By Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee on November 12, 2019
Two months ago, I had the chance to play the Planet Zoo beta. I was able to play for one session during this beta and boy, oh boy; it left me wanting more! Now, two months later the wait (oh, the pain , the agony, the suffering) is finally over. Ladies and gentlemen, join me on my quest to build my own super-sized garden filled with animals in Planet Zoo!
I'm so happy to see the full game is the same cool game that I enjoyed while playing the beta. Now, as you might suspect, there are a couple of differences between the full game and the beta which, luckily, make the game even cooler. There are more animals, more options and more missions available than ever before. As I mentioned in my article about the Planet zoo beta, I love this type of games and I've played all kinds of Tycoon games back in the day. You might be tempted to think that Planet Zoo would be the same as Zoo Tycoon, but you would be wrong. The big difference between this game and Zoo Tycoon is that Planet Zoo has a lot more to it. It's more than just putting animals in cages and making money off them.
Planet Zoo's main objective is keeping the animals happy by building an awesome habitat, tailored to the various species of animals. You can't simply use one and the same enclosure for every type of animal. Monkeys need some things to play with in their environment, while seals definitely want a combination of land and water. It's important to keep you animals healthy and happy. If you don't do a good job at this, it will have consequences. Visitors might demonstrate against it, complete with boards and everything. If you, after these complaints, still refuse to take action, the animals in question will be put in protective quarantine until you improve the conditions of their enclosure.
The animals are the main element of this game of course. Taking care of them is the first step, but you can also breed them. Keep in mind that an additional habitat is required for this and you can't breed with animals from the same family (blood line). Also, think ahead if you really need more of a certain animal, because a too crowded living space can cause fights between animals. You can always sell animals or set them free in the wild. Now, isn't that nice?
If you playing videogames online then Planet Zoo has another nice treat for you. No, you're not going to build a zoo together. Come to think of it, I don't know if that would be a good idea. It would probably become a huge mess before you could say Myrmecophaga Tridactyla! No, everyone is going to build their own zoo, but you can join the online community and share your most creative habitats and even you whole zoo. Other players can check out your zoo and you can visit theirs as well. Now, I didn't build the prettiest of zoo's, but I saw a couple of players entering my zoo and to be honest, that is kinda cool!
I was one of the lucky bastards to receive the Deluxe Edition, which contains three unique animals for the game. How about owning your very own Pygmy Hippopotamus, a Thomson's Gazelle and a Komodo Dragon? This edition also comes with a set of wallpapers and the original soundtrack. It's very cool to be able to set a wallpaper to show how much you love this game, or enjoy the soundtrack on your way to school or work.
I love all the details of this game, some of which are really small, like the possibility to place little signs with info about the animals to place with their cage. Now, these details might be small, but they make all the difference in the world, as far as the overall experience is concerned. There is also a day and night cycle in this game, which you should consider. Visitors can enter you park at any moment, but they might be disappointed when none of your animals are out for them to see. Maybe you can add some nocturnal animals to your zoo or think of creating a special area in which nocturnal animals can both live and be seen by their adoring fans?
While creating my own zoo, one thing has become crystal clear; if you want to do a good job and build a cool place for animals to live in and for people to enjoy looking at said animals, there are a lot of things to consider. It's not an easy job, but it's so satisfying to see your animals and your visitors being happy at the same time, just by what you created. And that's why I love Planet Zoo!
November 5, 2019