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Zoo Tycoon (DS)

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£11.50 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
17 Reviews

Genre: Strategy / ESRB Rating: Teen / Release Date: 2005-11-11 / Published by THQ

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    17 Reviews
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      25.08.2013 18:27
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      Avoid or you will be greatly disappointed

      2005 and THQ bring you the chance to own your very own zoo whenever and where ever. But did this ported version bring the same old zoo magic or did it leave you wanting for a lion to eat your game through frustration (okay a little extreme...)

      Story: So it is your job to build up a zoo, keep the animals happy, keep the visitors coming through the gates and them happy as well. It is just like all the other Zoo Tycoon games with meeting goals and completing scenarios and hopefully having fun building the ultimate zoo.

      Visuals: Very poor and quite childish graphics. I mean it reminds me very much of a GBA game I played a number of years back which yeah back then looked cool. But this was a 2005 game here on the DS and not a GBA game from a few years before. You cannot actually see the animals or people clearly due too the such lack of quality of the graphics. Everything looks bright and lacks details so you can guarantee a headache would be imminent if you played a session of this game.

      Audio: I have no idea what they have done to the game series them tune which you hear on all their PC games. But with this version, it sounds like they have butchered the perfectly decent electro beat infused theme to an annoying, horrible rip off. During the game it self there is actually no music, no tune, it's just completely quiet. This doesn't bother me as I hardly ever play with the volume up but for people that want to have a deeper gameplay experience, perhaps adding animal sounds and a nice background music wouldn't of been hard at all.

      Gameplay: There are two playing options: tutorial and scenario, freeform. Tutorial and scenario start with the tutorial, explaining controls and how the game works. You start off with a zoo with some exhibitions and animals. There are various objectives to meet to advance through the levels and scenarios. Some objectives are usually revolved around the same thing: breeding certain animals, buildings exhibits and keeping animal happy for a certain length of time. With the scenarios, they do get harder as you progress but in all truth, they are quite easy to do if you wish to complete the scenario section of the game. There are 15 scenarios in this game and 3 tutorial scenarios to help you get started and use to the interface.

      Freeform is basically you choose from the 20 different zoo templates, which come in different sizes and biomes (grass field, savannah, artic etc). Then once you pick the template you want, you essentially have a blank canvas to do what you want with your new zoo. You can also set how much money you start off with your zoo, depending if you want to start with less and make it a challenge to earn cash. Or you can start off with lots of money and just make a way over the top zoo.

      This is basically zoo tycoon 1 from the PC on the DS. It has the same set up visually (although poorer graphics) using the same look over the top view down on the zoo. However the controls, especially the need to use the d-pad to scroll, are incredibly frustrating. The lack of use of the innovative technology on offer by the DS affects the players fun and experience of the game. The menus do look clear, simple and hold all the information you want about your zoo.

      Conclusion: I have played all the Zoo Tycoon games available on PC, so back in 2005 when I saw a DS version of the game I jumped at the chance and received it as present that year. To say I was disappointed after playing it several times is an understatement. Now firstly Zoo Tycoon 1 was never a totally brilliant sim but it was enjoyable, fun and great to play. This on the other hand felt like the game studios knew they had the audience there to pump out a poor game and yet reap in the profit. Just by the looks of it you can tell they didn't put thought, energy (or cash probably) into the visuals. The poor controls make it such an annoying game to play. Then to top it all, your only allowed one save game! Yep, that means you are only allowed to play one zoo at a time otherwise you will have to wipe all your hard work building up a zoo if you wish to play another.

      This could of been a great game to play and instead they created this poor game. It is very limiting in terms of what you can create in your zoo and with the controls it offers. If you are a fan of the Zoo Tycoon series like me I would say do not get this game. In fact it feels like someone made a rip off of a Zoo Tycoon game and the game studios put there name on it. A hugely disappointing game and feels like a massive kick in the teeth to the fans of the series with the lack of care shown by the games maker.

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        30.12.2010 23:17
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        Fantastic game to play and highly addictive

        I started playing Zoo Tycoon on the PC about 3 years ago and I was hooked! This must be the most addictive game in the world. Hours would pass me by when I played this game.

