Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals
|a game by||Blue Fang Games|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown|
|User Rating:||7.1/10 - 7 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||Tycoon Games, Zoo Tycoon Series|
Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals is the third expansion for the zoo simulation game released in 2007. This expansion adds prehistoric-themed content to the base game, allowing players to populate their zoos with dinosaurs, Ice Age beasts, and other extinct creatures. While the educational aspects of learning about long-gone animals seem appealing on the surface, repetitive and uninspired gameplay ultimately prevents this expansion from reaching its full potential.
The highlights of Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals come from its interesting selection of animals, especially the dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts. There is excitement to be had in acquiring and exhibiting species that kids and adults alike will recognize from pop culture, like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor, and Woolly Mammoth. For dinosaur enthusiasts, seeing different types of familiar and obscure dinosaurs in a realistic zoo simulation could be appealing.
However, the implementation of these extinct animals into gameplay leaves much to be desired. They do not behave in a noticeably different or realistic way compared to normal animals - a dinosaur's needs are met essentially the same as those of a lion or bear. Beyond a visual facelift, this expansion adds little to change or enhance the core zoo management experience in meaningful ways. Prehistoric decorations and theming for exhibits are sparse, so it's hard for players to fully transform their zoo into the prehistoric wonderland the theme seems to suggest. The end result is a spread of dinosaurs and other beasts that feel rather slapped onto a normal zoo with little creativity.
Simplistic Management Gameplay
Gameplay in Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals follows the familiar loop established in the base Zoo Tycoon 2 game - slowly build up your zoo by adding new creatures, enclosures, guest facilities, and decorations. However, for a simulator meant to capture the challenge of running a major zoo, the gameplay requires very little management depth or skill. Maintaining a functioning and profitable zoo mostly comes down to a very basic repetition of a few key tasks - add new animals and bigger enclosures as you get more money, place a few benches and trees, and repeat.
The rigid restrictions on enclosure sizes and unchanging animal needs mean that there is little problem-solving or adaptation required. Once you've set up a basic enclosure for a species, you can essentially copy and paste it to keep adding more animals and there is little danger of anything going wrong. The lack of real threats like disease outbreaks, habitat destruction, or animal attacks prevents any sense of urgency, chaos, or challenge. Overall the simulation falls flat, lacking the strategic depth, customization, and reward loop that define the best tycoon and management games.
Final Review: 7/10
Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals is a bit of a letdown, lacking the compelling prehistoric experience it promises. While there is some initial interest in exploring the new creatures, especially the various dinosaurs, the enjoyment is short-lived. The expansion does little to enhance the simplistic and repetitive gameplay of the base Zoo Tycoon 2 game or leverage the prehistoric theme in an innovative way.
The result is a superficial makeover of a zoo simulation that already struggled with depth and challenge. However, it is really worth noting that for any ancient animal fan and dinosaur geeks, this is a must-have expansion.
- Interesting selection of extinct animals, particularly dinosaurs
- Provides novel educational value about prehistoric life
- Extinct animals refresh familiar gameplay mechanics
- Can spark players' imaginations by bringing prehistoric beasts to life
- Gameplay lacks depth, challenge and reward system at times
- Management becomes repetitive with little need for adaptation
- Customization and theming options are somewhat limited
Download Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
There are certainties in life; the sky is blue, QPR are never going back to the Premiership, and there will always be more Zoo Tycoon.
Extinct Animals does what it says on the tin, bringing long-since dead animals back to life by manipulating fossils, and challenging you to shoehorn in said fauna into your budding zoo. The caveat is that these animals are not the easy to deal with -notably the angry dinosaurs which occasionally become enraged, turning your zoo to rubble and eating passers-by. Alright, not that last one.
The dinos need to be controlled by either your new ability to tranquillise them, or if it becomes a serious, your local dinosaur capture team. Players also have to deal with disease, hunting down the source of the illness by analysing food, objects and trees in the animals' enclosures. This adds another level of depth to Zoo Tycoon 2, and it's a laugh playing House MD with your animals, even if it's easy.
Ultimately, Zoo Tycoon 2 has its audience, and this expansion builds upon the structure in place. This isn't going to change the world, nor is it going to win any new gamers, but it's worth a go if you've got a copy of the game to hand, especially considering the bargain price of the Zoo Keeper Collection at the moment.