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Rule Interpretation Guide

“Cards do what they say, and don’t do what they don’t say.”

Card rules appear as text on the card describing the effect the card has when it is active.


  • the card is in play, and
  • the card is face-up, and 
  • no rule makes it inactive.

Card rules are active in hand only when the rule specifically permits its use from hand. 


  • the card is in a deck, or
  • the card is in a discard pile, or
  • the card is in play face-down, or
  • the card is buried under another card, or
  • the card is removed from the game, or
  • the card is a Park card in the Market, or
  • a rule makes it inactive.

Scope of rules

Card rules can modify rulebook rules. A card rule that says something cannot happen always takes precedence over any rule that says it can happen.

Rules that appear after a timing indicator (such as Events step, Park step, Guests step, Cleanup step, Game end) apply only during the indicated period and apply for the whole of that period unless a limit is specified, such as “Once per”, or “At the start of”. Rules that do not have an indicator apply immediately. 

Rules that state a condition of indefinite duration, such as “can be” or “cannot be”, or use words such as when”, “ever”, “never”, or “always”, are ongoing effects. They are applied constantly, at the end of each other rule sentence, to ensure the game is not in a state that breaks the ongoing condition.

Rules that use the word "instead"  are replacement effects. These can change a rule sentence before it is completed to produce a different outcome. Replacement effects are in the form "if [some item] would be [some result] do [some other result] instead."

A rule only affects the items in play at the time it is enacted. Items put into play after the rule is enacted are not affected, unless an ongoing effect is described in the rule.

If a card leaves play or becomes unavailable while its rule is being enacted, the remainder of its rulebox that is relevant to the current step continues; a change in the state of the card does not interrupt rule completion. 

Each card in play is considered a separate instance, even if it shares a name with another card in play. If a card ability is limited to “Once per”, the limit applies to that specific instance only. Moving a card to another park does not create a new instance, and does not reset the number of uses of its abilities.

If a card leaves play and later re-enters play, even in the same round, it is considered a new instance. The “Once per” limit of the previous instance does not apply.

Reading & enacting rules

Each sentence in a card rule is a separate directive. Sentences must be enacted in the order they appear on the card. If a later sentence refers to an optional part from a previous sentence that was not enacted, or relies on the success of an earlier sentence that was not enacted, the later sentence is ignored also.

OR: If a sentence contains two or more options separated by “or” (example: "Do A or B"), one of those options must be enacted if possible. If one option is not possible, the other option must be enacted. If more than one option is possible, the owner chooses which option is enacted. If no option is possible, no option is enacted.

OTHERWISE: If a sentence contains two parts separated by “otherwise” (example: "Do A otherwise do B") , the first must be enacted if possible. The second part must be enacted if the first part is not. If neither part is possible, the entire sentence is ignored.

UNLESS: If a sentence contains two parts separated by “unless” (example: "Do A unless you do B"), the second part may be enacted to prevent the first part. The second part is not required to be enacted, but if it is not, the first part must be enacted. If the first part is not possible, the entire sentence is ignored. 

AND, THEN: If a sentence contains more than one part to be enacted in sequence, separated by “and” or “then” (example: "Do A and B", "Do A then B"), those parts are enacted in the order given in the sentence. If a part cannot be enacted, ignore any remaining parts of the same sentence and proceed to the next sentence. Because parts of sentences are usually enacted in the order given anyway, there is no functional difference between "Do A and B" compared to "Do A then B". "Then" is used to emphasise the order in cases where the sequence is especially relevant.

TO: If a sentence contains a requirement and an effect separated by "to" (example: "Do A to do B") then the requirement part of the sentence must be completed successfully before proceeding to the effect part. If the requirement part is not completed for any reason, the effect part is not enacted.

Triggered rules

If a rule is triggered in the course of enacting another rule (for example, if an event allows building a Park card that has an "after build" ability), the new rule interrupts the originating rule as soon as its triggering condition is met. The original rule resumes once the triggered rule is completed in full. Any changes in game state (for example, new cards in hand or new cards in the Market) are available immediately when completing the remainder of the rule.

Simultaneous rules

If multiple rules apply at the same time, first resolve them by card type, in this order:

  1. Game Changer
  2. Theme Overview
  3. Park
  4. Showcase
  5. Event
  6. Blueprint
  7. City

If multiple cards of the same type apply, resolve them in turn order according to who owns the card, beginning with the starting player.

If multiple cards of the same type apply that are owned by the same player, the owner chooses the order in which they resolve.

If a rule applies to more than one player, resolve it in turn order, beginning with the starting player.

If a single card applies to multiple items at once, the owner of the affected items chooses the order in which to resolve the effect.

Park state

You cannot add an item to your park if its presence breaks the currently active rules or limits. If a card comes into play that changes those limits, you must immediately update your park to meet the new limits. Any changes required, such as demolition or dismissal, do not use a turn or action to complete.

Insufficient cards

If card supplies are depleted such that there are not enough cards available in the game to complete a rule or ability (even after shuffling the discard pile to replenish the deck), the effect proceeds without failing, using as close to the required number of cards as possible. This also applies if a discard pile does not have enough cards to meet the requirements of a rule or ability.


There is no defined order in which to score the different aspects of a park. Scoring is considered to occur instantaneously, based on a single “snapshot” state of the park.

If any card abilities allow choices for scoring purposes, they must be made before scoring begins, and cannot be changed once scoring has started.

The full current rules apply during scoring. A park cannot be put into a state for scoring purposes in which it could not persist during the game. A game end ability does not allow the park to circumvent park state requirements.


Rules use the glossary definition of key words. If another meaning of the word that is in use outside the game conflicts with the glossary definition, the glossary definition is taken as the intended meaning.

Search the online glossary.



20 Feb 2024 - added simple examples and "TO" section to "Reading & enacting rules".

13 Jan 2024 - added "Triggered rules" to define the timing of rules triggered by other rules.

03 Mar 2022 - added description of replacement effects to "Scope".

10 Jul 2021 - updated "Park State" section to clarify that you cannot build something that breaks the rules.

28 Jun 2021 - moved online.