        I was recently given a Nintendo DS as a gift and came across the Zoo Tycoon Nintendo DS game. I was thrilled - hours of fun and much more portable than on my PC. This game is great but in comparing it to the PC version it is not as addictive. The PC version is much more in depth - there is a lot more you can do on the PC game and I found it to be more challenging - but that is another review.

        Basically you create your own zoo. You choose the animals you want, the way you want your zoo to look, the layout, the admission price and you have to maintain you zoo. You have to hire staff to take care of the animals, hire staff to maintain the zoo itself (repairing the enclosures and keeping the zoo clean and tidy) and you also have the option to hire tour guides to show visitors around. The aim of the game is to make your visitors happy, to make your zoo profitable.

        Things that make your visitors unhappy are if they are hungry, thirsty or tired. You can place drinks and food stands in your zoo, also benches and eating areas. There is also a selection of statues, water features, zoo maps etc.

        You also need to make sure the animal enclosures are suitable so that they have the right terrain, the correct shelters and the correct toys. If your animals are unhappy your visitors will also become unhappy.
        There are tips for each animal so that you know what sort of things it likes. If you put something in its enclosure it doesn't like then a sad red face appears, when it does like something a happy green face appears.

        The zoo also makes money from winning awards and private donations. Again all of this is achieved by trying to keep all visitors and animals happy. My tip is to choose popular animals for your zoo because it attracts more visitors and helps the private donations. It is also worth putting money into research and conservation because more animals will become available.

        There are a couple of things that I don't like about this game. You can only have one saved game going which is fine but if someone else wants to play and make their own zoo they will either have to overwrite your zoo or not be able to save theirs. You can only use a limited amount of seats which I have found to be very frustrating. Also building the enclosures can be a little tricky. Other than the above, this is a brilliant game! I bought this game pre owned for £9.99 and I think it is fantastic value for money because I never get tired of it.

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          31.07.2010 22:49
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          Not Recommended

          Zoo Tycoon for the DS is one of those games which you just know was probably great on the PC - but shouldn't have been put onto the DS. We paid a couple of pounds for this game off ebay, and I could see right away why it was so cheap / not very popular. The retail price on Amazon is only £9.95, so it's not an expensive game brand new even.

          When I first turned on this game I was frankly shocked by the graphics. If you've ever played the old PC games from the early to mid nineties, like Theme Park and Transport Tycoon etc, then you'll be able to imagine exactly what the graphics for this game look like. To make matters worse, I played this on the DSi XL and so I saw all of the terribly graphics flaws blown up.

          Despite this obvious initial off-putting flaw, I carried on and gave the game a try. Well, by try I mean I spent about two hours desperately trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing before giving up and re-listing the game on ebay.

          The point of the game is... Well I'm still not sure. I mean I guess that it's to build and run a successful game, as that's the lines that all Tycoon games follow. However the game gave me no clear indication of this! The instruction manual was no real help either. It told me how to access vary functions, but not what those functions could or should actually lead to!!

          I ambled through for a while setting up enclosures and following the red and green visual signals to guide me through what I should where, but thereafter I got both stuck and bored. I had no idea what half the functions in my control panel bit did, and I had no idea what I was supposed to be aiming for. I didn't know how many stalls and enclosures I needed and couldn't work out when I should raise my prices etc.

          I bet that with a proper instruction manual and decent graphics this could be an enjoyable game. The premise is good enough after all. This is badly (and cheaply) designed though, and very confusing and hard to work out. If you're already familiar with this game from the PC version then you might get on okay with it. If you're totally new to the game though, give it a miss or be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into figuring out how to actually play it.

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          23.07.2009 13:23
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          ok game

          Zoo Tycoon has now come to the Nintendo DS, making it easier to play as all other versions I have known of this type of games have been on the PC, so now you can take the game with you wherever you go.

          It's a game where you get to purchase and adopt various animals whilst creating them all for your own personal zoo. You have to manage the Zoo like you are running a real life zoo, keeping visitors happy with gift shops and restaurants and putting various animals in too.

