Planet Zoo is the most recent creation by the popular British game developer Frontier Developments, which was released into the big world in November 2019. It is a grand building and management simulation game where you get a chance to create and operate a well-functioning zoo, which is home to dozens of unique and rare animals. Your primary goal is to make sure all the inhabitants of the zoo are thriving, but you also need to do your best to turn your administered facilities into a profitable business.
If you are already familiar with the older sim titles like Planet Coaster or Wildlife Park, the gameplay is not going to be much of a revelation. Still, to me, it felt somehow novel and more emotionally engaging than anything I have tried before. The graphics are more than just impressive, they are heavenly, and the level of realism and detail in depicting animals and nature is just jaw-dropping. Also, when it comes to the baby pandas and lion cubs, the game completely reinvents the word ‘cutie-patootie’. The sound effects and music in the game further enhance the atmosphere of a busy and bustling zoo.
The game’s replay value is immense due to its emotional and educational constituents. While completing the many unique missions and attaining various gameplay objectives, you will learn a lot about how to be an efficient manager, how to make your business profitable, how to plan and control its different aspects, how to multitask and when to delegate, etc.
In Planet Zoo, you are responsible for keeping the animals happy and secure, providing them with the right kind of food, ensuring your visitors’ safety, resolving multiple conflicts with animal rights activists. The more your zoo evolves, the harder your decisions become.
I appreciate the developers giving me a choice of how I want to experience the game. Here I can build a new zoo from scratch using all my creativity and skills, go on a round-the-world trip and save some poorly-managed zoos from dying, complete a series of various challenges to earn money, or simply sit back and gaze at the marvelous animals while learning something new about them.
In short, after spending many hours in the game, I can say that Planet Zoo is one of the most satisfying and meaningful zoo simulation experiences I have ever had. It is equally enjoyable for kids and adults and can become a powerful educational tool that helps to develop a wide range of skills across various disciplines.
- It is fun and educative, teaches you tons of useful life skills
- A great selection of exotic animals to choose from
- Delightfully realistic graphics
- The level of customization in the game is off the charts
- The learning curve is rather steep, and the Career mode alone is not enough, so the game might benefit from making more tutorials available
- Animals in your zoo sometimes die, and that is a heartbreaking sight