The old classic has made its way to current generation consoles, but is it the Zoo Tycoon we know and love?

When I first heard Zoo Tycoon was coming to console, I’ll admit I had reservations. Games with a top-down, menu-based gameplay don’t work so well on a controller. However, I was pleased to find out that this Zoo Tycoon takes the focus away from the traditional style and instead uses third-person camera for the majority of the game.

This changes the game completely, and it becomes less building and maintaining the economy of a zoo, and more interacting with the animals on a personal level, which is fun, at least initially. You can get awesome little animal-themed golf buggies and zip around the zoo, stopping off to see your animals or completing the little quests that the game gives you. Plus, if you have a Kinect you can use it to feed the animals, which was definitely a crowd-pleaser for my seven-year-old sister.

The problem if you aren’t a young child who is happy to repeat the same actions over and over is that it quickly becomes fairly stale. There isn’t a whole lot of variety in the gameplay; the quests basically all centre around making one animal or another happy, and without the proper micro-managing of the old games with things like concession stand price balancing, cleaning up waste and other finer details, you run out of things to do.

It is, however, a fantastic children’s game. The simplifying of the interfaces and the micro-management aspects mean that there isn’t any facet of the game that a child couldn’t figure out eventually. Plus, the gameplay is much more oriented to children, who might want to zoom around in a buggy and visit their favourite lions or monkeys instead of managing a zoo from an economic perspective.

All in all, Zoo Tycoon is a good game if you’re looking for a zoo simulator. If you’re a fan of the old games, as I am, and are looking for more of the same but on a console, then perhaps it’s not the game for you.



Rating - Rent it !


Zoo Tycoon is available on the following platforms:

Xbox 360 | Xbox One


Publisher: Microsoft Studios

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