System Requirements CPU: 733Mhz RAM: 256MB HDD: 900MB Video: DX 9 16MB 3D accelerated OS: Windows XP/2000/98 ESRB: Rated E

I know there are lots of Tycoon games out there but this series has to be one of my favorites. I owned the first one and stopped playing it after a patch made it very unstable. When I saw commercials for this one, and seeing that it was 3D, I was determined to get it. I have not been disappointed, then again they haven?t patched it yet.

So what?s different?

Besides the 3D graphics, there are different views in this game. You can view the game as the Zoo designer, a Zookeeper, a photographer, or a guest! Some of the campaigns require you to switch roles to complete the objectives. The new 3D engine makes a big difference when you are getting up close and personal with the animals and guests.

What?s the same?

Your primary goals are to keep the animals and guests happy. You must meet the basic needs of the animals such as food, water, habitat, rest and exercise. To encourage breeding you should meet the advanced needs such as privacy, hygiene, social, and stimulation. If you fail to meet the basic needs, the guests will become angry at the zoo. The guests have needs too. Make sure you have enough restrooms, places to rest, drinks, food and desserts. To keep your guests amused, build fountains, bouncy rides, photo stands etc. Location is everything, put objects where guests tend to linger otherwise you?ll lose money.

How do I make money?

By default the zoo has a moderate entrance price ($20). You can jack that up, lower it or even make your zoo free. You can also adjust the prices at the concession stands. Price things wisely otherwise they won?t buy them. Be sure to put donation boxes by every animal exhibit.

What will I see?

In this game you?ll have the cool power of reading people?s and your animals? thoughts. This is a great way to make sure you?re meeting their needs. It?s cool seeing the everyday activities, especially when the animals have babies. You?ll see them nursing, playing, stalking and going to the bathroom. When it comes to mating, you don?t see anything happening, just hearts above their heads.

Game Play

There are several game modes to choose from:


- If you?re new to this game, start here, you?ll learn a lot.


- Build a zoo with unlimited money and all the items are there without having to research them.


-In this mode you choose various challenges such as starting up a zoo or cleaning up bad ones. There are no primary goals.


-This mode has several scenarios with specific objectives that must be met. They vary in difficulty and as you complete them you will unlock more objects to use and more campaigns.


Although the 3D engine adds to the game, it certainly isn?t perfect. It?s really neat to zoom in and look at the animals interact with each other. I?ve noticed when you zoom in that sometimes the animals walk through solid objects. The animal models themselves are pretty detailed but are a bit squared off at the edges. The human models are recycled a bit. You?ll especially notice this when you zoo becomes more famous.


The sound in this game is pretty good. The menu music is nicely done and if you put music rocks in your zoo, you?ll hear the same music when you zoom in. As expected, the animal sounds are well done. The guests have their own noises and gibberish too. There are background noises such as crickets that add to the game as well.


This is a very clean game. When it comes to the animals you will see them go o the bathroom, but you won?t see them mate. The official website has a funny feature where you can e-mail some poop to a friend. I?ll admit that I dunged a couple people with elephant poop.

Final Thoughts

This game is quite fun and I highly recommend it to any animal or tycoon game lover. There are downloadable add-ons to keep things interesting. So far I got a stuffed prey dummy and a black leopard. There is even a mobile phone version that allows you to unlock things on the pc version. All in all, this game will keep you busy for hours.

Final Ratings

Game Play B+ Graphics B Sound B+ Interface A Stability A Appropriateness A-

Overall 85%

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