          You start the game with a piece of land and an amount of money and then you have to build appropriate exhibits for your zoo animals and then keep the animals and the customers happy, as your zoo grows and becomes more successful you win awards and unlock new animals and buildings to be able to improve you zoo and progress through the game.

          Having not played the PC version of this game, I was not sure what I was going to be playing, But I found the game very easy to complete and almost too straightforward which made it quite boring to play as there was nothing that really challenged me and lead me to become addicted to the game and not be able to put the game down like a lot of my other DS games that I own.

          The game would often freeze when the game was paused, which meant losing anything that hadn't been saved prior to that.

          This game is great fun at first and the graphics are alright, the animals are adorable and its easy to follow, but you get bored after playing on it for too long and once you done everything on the game there is a limit to what else you can do so you put it to one side never really to play again.

          This was a game that I purchased off Ebay and I only paid a few pounds for it and I am glad that I did not spend a huge amount of money on this.

          This is a game that after reading a lot of reviews it sounded like a good game, but I appreciate it is great for the younger generation and not for me in my twenties, although for what I paid for it I certainly cannot complain.

          If I had to purchase another game of this style I would go for the Sims this is a game that I find a lot more challenging and for my age group.

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            01.05.2009 00:51
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            Worth a look for fans of the tycoon series of games

            Zoo Tycoon is a game for the Nintendo DS. The game requires you to build up your zoo, getting more exhibits and taking care of the animals (and there are over fifty to choose from), preventing them from escaping whilst also keeping your zoo's bank balance in order.

            The game is very easy to play and pick up on. You can either choose to play the game in free form mode, or play through the various scenarios in the game. There are eighteen scenarios in the game, including the three tutorial scenarios. In the free form option you can again choose from a variety of landscapes, so choose between grass and mountains, which again does increase the number of options and the playability. As you progress through the game different animals and buildings are unlocked, which does keep interest in the game up.

            There are some illogical features in the game where animals appear not to like their exhibits and animals escape despite the amount of maintenance staff. However overall the game does generally make sense and is easy to learn and progress in. It's also quite satisfying to get things right and to see the zoo's visitors walking happily through the park.

            The graphics are sufficient in the game, but are not overly impressive. The game is probably best played on a PC because the graphics on the DS screen are quite tightly packed which is a little hard on the eyes after a while. The animals on the screen can be very small and it takes some practice to get fencing and animal cages in the exact plate that you want them. The game is very reliant on the stylus, which generally works out fine, but sometimes can be fiddly and slightly frustrating.

            The sound in the game is also a bit repetitive and again nothing special. The sounds that do play are occasional and are really just limited to just a few occasional animal noises. Although Nintendo DS games are often limited in terms of the sound, more effort could definitely have been put into this for this game.

            The game after a while can lose its appeal once all of the animals and buildings are unlocked, but there is still a fair amount of game play to go through, so if you can get the game cheaply, it may prove to be good value entertainment.

            One other slight downside is that you can only have one zoo active at any time, so you can't play a scenario without losing the free form zoo which you might have created. I found this quite frustrating as it would have been nice to be able to play both forms of the game without having to choose which saved version of the game to lose.

            The game isn't currently available from Amazon itself, although there are sellers selling new copies at just under 19 pounds. The game can though be found second hand on sites such as eBay.

            In conclusion, this game is probably best played on the PC if possible as the DS's size does make it sometimes quite frustrating to play. However, it's easy to pick up, quite addictive and well worth a look if you're a fan of the tycoon series of games.

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              14.02.2009 23:29

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              Like it a lot - some serious fun to be had

              I'd played this game on my PC but really fancied the idea of making it portable. They did it well - it is a tiny bit dumbed-down, but all the main features are there, making it a game you can really spend some time on. Obviously with a smaller screen it is a little bit harder to see things - and perhaps the detail is not so great, but it still has everything you need for great game play. The only niggly thing I found is it is quite hard to make new animal enclosures - it's dead fiddly doing it with the stylus on the little screen - you end up going where you didn't want to. And if you want a really big enclosure it ends up being off the edge of the screen. Apart from that it is a great game and I would recommend it to anyone.

