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Rated: 2.8 stars out of 5
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Pros and Cons
This game is loads of fun but it also has some good qualities and some bad ones. PROS : There are tons of different subspecies for almost all the different animal species. This adds to variety and immersion. The animals all have realistic textures and animations which are also aesthetically pleasing. There is a decent variety of concession stands The scenery and decorations are also beautiful The money system is believable and not overly difficult in normal mode CONS : The overall number of main species is small. For example, while there may be at least 10 different kinds of antelopes available once all are unlocked, there are actually only 9 main animal species available (Antelopes, Bears, Elephants, etc), or at least as far as I have been able to find or unlock with no hint of anything more waiting to be unlocked. Because of this, the zoo lacks overall variety and realism or immersion. There are many more main species people would generally love to be able to see in a zoo...such as wolves, buffalo, mountain lions, mountain goats, snow leopards, crocodiles, wilderbeasts, zebras, etc. They could have and should have done a much better in depth job with the kinds of animals aavailable. Also, the overall zoo limit is very limiting. I can only get a handful of large exhibits with medium animal population actually residing in them along with necessary facilities and concessions before the zoo limit is filled up. It breaks immersion and realism and is very disappointing, especially in free mode. It would have been much better, especially in free mode, if players could create zoos large enough to house most the available animals and concessions and a decent number of decorations. CONCLUSION : While the animations and realistic looking animals are delightful, and building your own zoo gives hours upon hours of fun, it is still rather disappointing to be so limited in the number of available main animal species and the overall zoo limit. This game needs a patch that removes the zoo limit and adds more main animal species, or if total removing of the zoo limit is not possible, then at least increase the zoo limit for players and add more main species.
Great idea - poor execution
It's quite simple really. If you like the sim idea, building the zoo is quite fun, albeit somewhat repetitive. -2 stars for the incredibly frustrating zoo limit. My nine year old was happily playing in freemode and loving the diffferent animals and things she could do, when suddenly she hit the limit and then nada. She can't add anything. And that was after about 2 hours of playing. Talk about a deal breaker. She was quite frustrated and upset. This really is an extremely poor effort from the developers, and in researching the issue it seems that there's reason is to limit poor framerates if there is too much going on. In other words, the devs can't be bothered optimizing their code, or designing a proper solution. Do not buy, unless you want a couple of hours of fun, followed by a smackdown.
Good for about a day.
This game is fun, until you reach your zoo limit. There is still plenty of space designated for your zoo, but one you reach the limit you cannot build anything, add any animals, or complete most of the challenges. So, after playing for a day or so, there's nothing left you can do but the challenges that don't require adding anything to your zoo - like taking a picture of an animal. Guests want more decorations - too bad. Game challenges you to add an animal - too bad. I should have never wasted the money of this game, but it was fun while it lasted.
A lot of fun for the whole family.
If you're a fan of The Sims or other Tycoon games, you'll enjoy this one. I purchased this game to play with my daughter and it's very fun. It is very in depth, so if you're shopping this title for a child, you may want to make time to sit down and play it with them (i.e., she couldn't understand why people were unhappy with the cleanliness of the zoo, so I would have to explain to her that you have to build janitorial buildings and hire janitors). It doesn't replace the real zoo, but it's a nice substitute on those days you can't get out to one. My only criticism is the size limitations on the zoos. For the computing power they boast about for the Xbox One, it would seem that more detail could go into building a zoo. I would recommend this to any gamer, but especially for those of you with children. However, if you own an Xbox 360, I would recommend buying that version. The Xbox One version is clearly a port, but for some reason when I shopped the two, the Xbox One version was $10 higher. I thought I'd see an advantage buying the Xbox One software - I was wrong. Good luck in your gaming choice.
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