How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Welcome to the Cuckoo Zoo Game!

I’m excited to present to you the rules for the Cuckoo Zoo Game. It’s a fun and thrilling game that will challenge your memory skills and keep you entertained for hours. So, let’s dive in and explore the rules together!

The Goal of the Game

The goal of the Cuckoo Zoo Game is to find and match all the pairs of animal cards. The game consists of a deck of cards, each featuring a different animal from the zoo. There are lions, zebras, elephants, and more! Your objective is to flip over two cards at a time and find the matching pairs.

How to Play

Playing the Cuckoo Zoo Game is simple. Here’s how it works:

  1. Start by shuffling the deck of animal cards.
  2. Lay all the cards face-down on the table in a grid formation.
  3. On your turn, choose two cards and flip them over to reveal the animals.
  4. If the animals on the cards match, you’ve found a pair! Remove the matching cards from the grid and keep them. You get a point for each pair you find.
  5. If the animals on the cards don’t match, remember their positions and flip them back face-down. It’s important to remember where the animals are located!
  6. Keep taking turns, flipping over pairs of cards, until all the pairs have been discovered.

Tips for Success

Now that you know the basics of the game, here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Pay close attention to the animals on the cards. Look for unique features or colors that can help you remember their positions.
  • Try to remember the animals’ locations as you flip over cards. This will make it easier for you to find matching pairs later on.
  • Take your time. Don’t rush through the game. Take a moment to think before flipping over cards and make strategic moves.
  • Practice makes perfect. The more you play, the better you’ll become at remembering the animals’ positions and finding matching pairs.


The Cuckoo Zoo Game is a fantastic way to sharpen your memory skills and have a blast at the same time. By following the rules and applying the tips I’ve shared with you, you’ll become a master of the game in no time. So gather your friends and family, and let the Cuckoo Zoo Game begin!

How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules UltraFoodMess

So, here’s the deal: the goal of this game is to be the first to get rid of all your cards. And how do you do that? Well, you gotta match animals and colors, my friend. But here’s the catch: you can’t mess up! You gotta be on point when it’s time to throw down a card.

Alright, let’s get things set up, shall we? Here’s what you gotta do:

Getting Ready

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When you first play the game, take a good look at all the cards in the deck to get to know them. The deck contains seven different animals – sheep, donkey, lion, frog, cuckoo, pig, and monkey, each coming in four different colors – red, green, blue, and yellow.

Among the cards, you will also find four wild peacock cards. Pay special attention to the cuckoo, donkey, and peacock cards as they have unique powers. Let me tell you about them.

But before we dive into the powers of these special cards, let’s take a moment to practice the sound that each animal makes. It will come in handy as we play the game.

Once all the players are familiar with the cards and the animal sounds, it’s time to shuffle the deck. Each player is then dealt eight cards face down. Remember, you can look at your cards, but keep them hidden from your opponents; they shouldn’t see what you have.

The remaining cards are stacked face down in a draw pile at the center of the playing area. Take the top card from the draw pile and place it face up next to it to start the discard pile. If the top card happens to be a peacock, reshuffle the entire deck and draw a new card.

Card Actions and Penalties

Let’s talk about what happens when you play certain cards in the game. Each card has a different action or penalty associated with it.

Green, Blue, Yellow Animal I make the matching animal sound. I draw 2 cards.
Red Animal Time for silence! I draw 2 cards.
Cuckoo Skip the next player’s turn. I draw 2 cards.
Red Cuckoo Shout, “Cuckoo Zoo!” I draw 2 cards.
Donkey Following players must discard donkey cards. I draw a number of cards equal to the number of donkey cards on the top of the discard pile.
Peacock It’s time for a wild card! I can play this card on top of any other card and change it to a different colored animal. N / A

Game Play

Alright, let’s get to the game play. The youngest player goes first, and then play moves to the left.

How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules UltraFoodMess

When it’s my turn, I get to play a card from my hand. I can choose a card that has the same color or animal as the one on top of the discard pile.

For example, if there is a green card on top of the pile, I can play another green card or a card with a lion, even if it’s a different color. It’s all about matching the color or animal.

If I have identical cards, like two blue sheep, I can play them both at the same time. It’s like having a pair.

Depending on the cards I play, I have to do one of the following:

Make Animal Sounds!

Whenever I play a green, yellow, or blue card, I have to make the sound of the animal on the card. If I forget or make the wrong sound, I have to draw two cards. It’s important to remember the right animal sounds!

How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules UltraFoodMess

Red Means Quiet!

Hey there! So, here’s the deal: when you play a red card, something special happens. You need to keep quiet and not make the sound of the animal on the card. It’s a little game we’re playing, but there’s a twist! If the red card happens to be a cuckoo, then you can make a sound like a cuckoo bird. Pretty cool, right?