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              18.01.2009 23:32
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              Get Playing And Quit That Monkying Around

              ~Product~

              Zoo Tycoon D.S comes in a plastic case with a picture of a zoo with a polar bear at the front. Inside the case is the small square disc which you insert into your Nintendo D.S. The instruction booklet and guarantee are also in the case.

              ~About The Game~

              The object of the game is to build and manage your very own zoos whilst keeping your animals and visitors happy. At the start you get a sum of money to help you but later on you have to rely on paying visitors. Zoo Tycoon takes you step by step through the basics of running a successful zoo. From caring for your animals to meeting your financial goals, each scenario features a variety of specific objectives.

              The best zoos are usually the result of careful planning , you get better at this as you go along and it does give you tips along the way .

              ~Getting Started~

              1. Insert the game card of the Zoo Tycoon into the top slot of your Nintendo D.S system. To lock the game card in place, press firmly until the game card is locked.

              2. Press the power button to turn power on. the logo screen should appear and you are ready to start building your very own zoo.

              ~Games~

              Tutorial and Scenario games - Choose from a variety of games.

              Freeform Game - Choose from a variety of zoo maps and buid your very own zoo at your own pace.

              Card collection - View the cards you have collected, collect all 50 animal cards which are filled with fun and interesting facts on your favourite zoo animals.


              Load saved Game - You can play and continue with a saved game.

              ~Building Your Zoo~

              ~Fences~

              Select the type of fence you want to use from object select screen. You can decide the size of the fence by dragging the cursor to where you want the fence to end. When you are happy with size and shape press DECIDE to purchase fence.

              ~Paths~

              Select the type of path you would like then press the A button to start, the path will end when you press the A button again.

              ~Foliage~

              You can put foliage such as plants and trees in your zoo. Each animal likes different foliage so think carefully about your choices. Use the +control pad to move the foliage grabbed by the hand cursor.

              ~Rocks~

              You can place rocks in your zoo, but like the foliage each animal likes/dislikes different rocks.

              ~Terrain~

              You can select the terrain you want and the height you want it again though different animals are suited to different terrain.

              ~Buildings~

              Buildings such as toilets, cafes can be placed in your zoo. Select the type of building and place it where you want it.

              ~Scenery~

              Scenery such as water fountains can be placed in your zoo. Select type of scenery and place it in your zoo.

              ~Animals~

              Select type of animal and adopt it for your zoo. Animals can only be placed in an exhibit surrounded by a fence. You can purchase and adopt a menagerie of animals, including lions, giraffes, and tigers!

              ~Shelters~

              Select your shelter, making sure its big enough and suitable for your animals and place it in your zoo. Shelters can not be outside the zoo otr in areas where objects are in the way.

              ~Toys~

              Select a toy and place it in your zoo. Different toys are suitable for different animals.

              ~Staff~

              Select you staff Maintenance workers, Tour Guides and Zoo keepers and place them in your zoo. Zoo keepers play an important part in your zoo, they provide food and drink and look after your animals. Zoo keepers can only be placed in an area surrounded by a fence. If you have enough money it is a good idea to have a zoo keeper for every animal enclosure.

              ~Cards~

              You can purchase cards only when you are playing a scenario game. These cards can be viewed from your main menu.

              ~Exhibit List~

              Helps you to keep track of all the exhibits in your zoo.

              ~Staff List~

              Helps you to keep track of all your employees.

              ~Buildings List~

              Shows you all the buildings you have placed in your zoo.

              ~Graphics And Sound~

              The graphics are really good and you can see your animals walking/jumping/swimming around and recognize what they are. The sound is fairly good too, throughout the game you can hear all the animal sounds, which children enjoy and find really funny. The colours and the way the animals move about is also very realistic.

              ~Top Tip~

              Once you have set up your Zoo you can go back and change it if you are not happy with it or you aren't getting good ratings. At the start I did this numerous times as I kept picking unsuitable choices for my animals ( I wasn't very good to start with and my animals were either unhappy or they died but I soon got the hang of it and fortunately didn't lose too many ) . You get messages along the way to tell you which animals are unhappy and why.

