Bärenpark: 101 Guide to Rules, Strategy & Playing Instructions


Bärenpark is a board game where you get to build your own bear park. Surprise. It’s a zoo designer, but just for bears. The game came out in 2017 and was created by Phil Walker-Harding. It’s for 2 to 4 players and takes about 30 to 45 minutes to play.

The idea is to make the most awesome park with different enclosures, animal houses, and green areas. For a game with a limited premise, I do find it quite engaging, and others seem to agree judging by the reviews. Overall, you get points for how well you place your tiles and fill up your park. The player with the most points at the end wins. It’s a pretty chill game but also makes you think a lot about where to put your tiles.

Quick Tip for Bärenpark

Always keep an eye on the bear statues. They can give you a lot of points if you grab them early!

Rules for playing Bärenpark

Alright, let’s talk rules. First off, everyone gets a park entrance tile. This is where you start building your park. You also get a supply board where you’ll pick up new tiles. On your turn, you place a tile onto your park board.

Each tile has different shapes and sizes, kind of like Tetris pieces. When you cover certain symbols on your board with a tile, you get to take a new tile from the supply board. There are different kinds of tiles like enclosures, animal houses, and green areas. Some tiles have construction symbols on them.

When you cover these, you get to take another park board to expand your park. There are also wheelbarrow, cement mixer, and truck symbols that let you take different tiles.

The game ends when someone fills up their park completely or when there are no more bear statues to take. Then you add up all the points from your tiles and statues to see who wins.

Equipment and Setup for Bärenpark

For equipment, you need the game box which has all the tiles, boards, and a supply board. You don’t need anything else, but if you lose a piece, you could make a DIY one with some cardboard and markers.

To set up, give everyone a park entrance board and place the supply board in the middle. Put all the tiles on the supply board in their right spots. There are four types of tiles: green areas, enclosures, animal houses, and unique buildings. Each player starts with one green area tile.

How to Play Bärenpark and Game Mechanics

The game has a few key mechanics. The course of play in Bear Park revolves around three essential steps that players take in a clockwise order, each contributing to the creation of a fun and entertaining park for adorable bears. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Place a Tile: On your turn, you put down one of your tiles onto your park board.
  2. Get New Tiles: If you cover up symbols on your board, you take new tiles from the supply board.
  3. Expand Your Park: Covering construction symbols lets you add new park boards.
  4. End of the Game: The game ends when a player fills up their park or there are no bear statues left.

The first step, “Place a Tile,” involves players selecting and positioning a tile from their supply into their park area. There are specific placement rules to follow, ensuring that the tiles fit within marked spaces, do not overlap, and remain orthogonally adjacent to previously placed tiles. The initial tile placement can be anywhere in the park, subject to the placement rules. However, subsequent tiles must adhere to additional constraints.

After placing a tile, players proceed to the “Evaluate Icons” step. Icons on the newly placed tile are assessed, with each icon offering unique benefits. Green wheelbarrows provide players with new tiles, white cement trucks grant access to animal houses, orange excavators offer enclosures or alternative choices, and construction crews allow the addition of new park areas.

The final step, “Place a Bear Statue,” involves checking if a player has completed a park area. If so, the player can claim a bear statue tile with the highest value from the supply and place it on the pit of the just-completed park area. This step adds a delightful visual element to the park while earning players points.

Passing occurs when a player cannot place a tile from their supply, leading them to take a free green area tile and end their turn. The passing player can only place the free tile on their subsequent turn. With these engaging and straightforward steps, Bear Park offers a charming and strategic board game experience, combining tile placement, icon evaluation, and the delightful task of constructing an amusement park for bears.

How to Win at Bärenpark

Winning is all about getting points. You get points for each tile you place, especially the bear statues and unique buildings. Try to cover the construction symbols quickly to expand your park. More space means more points. Also, try to get the bear statues early because they’re worth a lot of points. Keep your park tight and avoid leaving empty spaces because they can cost you at the end.

Best Strategies for playing Bärenpark

To excel at Bärenpark, it’s essential to plan strategically and adapt to the evolving game board. One of the best strategies is to prioritize acquiring large tiles early on, as they tend to fill up the park areas more efficiently and can trigger the acquisition of more valuable park pieces. Paying close attention to the available spaces in your park and the shapes of the tiles left can help in making the most out of every move. Balancing between expanding your park with new areas and filling existing ones to unlock new tiles and park sections is crucial.

Players should also keep an eye on their opponents’ parks to anticipate which tiles they might take and when it might be beneficial to trigger the end game. Additionally, aiming for the achievement tiles by fulfilling specific requirements faster than your competitors can provide a substantial point boost. Like with most puzzle-like games, foresight and flexibility are key; always be ready to adjust your strategy based on the tiles you draw and the actions of your opponents to build the most impressive Bärenpark.

For strategies, think ahead. Plan out where to put your tiles so you can grab the best ones from the supply board. Try to get a mix of different tiles to fill up your park efficiently. Watch what other players are doing and sometimes take a tile they might want. It’s a bit sneaky but can give you an edge. Also, try to complete the achievements on the supply board for extra points.


Sometimes you might find yourself with a lot of gaps in your park. Try to get tiles that fit well to fill them up. If you’re running out of space, focus on small tiles and leave the big ones. If you see another player is about to grab a bear statue, see if you can beat them to it. Always look for ways to turn things around to your advantage.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Bärenpark game

Here are some common questions:

Q: Can I move tiles after I place them?
A: No, once a tile is down, it stays there.

Q: What if I can’t fit any more tiles on my board?
A: You have to pass and wait until the game ends.

Q: Can I skip taking a tile even if I cover a symbol?
A: No, you must always take a tile if you can.

Q: How many park boards can I have?
A: You can have up to four park boards.

Q: What happens if the supply board runs out of tiles?
A: You keep playing with the remaining tiles until the end conditions are met.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Here are some extra tips:

  • Try to plan two steps ahead to make sure you can always place a tile.
  • Keep an eye on the bear statues – they’re worth a lot of points.
  • Balance between expanding your park and filling it up. Both are important.
  • Remember, it’s not just about big tiles. Sometimes the small ones can be really useful.

For more info, check out these links:

And that’s it! I hope this helps you become a Bärenpark pro. Have fun building your bear park!