Barenpark is a charming game for 2-4 players, designed by Phil Walker-Harding (of Imhotep and Archaeology fame), where you are competing to build the ultimate bear park. Your aim is to score the most points by placing bear enclosure tiles, amenities and even bear statues to maximise your score.
To begin the game, place the supply board in the middle of the table and place the enclosures, together with the amenity tiles (toilets, playgrounds and food streets) and river tiles on the designated spaces. Then, lay out the bear statues next to the supply board in numerical order and shuffle the 12 park areas without an entrance and place them in two piles of six.
Finally, each player selects a park area with an entrance and places it in front of them before receiving an amenity card (the lower down in turn order, the better the tile.
In Barenpark, play goes around the table in clockwise order and each turn consists of three steps:
Place a Tile
Place exactly one tile from your supply, ensuring that the tile fits the marked spaces in your park and that the tile is orthogonally adjacent (not diagonal) to another previously placed tile; you can rotate and flip the tile as you wish.
Next, evaluate the icons you have covered. If you cover more than one icon, carry them all out in any order. Most icons provide new tiles and there is no limit to the number of tiles that you have in your supply;
Green Wheelbarrow – Take an amenity (green tiles) or river tile from the supply board and place in your supply.
White Cement Truck – Take the top animal house from a pile of your choice on the supply board and place it in your supply. Alternatively, you may take an amenity or river tile of your choice. The white symbols on animal houses indicate how many points you get from them.
Orange Excavator – Take an enclosure from the supply board and place it in your supply. Alternatively, you may take an amenity or river tile of your choice. The orange symbols on animal houses indicate how many points you get from them.
Construction Crew – Take the top park area from one of the two piles, then add the new park area to yours according to the following rules:
- Place the new park area orthogonally adjacent to another park area in your park.
- The bottom of the park area must be pointing towards you.
- You can't place the park area below the entrance (It may not be closer to you than the entrance).
Place a Bear Statue
Finally, check whether you have completed a park area, i.e. if you have covered all the spaces (except the pit) with tiles. If you did, take the bear statue tile with the highest value from the supply and place it on the pit of the park area you’ve just completed.
When it’s your turn and you don’t have any tiles in your supply, you must pass. Take a free amenity or river tile from the supply.
Game Ending and Scoring
When a player completes all of their four park areas, each other player gets one more turn. After that, the game ends and you score your parks. To do so, add up all the tiles in your park (including bear statues). The player with the most points wins. In case of a tie, the tied players total the point values left in their supply to find the winner.
Expert Variants: Achievements
During set-up, choose three of the 10 achievements. These include such goals as including three polar bear tiles in your park or having three connected river tiles, for example. Achieving these goals will earn additional points and adds an extra level of strategy to the game.
I hope you find this Barenpark guide useful and that you enjoy playing this delightful game!