              ~My Opinion~

              I would recommend this game especially if your child/adult likes animals. Children can learn lots of fun and interesting facts about zoo animals. It is a great fun game to play where children/adults can let their imagination run really wild. Zoo Tycoon takes a lot of thought and care, it also teaches children/adults about the things that different animals like and dislike. Zoo Tycoon is also great for teaching children that looking after animals and running your own zoo is not that easy . Now go on start monkying around and create your very own zoo.

              ~Price and availability~

              Available form most game shops and online. I bought mine from Game and it cost me £15.00.

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                08.01.2009 00:21
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                nice, worth the purchase, but maybe not at full price!

                Having always enjoyed tycoonesque games on the pc, it seemed only natural that I would pursue this interest with my nintendo DS as well. I had a look around and Zoo tycoon stuck out mostly because of the cute polar bear on the front, and the blurb on the back which managed to convince me that it was worthy of my £30.

                I wasn't disappointed in that it was a cute little game that kept me entertained for a month or so, but it didn't take long for the controls to get onto my nerves a little. It became difficult to place the items where I wanted to, and there was simply too much information to read about various types of grass and animal feed, it became quite a bore. Although it isn't a flaw with the game, but more the DS, I found that the screen(s) was simply too small to play on this game, because the player ends up spending half the time tediously scrolling around.

                Even though I found it annoying, there are lots of animals and different features you can buy for your zoo, so it will keep you entertained if you can stand the controls. These tycoon games are a love or hate thing, so I don't think this will win anybody over, but if you already like this sort of thing I would recommend it.

                Getting stuck into the game took far longer than I would have liked but it still gets a three star rating, just because it's a nice game and nice idea.

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                  12.11.2008 21:51

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                  I have just had a read through the other comments about people being dissapointed with this game. I do not understand how, it is a good game especially for someone who is intresed in animals and what sort of terrain thy have to have in their enclosure. What type of plants they like and how many male or females they like to have around them if any. When you create a enclosure for the animals and put them in, a little exclamation mark appears in the lower left corner and tells you what you need to edit. For example, if you have a giffafe and there is not enough water terrain they will tell you to add more. If you then add to many animals of the same kind to an enclosure it will tell you to sell one. An excellent game!

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                  10.11.2008 22:11

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                  Give it a go

                  I really enjoyed playing this game at first. It is a stereotypical simulation game, where you create your own zoo and have a budget to stick to, new animal enclosures have to be researched, and you have to control ticket prices and advertising.

                  You also have to ensure that your guests at the zoo are properly cared for, with restaurants, toilets, atms, benches etc to keep them happy. You can purchase shops and upgrade all of the facilities with further research. You have to remember to purchase cleaners, keepers and guides as well though, to keep the park all running smoothly!

                  There are different levels of challenges to work through, and as you pass each one a different animal becomes available. I did start to find the game a bit monotonous after a while, as every level starts afresh with a blank site for you to begin (so just when you think you're doing pretty well with your zoo they wipe it out and make you start again), but this only started to irritate me after I'd played it for a while.

                  I'd definitely give it a go, particularly for animal lovers and children, but don't expect miracles with it.

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                  05.11.2008 15:18

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                  nice if you can get it cheap!

                  i got this game a while back now as part of a buy one get one free offer at game and for that i think it was good value for money.

                  Basically, its another one of those games where you build and manage things, in this case a zoo. You can either build randomly or play out a scenario in varying levels of difficulty where you have to pass strict criteria to advance. The criteria include animal welfare and happiness, breeding particular animals, holding a variety of species, and visitor satisfaction. This mode is good because it gives a sort of focus and makes you look at satisfying the people as well as the animals. However i've also got theme park and i prefer the amount of controlability on that.

                  overall it is a nice little game. it makes good use of the controls and if you can get it for a cheap price then its a nice little game especially if you like the sim type games!

                  For those thinking of buying it - there is now a zoo tycoon 2 which has been released, which i've not yet been able to have a go with, but is likely to be better than the original, so is worth giving it a look.

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                  08.09.2008 11:50
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                  Not worth buying

                  I loved the PC version of this game, and so bought the DS version, but unfortunately I did not like the DS version of the game at all, as I found that alot of the missions were too complicated and so just ended up losing interest in them.

