Review: Planet Zoo

Planet Zoo was made by Frontier Developments, the very same people who have brought us the nostalgia-filled Rollercoaster Tycoon games in the past, as well as the more recent Jurassic Parc Evolution. This means the developers are no strangers to building a management sim type game, and it shows. Planet Zoo might be their best one to date.

In Planet Zoo, players will build their own animal parcs. There are over eighty animals to choose from, each of them with their own characteristics, animations and habitat preferences. The visuals of this game are outstanding and combined with the superb animations, these animals feel like more than just some lines of code. Watching species like apes climb and play on the playground you have just build for them yourself is an experience we have not had in gaming before.

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Sadly enough, there are no water-dwelling animals available at launch and seen as though we still haven’t received aquatic dinosaurs in Jurassic Parc Evolution either, we doubt they will be coming any time soon. There do is a wide array of endangered species, which are actually the main focus of the game.

Breeding, protecting, releasing endangered species back into the wild and educating your visitors about them is the main goal of this game, as it is in many zoos around the world. It awards players with a unique kind of currency not obtainable in any other way, which in turn unlocks even more endangered species and so on. There is also a vast educational merit to playing this game, with every animal having an in-depth information block where you can learn more about them. We love that this is the underlying focus of the game.

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The actual management of your zoo can get quite hectic at times, with many different stats to keep in mind. The tutorial does a decent enough job at explaining it all to the player bit by bit, but some features still require some research. There is also an online aspect of this game, where players are among other things able to trade animals between their zoos. The online game mode is decent, it’s just a shame we can’t actually visit our friends’ zoos as a visitor, without having to download them and play them as a zoo of our own.

Planet Zoo is one the best management sims out there and Frontier Developments has proven once again they know how to make these types of games fun. We have to applaud the importance of animal wellfare, as well as the protection of endangered species in this game. However Planet Zoo’s management can get a little tedious at times, the game itself delivers the realest animals and is the best zoo building sim available at this time.

Rating: 8/10

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

Developer: Frontier Developments

Publisher: Frontier Developments

Price: €44,99 / $44,99 / £34.95

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