Just because a game has a sliver of success on one platform certainly does not guarantee that it will translate well to another. Case in point (and coincidently the subject of today's review), Zoo Tycoon probably sounded like a real winner for the DS. With its unique gameplay capabilities and friendly game design, I was drooling thinking this one would just flat-out rock. Boy was I wrong.
First off, the graphics on this one are absolutely horrendous. The DS's small screen is just crammed to the edge with foliage, buildings, animals and anything else that was in the original PC game. It just doesn't work and it's because the DS just can't handle a port version of the game. If the folks over at THQ had decided to scale down the visuals, it may have helped out, but as it is, the A? view just looks bad. Items have no good sharp edges, it's too blurry and the animals don't look too much like animals.
Next, the controls are also wanting. Using the stylus to move items around and select the appropriate item for when you build the zoo (the game's about building profitable zoos by the way), wasn't so bad, but you do have to do some guessing when it comes to exhibit placement and using the trigger buttons to rotate the view just to find that single rock that is apparently upsetting your zebra that's hidden behind the building can be a tad frustrating.
Of course as with any of the Tycoon games, you must build a zoo that's not only healthy for the animals, but garners a nice profit for you. You are under the gun to get the exhibits set up in time and must maintain the animals health. On the PC, some of these tycoon titles are absolutely awesome. My wife loves them, but even she was experiencing some serious frustration while playing it on the DS.
I could go on as well, zoo workers and animals don't look very good, the foliage and different terrain that you must match up to the animals, looks pretty poor as well. And I don't have to tell you all that when a game looks as bad as this one, it really makes it a stretch to keep playing. My advice to you would be to pass it up. There are far superior DS titles out there.
Download Zoo Tycoon
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP