti is filled with incredible wildlife. From predators to the majestic gazelle, the Serengeti has beautiful scenery all around. In Wild: Serengeti from Bad Comet Games, you’re filming breathtaking scenes filled with wild animals. Beyond the fancy animeeples, this game has some fun puzzle elements that can engage both kids and adults.
Welcome to the Serengeti
Wild: Serengeti is a light strategy game where players are documentary film makers working to complete scene cards that award a variety of points and bonuses. Players start the game with a hand of 4 scene cards to fulfill. Each turn players can take 1 of the 8 available basic actions for the cost of 1 coin. If the action space is already filled, the player has to spend an additional coin to take the action. Taking a second basic action on a players turn will also cost another coin.
Most turns are spent placing these wonderful animeeples across the Serengeti plain. There are basic actions that allow the movement of animals across the board. Scene cards are going to dictate where you want these animals to appear on the board.
In some cases completing scene cards will award meat or sfx tokens that can be used by the player. The meat tokens allow players to move an animal 1 adjacent space on the Serengeti board. The sfx token allows the player to ignore a terrain requirement on a scene card. Essentially giving them video editing capabilities to change the scene of their subject.
Getting the Perfect Shot
Some scene cards require animals to appear in a straight line, adjacent to a central animal, or require animals to be on specific terrain types. As the game board fills up, it becomes a puzzle that every player is participating in. The gameplay is pretty chill but could get cutthroat if you’re playing with ultra competitive players. I was fortunate to play with family and friends that didn’t intentionally try to ruin scenes that other players were trying to create.
Players can take a free action on their turn to claim a scene card they have in front of them. Scene cards can award victory points or be part of set collection bonuses that are calculated at the end of the game. There are plenty of strategies to choose from when collecting scene cards during the game.
I personally had decent success collecting scenes that offered “likes.” These “likes” are heart icons that appear in the top right of the scene card and award loads of end game points based on the number you collect. Wild: Serengeti has over 100 scene cards that offer plenty of configurations.
The Great Migration
At the start of each round, players will get a specified number of coins. 6 coins in rounds 1-3 and 7 in rounds 4-6. In the last 3 rounds of the game, a migration card is pulled that can drastically change the board. Based on player count, animals will be removed from the Serengeti. By round 4 this gives players some relief from a crowded board, but it can also ruin progress toward a scene card.
In rounds 4 and 6 of Wild: Serengeti players are awarded victory points for having the most or second most of a specific animal type. These awards can be a decent boost for players who lean into the two specific animal types. The game has incredible table presence as the animeeples fill the table and the toucan tracks your rounds on the pride rock. I really like the theme of “filming” these different scenes as the animals move across the plain.
Once players are comfortable with the basics of Wild: Serengeti, they can take on the role of specific characters in the game. This offers asymmetric player abilities that play to the characters profession. It’s a nice addition that adds replayability and will appeal to more seasoned gamers.
The 8 basic actions all work well together and the game feels tight at times. You end up debating whether it’s worth the extra coin to take back-to-back basic actions on your turn. Wild: Serengeti is a great game for kids and adults to enjoy together. Kids will be immediately drawn in by the animeeples while adults will find a nice little puzzle as they chase some of the more difficult scene cards in the game.
Wild: Serengeti is being funded through Kickstarter beginning on August 18, 2021.
A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.