But here’s where it gets interesting. If, by mistake, you make the sound of the animal on a red card, you’ll have to draw two more cards. Oops! It’s a way to keep us on our toes and make things a bit more challenging.

So remember, when you see that red card, shhh… no animal sounds, unless it’s a cuckoo!

How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules UltraFoodMess

How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules UltraFoodMess

If you have more animals that match the first one you played, put them on the discard pile, one at a time.

For this part of your turn, the color doesn’t matter. But every time you play a card, you need to make the same animal sound, unless it’s a red card!

If you can’t play a card, you have to draw one from the draw pile. Then the game continues to the left. (You can’t draw and play a card in the same turn).

Special Cards

Some cards have special actions when you play them, aside from making or not making sounds:


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Hey there! Whenever I play a blue, yellow, or green cuckoo, I get all excited and shout, “Cuckoo!” and I pass the turn to the player on my left.

Oh, and here’s a cool thing: if I have more than one cuckoo to play, everyone needs to pay attention because that means multiple players will be skipped!

Oh, and did I mention? If I happen to play a card even when it’s my turn to be skipped, I get a little bonus – I draw two cards!

Now, let me tell you about the special red cuckoos.

Red cuckoos are just like the other cuckoos when it comes to skipping players. But, there’s a catch! Unlike the other red cards, when I play a red cuckoo, I have to shout “Cuckoo Zoo!” every single time! If I happen to forget, don’t worry – I draw two cards as a little reminder!

How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules UltraFoodMess


Donkeys, also known as asses, are fascinating creatures. They have been an important part of human civilization for centuries, serving as beasts of burden and companions in various cultures around the world. But what makes donkeys so special?

First and foremost, donkeys are known for their incredible strength and endurance. They have a reputation for being able to carry heavy loads over long distances without tiring easily. This makes them excellent work animals, especially in areas with difficult terrain or limited access to modern transportation.

Furthermore, donkeys are incredibly adaptive creatures. They can thrive in harsh environments where other animals struggle to survive. Their ability to survive on meager diets and withstand extreme temperatures is truly remarkable. This adaptability has made them valuable assets in agriculture, particularly in areas where resources are limited.

In addition to their physical attributes, donkeys are also known for their intelligence and loyalty. They are highly trainable and can learn to perform a variety of tasks. Their intelligence allows them to navigate challenging situations and make decisions that benefit both themselves and their human counterparts. This makes them ideal companions and work partners.

One of the key characteristics of donkeys that sets them apart from other animals is their unique vocalizations. Donkeys have a distinct braying sound that is instantly recognizable. This braying serves as a form of communication, allowing them to interact with other donkeys and humans in their environment. It is a reminder of their presence and a way for them to express their emotions.

Overall, the significance of donkeys cannot be overstated. They have played a crucial role in human history and continue to do so today. Their strength, adaptability, intelligence, and loyalty make them valuable assets in various industries. Whether working on farms, carrying supplies, or simply providing companionship, donkeys are truly remarkable creatures worth appreciating and protecting. So next time you see a donkey, take a moment to admire its unique qualities and the important role it plays in our world.

How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules UltraFoodMess

If you play a donkey card, that starts a Donkey Round. Then, every player takes turns playing only donkey cards from their own hands. The round ends when someone can’t play a donkey card anymore. If you can’t, you get a penalty. The penalty is drawing the same number of cards as the total donkey cards played during that round. For example, if four donkeys were played, you draw four cards. After the penalty, the game continues with the player to the left of the penalty player. This player can play any animal, as long as it matches the color of the top card in the discard pile. If they play a donkey card, a new Donkey Round starts.

But that’s not all! There’s another animal to watch out for in the game – peacocks!

How to play Cuckoo Zoo Official Rules UltraFoodMess

When you play a peacock card in this game, it’s like holding a wild card. It’s flexible and can represent any animal you want, and you can play it at any time during the game. So when you play a peacock, go ahead and say the name of the animal it represents and also the color of that animal.

But here’s something cool – if you have more cards in your hand that match the animal you chose, you can get rid of them too! Say goodbye to those extra cards! And don’t forget to make the sounds of the animals if they happen to be yellow, blue, or green. That adds some extra fun to the game!

The Game’s Grand Finale

The ultimate goal of this game is to be the one who gets rid of all their cards first. That’s what makes you the big winner! So keep playing and strategizing until you’re the last player standing without any cards left.

If you want to spice things up a bit, you can also play for the runners-up positions. So even if you’re not the first one to get rid of cards, you still have a chance to win second place, third place, and so on. Just keep playing until there’s only one person left with cards. Exciting, right?

For the Younger Crowd

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