Planet Zoo is a zoo simulation game. It has all the typical tycoon attributes from a zoo, like building habitats, getting animals, taking care of the animals, thinks for guests, and make money. Now I am a fan of Zoo Tycoon, so I was interested in trying this game once it was on sale. I didn’t realize until I started working on this blog that is from the same developers. This explains a lot but in the right way.
Now, if you are a fan of tycoon games, like me, a lot of the features of building enclosures and populating them with animals are similar to the ones that came before this game. What I enjoyed about this game is it does not just take the same old game and slap fancier graphics on it and call it done. It really does add new layers and dimensions to the game.
First, I will touch on the most obvious if you peek at any preview, the graphics. Gorgeous. I do have a higher-end PC, so that probably helps, but I absolutely love the graphics. Going to an animal and going into camera mode shows some beautiful details that other zoo games haven’t accomplished. Outside of the animals, the habitats, enrichment, and buildings are incredible as well. Zoom in and enjoy!
Now to the game, I am not going to talk about traditional tycoon features because they all do that. What I loved about this game were the next steps it took.
Weather: Unless I missed something, I don’t recall the weather in any of the other zoo games I played. I loved this. This made it so you can’t just have a polar bear right next to a warthog, and everyone is happy. No, I must account for the weather and make sure that habitats are heated and cooled appropriately for the animal.
Utilities: So, think you can plop down some AC or a heater? Nope, you have to have power. Power controls buildings, enclosures, habitats, even the speakers that tell the guests about the animals. You also must be aware of water and water quality because that can bring disease.
Education: Guest education is smart. You can have speakers that speak to the animals, and careful the sound doesn’t overlap with other speakers. Nothing worse than hearing about two animals at once or even the wrong animal! The educational boards are also a nice touch with real information on them.
Disease: Got a new animal? Better quarantine it. Don’t need it getting everything else sick. As mentioned, keep the water clean. It would be best if you also solved these diseases, so that takes research.
Research: While not entirely new to these tycoon games, I loved the depth it goes. Every animal can have multiple things researched as well as diseases by the vets. Your maintenance workers also can complete research on things to make the guests and animals happier, like better shopping or habitat features.
Mixed Exhibits: This is not really new, you could always risk mixing animals, but this time the game can let you know other animals that actually give you a perk to mixing.
Small Animals: You know how you go to real zoos, and they have those reptile houses that you go in to see all the little animals? Yeah, well, this game doesn’t just stick down a reptile house. How about having exhibits that are out to see the iguanas, frogs, and slugs? Even those can be upgraded through research to accommodate your little friends better.
And all of that was just noticed in my first three hours. And I was only playing through the career tutorials. The tutorials teach you things in phases, so it is easy to grasp without having a million items to click through with lots of reading. Thank you, voice acting! Would I repurchase it? In a heartbeat. I even upgraded to deluxe and got the arctic pack after doing this test run. I love this game! Game: Planet Zoo
Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Initial Release Date: November 5, 2019
Knowing what I know now, would I repurchase it? In a heartbeat.