Planet Zooby Aethyna Oct 1, 2019 | 1 Votes | 2 Played | 0 Reviews
People Also Played
Despite its occasional crashes and bugs, Planet Zoo is an impressive zoo simulation/management game that was developed by Frontier Development, the very people behind such successful titles as Jurassic World Evolution, Planet Coaster and Elite Dangerous. The game comes with incredibly in-depth sandbox features, different biomes to build your zoos in, and of course, lots and lots of animals!
If you’ve played any of their simulation games before, you should have a pretty good idea of what Planet Zoo is going to turn out like! Basically, you’ll be given complete freedom to build your zoo whichever way you like using the impressive host of tools that you can use to, for instance, sculpt the land or create a shallow pond for animals to swim in. Basically, the land you have is like a blank canvas and it is up to you to make a masterpiece out of it!
However, being a zoo simulation game, the main attraction here is definitely the menagerie of animals … and boy! The variety here is simply insane! From the most common wild hogs to the exotic tapirs, you can fill your zoo with as many of your favorite animals as you like. There are also small animal exhibits that you can set up around your zoo to house the smaller members of your zoo family, including frogs and other amphibians, reptiles, insects, and more.
Considering the game has tons of animals for you to adopt, it’s great that Planet Zoo makes it super easy for you to browse through animals that are put up for adoption and pick the ones you want via helpful filters available at the animal market. You can even check out the important and detailed stats about each animal you’re interested in, including how prone is it to diseases (immunity), its fertility, etc.
Interestingly, there are actually two ways you can adopt a new animal for your zoo. The first and probably the best way is by using those special conservation tokens, mainly because you’ll be able to recover some tokens when you do decide to release the animal into the wild. On the other hand, the second and most definitely the easiest way is by using the cash you’ve earned to buy those animals. Unlike the first method, you won’t be able to release the animal into the wild and thus, you can't get any conservation tokens for them. However, their offsprings won't have this restriction and you can release them into the wild in exchange for precious tokens!
Once an animal has been adopted, it’ll be sent to the trade center, which you’ll need to build first before you can even access the animal market. You can then choose which enclosure you want to put the animals in and simply move the animals there. You’ll need some help though – hire some keepers and you’ll be fine!
Now, animals that aren’t happy with their living conditions will make your zoo visitors unhappy, which will, in turn, tank your profits. As such, animal welfare is a huge concern in this game. After all, you wouldn’t want the inspector to shut your zoo down, would you? There are many factors that you’ll need to take into account to ensure that your animal welfare level is high at all times, including whether the habitat you’ve provided for them is suitable enough in terms of the terrain type, plant coverage, and the temperature; whether you’ve given them any sort of entertainment (known as “Enrichment” in Planet Zoo), whether you’re feeding them the best quality food, or whether you’ve provided them with enough animals to form a social circle with or even to partner up. Animals that are injured or ill will also decrease their happiness. That’s why it’s very important to hire a vet as soon as you can.
Similarly, you’ll need to keep your visitors happy as well, and having happy animals is only a part of that equation. You’ll still need to take their wants and needs into mind, such as adding in food and drinks stalls, building toilets and putting trash cans along paths just so you can ease some pressure off your janitor while keeping the path clean for the visitors!
On the other hand, keeping your own staff happy is fairly simple as long as your visitors are happy. You just need to add in enough staff buildings for them to rest in and hire enough workers so that nobody will have to take on double shifts for weeks on end.
As a zoo simulation/management game, money is a pretty important factor here since you’ll start with a limited supply of them. It’s up to you to balance out how much you spend and how much more profits you can bring in. There’s no point in making everyone happy at the cost of tanking your own business, after all!
There are several ways you can earn money in this game, besides charging a fair price on the tickets – you can place donation boxes around the best viewing points around animal enclosures or you can try to sell your visitors stuff like food, drinks, and souvenirs. If worse comes to worst, well, at least you’ll be able to secure a loan in an attempt to temporarily bail your zoo out of debt as you work to cut costs and increase your profit margins!
Planet Zoo is an incredibly in-depth game and thankfully, it has an impressive tutorial (via the campaign) which covers most of the basic stuff you need to know, plus an extensive collection of extra materials, including controls to perform certain actions, which you can access via the info tab.
The game also offers 3 different game modes for you to enjoy, namely campaign (objective-driven games; sometimes with a premade zoo), sandbox mode which we couldn’t try yet in this beta stage, and franchise mode that allows you to set up multiple zoos, collect profit from all of them, and then use the cash to fund new zoos in new biomes!
Considering that the game was just recently released and that the developers are still fixing up any bugs that were discovered after the game's launch, you should expect some issues while playing such as crashes, freezes and the occasional lag spikes over a certain area on the map when a specific combination of features clashed.
Planet Zoo is a highly social game, but not in the “Second Life”-kind of way. Instead, you can create the most magnificent of zoos, habitat or sceneries, and share them via Steam workshop to your friends or other players worldwide so they could make use of the premade designs in their own zoos.
The graphics and animations are nothing short of fantastic here. Everything is so well designed, from how the animals look to how they move. Love the animal-tracking photo mode as well mainly because you can grab some really nice screenshots using that feature. The music is also relaxing to listen to; the perfect background sound to enjoy while as you focus on building and managing your zoo.
All in all, although Planet Zoo still requires several rounds of patches before all the bugs and issues can be stomped out, what we could see in the game definitely made our jaws drop in amazement. The game has an impressive lineup of animals and if you buy the DLC, you'll get 3 more animals. Plus, almost everything in the game is customizable, including your animals if you know how genetics work. Similar to their other games, Planet Zoo has Steam Workshop support and an enthusiastic community who will keep the game alive years after its release.