Planet Zoo

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a game by Frontier Developments Ltd.
Platform: PC
User Rating: 8.4/10 - 10 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, Pet Games, Crafting Games, Building Games, Life Sim Games
Planet Zoo
Planet Zoo
Planet Zoo

Before speaking about the great simulation game Planet Zoo, let's remember the history of similar games. The original Zoo Tycoon hit our Microsoft Windows and Macintosh systems in 2001 and it was riding the success of a budding genre of tycoon games that started with RollerCoaster Tycoon. However in Zoo Tycoon, instead of building roller coasters and other rides, you were creating animal exhibits, breeding different animals, and keeping animals happy.

Zoo Tycoon was a hit as one of the early tycoon games in the genre, garnered relatively positive reviews, and won numerous awards. Almost half a decade after its release it was still earning millions and finding itself on lists of best video games. Of course, no video game developer or publisher is going to let that success go to waste. Zoo Tycoon 2 was released three years later in 2004, with a soft reboot of the series in 2013 before the series was considered finished. However, fans of the Zoo Tycoon series were not happy with how Zoo Tycoon ended and clamored for another zoo-themed animal simulator. Fortunately, Frontier Developments, the developers behind the final game in the Zoo Tycoon series, came out with its spiritual successor: Planet Zoo.

What Is A Spiritual Successor?

A spiritual successor is a game that takes many of the same elements and the overall theme of its predecessor. Traditional sequels normally continue a story from a previous title but a spiritual successor creates a brand new experience with the previous title in spirit. Planet Zoo is a spiritual successor in the sense that it is a simulation and management game that involves animals but doesn’t share the same exact gameplay as Zoo Tycoon.

What Does Planet Zoo Do Differently?

The only similarity between Planet Zoo and Zoo Tycoon is that it’s a simulator for zoo animals. However, that’s mostly where the similarities end. The developers behind Planet Zoo have clarified that there will be more of a focus on the animals rather than the guests attending the zoo. The quality of the zoo is almost fully dependent on the quality of the animals. That means you’re going to be building animal enclosures with the animal’s emotions and quality-of-life in mind.

Planet Zoo also has more realistic consequences to your decisions. Every tycoon game has consequences for bad decisions. Zoo Tycoon had some unrealistic consequences for not building the right type of enclosures such as having your guests in the stomach of your animals. However, not providing adequate living arrangements for your animals in Planet Zoo mostly results in losing the creature itself and the income from the exhibit.

Has Planet Zoo Lived Up As A Spiritual Success To Zoo Tycoon?

Unfortunately with our modern computers and operating systems, our only option for a Zoo-themed simulator lays with Planet Zoo. Planet Zoo does bring the same spirit of running a Zoo that’s a little more restrictive than Zoo Tycoon. Despite not having as many animals and more simplified gameplay than Zoo Tycoon, Planet Zoo is still as satisfying a “tycoon” simulator for those who want a modern twist on the series.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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