" What more do you want? I suppose you could have Steve and Terri Irwin running it…That'd be schweet. "
Title: Zoo Tycoon by Microsoft
Format: PC Strategy Sim
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: Following the likes of Sim City and Sim Rollercoaster, Zoo Tycoon puts you in the fast paced life of a zoo owner. Design the grounds, layout the exhibits, attract people, and see if you can finally mate a rhino with a bobcat.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: Like just about every other sim concept game that's come along, Zoo Tycoon isn't about the graphics. And given that most of the time you'll be looking at your world so that the elephants are the size of ants, that's probably not a terribly big deal. Still, all that being said, comparatively speaking Zoo Tycoon is one of the prettier games of this genre I've seen. Entertaining animations, bright colors, and relatively light pixalization make this one of the better of its brethren to look at. 3 out of 5
Sound: Animal noises and background sounds…Yippee. Nothing to shout about to be sure, though nothing to overtly bitch about either. If you're anything like me, it won't be long before you turn your speakers down and a ball game on. 3 out of 5
Playability: As the name implies, Zoo Tycoon is all about building the biggest and best zoo you can manage. Attractions bring people, people spend money, and money lets you buy bigger and better beasties, which in turn make better attractions. So, in other words, it plays out exactly the way you'd expect it to. The money seems balanced, the people are pleasantly moronic, and the beasties are fun and often quite exotic (more on this in a second). Really, the only thing that got my gourd was the often stupefying AI which will often leave keepers ignoring their animals or people meandering for countless hours, stuck behind a fence or other object. Oh well…it'll keep you involved anyways. 3.5 out of 5
Multiplayer and Replayability: Multi-player-less and built around empirical domination, the game's longevity really depends on 2 factors. 1) How much you care about making your zoo rich, rich, rich. 2) How interested you are in evolving your flock. In a stroke of pure geniuses, Microsoft has made a long term commitment to Zoo which includes fan picks for new items, upgrades, and a slew of new animals all for download from their website. Add this to the relatively large number of fan sites out there and you'll have a game that will evolve far more than you ever have. Not too shabby. 3.5 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: It's a zoo; you run it, what more do you want? I suppose you could have Steve and Terri Irwin running it…That'd be schweet. But you'll probably have to wait for the Croc Hunter game to do that. N/A
|All in all, this is a pretty fun catch (get it? Catch!) and, if the genre interests you, will make a fine addition to your library. It'll defiantly be one of those games I come back to in between bouts of Medal of Honor.|
The Good: Fun sim type game.
The Bad: Really only appealing to sim players.
The Overall Ugly: A good one for parents and kids to play together…or for lonely geek monkeys to let occupy days and days of their lives.
What it's Worth: 25ish