Planet Zoo

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a game by Frontier Developments Ltd.
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 10/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.5/10 - 17 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, Pet Games, Crafting Games, Building Games, Life Sim Games, Nature Games, Games Like Slime Rancher, Games Like Anno, Games Like Tropico
Planet Zoo
Planet Zoo
Planet Zoo

Animal enthusiasts: its your time to shine. I’m sure there are days that you’ve spent dreaming that the entire world was populated by zoos and animal sanctuaries rather than theme parks. Sure, rollercoasters are great, but how can that beat a pride of lions napping in the daylight or simply being able to create a chubby zebra to your liking? Look no further because Planet Zoo hits all these points without missing a beat. While managing a zoo may seem like an easier task than a theme park, veterans of this title, or perhaps the real-world zoo industry, will tell you its definitely harder in every way. In spite of these difficulties, Planet Zoo gives you the power to create the zoo/theme park of your dreams with endless possibilities. Attention to detail, a diverse methodology to approaching problems, and the uncapped creative potential are all aspects that make Planet Zoo one of the best construction and simulation games available.

Busier than a Beaver

If you’ve played any number of tycoon games before, take everything but the most basic way of playing and throw it out the window. Planet Zoo, which plays just like its immediate predecessor Planet Coaster, gives you complete and total control over every aspect of your zoo. You won’t only be managing food stands, attractions, animals, and walkways, no, you’ll be free to design anything and everything in your park to your liking. For me, this was an overwhelming aspect. I’m perhaps the worst when it comes to strategy and building games – Planet Zoo is no different and further expands on your creative freedom. Despite my ineptitude, I absolutely adore the control that you’re given. Its refreshing. Its intimidating. Its…incredibly polished and deserves as much praise as I can give to it. Beyond being able to construct your own (fully functional!) buildings or using prefabricated ones, you’re able to terraform the land, manage facilities, unlock new blueprints and animals, dictate worker wages, the list goes on and its impressive. Vet surgeries, workshops, staff rooms, you name it and there’s probably a building you’ll need to install to ensure your park has all the necessary bells and whistles. You’ll always have something to work on and improve in your park and the developers included plenty of helpful instructions to get you started.

Horsing Around

These are all fantastic aspects. Essentially, it’s the perfect builder title because there’s truly no limit to what you can manipulate in the park – even the type of guest/demographic you’re going after can be tweaked. With so much responsibility, the ‘weakest’ point of this game is the learning curve. If you want to reach the highest levels of play, you’ll have to commit a decent chunk of time and energy to getting there.

Bottom Line

Most players won’t have an issue maintaining low level parks, but it does become quite challenging under certain scenarios. However, even this issue is quite balanced thanks to the free build creative mode where you’ve got infinite resources to build a park to your heart’s desire.

10

This is one of the few masterpieces that has graced this era of video games. Frontier took every mistake they made in Planet Coaster, fixed it, and added new heights for Planet Zoo in an incredibly Satisfactory manner. It’s a must if you love management and building titles.

Pros:

  • Endless creative possibilities
  • Difficulty steep but fair
  • You directly control each aspect of your park

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Some bugs and crash issues after certain playtimes

Download Planet Zoo

PC

System requirements:

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

Game Reviews

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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