                  At the beginning of the game you have to follow a few tutorial games which teach you the basics of building and keeping animals/guests happy. After the tutorial you then have to build an entire zoo by yourself makingsure to complete the mission, such as having 5 different types of animals. To start with you build enclosures for your animals, after you have done this you have to keep them happy by providing them with the right terrain and foliage. As well as making sure your animals are looked after you need to place restaurants/vending machines all around the zoo to keep your guests happy. As the game goes on the missions get much more difficult, some of which I found impossible to complete.

                  Overall I thought that the PC version is much better and you should buy that version if your interested in this game.

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                  13.08.2008 20:17
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                  Good clean fun!

                  The idea of Zoo Tycoon on the Nintendo DS is basically the same as the PC game.

                  You get a zoo and you have to build exhibits to put animals in, restaurants / eating places for the visitors, toilets, paths for them to walk around the zoo - any conveniences you can think of.

                  The animal exhibits are usually cages. You then buy some animals to put in them. Usually you'd just put the same animals in one exhibit, I've never tried to put different animals in together. I think it might be ok depending on the animals as some would probably fight. Anyway, once you've put your animals in the exhibit, there's a guide to tell you whether they're happy or not and what to change to increase their happiness. There are different terrains (grass, saltwater, freshwater, sand, savannah grass, etc), different types of rock, different types of foliage (trees / plants). Some animals like to have something to play with, some like a more hilly environment (heights of the floor can be changed) and most of them want a shelter.

                  If you're playing a set challenge level, you have a few objectives that you have to meet in order to win the level. These start off quite simple and get harder as you progress. These can include having certain animals in the zoo, having a certain average satisfaction of animals / customers, etc. You can view your objectives throughout the game to check what you're aiming for.

                  I must say that I've got to a level where you need to get the customers average satisfaction to about 98%, which is extremely high and I'm finding it really difficult. I've put all the things in the zoo that I think they'll need / want but it's still wavering too low and I don't know how to overcome it so I think it can be too hard at times, which gets frustrating, but the overall idea of the game is really good and it's great fun to play!

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                    07.08.2008 20:28
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                    Great game, hours of fun

                    I had this game originally on the PC so I was a bit reluctant to buy it on the DS but when I had picked up a different game I found it was buy one get one free and I didn't like the look of anything else so chose this. I thought it might have been slightly different from the PC version but it is exactly the same. In this game you have to build up zoos from scratch and build enclosures for the animals and keep them happy by adding different types of terrain and foliage. You also have to keep the visitors happy with food and drink shops and plenty of different animals for them to see. Employing various members of staff is a must to look after the animals and keep the zoo tidy. You can choose from a Freeform game in which you start with a totally blank canvas and build your zoo in your own time or you can choose Scenario game where you get set different objectives to complete in a limited amount of time. Usually these scenarios are zoos that have been part built and you have to improve them or tricky landscapes to build on. There is also a tutorial on the game which helps to get you used to the controls and the basics of building a park.

                    Great game and highly addictive, although some levels can be tricky and frustrating, you just don't feel like you can give up until its finished. Would definitely recommend to kids and adults as is a great simulation game.

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                      04.08.2008 13:25

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                      Really entertaining. Thoroughly enjoyed this game.

                      This game started well and I enjoyed it for a month or so. You get to build your own zoo from scratch, build pens, buy in animals, wait until they breed and sell some, buy them toys, change their habitat to keep them interested and happy, build cafes, fountains etc to make your zoo a happy place to visit. You alter the price that people pay, you get involved in research. There is plenty to do to keep you entertained. Really really enjoyable.

                      On the down side, I found that you start to want to make changes to the zoo but can't once you have laid pathways so you have to start from scratch. Also, all my animals started getting unhappy and no matter what I did nothing improved. Maybe it's just my guilt-complex but this made me feel sad! :(

                      It was great fun though initially and I'll probably go back to it again.

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                  • Product Details

                    Easy to learn, hard to master! Encounter the ultimate zoo experience in Zoo Tycoon DS! Get up close and personal while collecting and caring for the world's most popular animals in a custom zoo you create!