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The Planet Zoo has cute animals, but the management sucks

Sometimes you wonder what would happen if someone made a traditional theme park game, but with animals? Planet Zoo is here to help us find out.

I would like to tell you that the terrain is more nuanced, and that I was just bed linen, but really, it is not. If you played Tycoon with roller coaster, Classic Bullfog Theme park or especially its own border Planet Coaster, you'll be home right away.

They come three years later Planet Coaster (which seemed to me an unusual pleasure), Planet Zoo is in many ways the same experience, only with a different focus. The interface is remarkably similar, the principles that guide your construction and park management are the same, and even the overall structure of things, from career to sand, is known.

I went over mine Planet Coaster review just to be sure, and boy, really is similarly, not only in the way it is designed and played, but how I feel about it.

One more time, Planet Zoo It is divided into several different game modes, but really only two, starting with Career Mode, which accelerates you around pre-built parks and scenarios and asks you to perform certain functions, basically serving as a long, practical tutorial. When you are happy with all this, you can search for the keys to your own park and start from scratch.

And once again, this is it frightening.

Many career levels are geared to perfection, designed with the right expertise and care to look like real zoos, and so when you are left alone with nothing but empty land and a vast array of tools at your disposal, you can be frightening.

Planet Zoo


Welcome to my jungle.


Theme park, only with lions instead of lines.


The sand regime is weird, and the animals and crowds add immensely to the cheerful atmosphere.


The management mode is a disappointment again.


Border developments




November 5, 2019


Finished most of my career challenges, then tried three different parks with sandboxes, all failures in my own nice way.

So frightening that although I'm normally against the idea of ​​having to unlock sandbox stuff, this is an example where I could be in favor of it, because it can lessen the terror I felt like looking at an empty field, a seemingly innumerable set of buildings, paths and objects for construction and wonder where the hell do I start.

An example of how I found this to be a hindrance rather than an opportunity emerged early on during my career goal. Dropping me off at an established zoo, I was told that crows need to learn more about a particular habitat, and so I had to build a few information boards on the walls of the habitat, and then add a few speakers to spread the same information verbally. That sounds easy, but for some reason the sign gave me the opportunity to pick up loads of other animals that weren't in this housing, and the speaker had the same, just also with the attention I had to make sure it wasn't too close to another speaker. .

It was a lot to set up for what was such a small part of park management, and it involved clicking through a surprisingly large number of menus, and then drop-down menus were dropped from those menus. The intent of this briefing was to show me how the characters work, but it was also a warning that, hey, dude, I hope you like menus, because you'll soon be clicking through a ton of menus just to do even the simplest things (more about this later).

It took me a long time to overcome this fear, but eventually I got there and started building my own zoo out of thin air. And, let me tell you, it's worth the learning curve.

Once you know where to place a quarantine facility, how barriers work, how to master manipulation of the terrain and how to make toilet blocks look like ancient Chinese palaces, your design options are almost limitless. Maybe you want to build an urban zoo in temperate climate, maybe you want to build an expansive nature reserve in Africa, just do what you want, man, Planet Zoo won't stop you.

Same as Planet Coaster, the design and construction work being undertaken in sandstone mode are the heart of Planet Zoo. It is the most rewarding experience and what most players will focus on. Good job, then it's so much fun, because it * checks * Planet Coaster Let's look again * Yes, once again, we have the similarity, with the game management aspect being a huge pain in the ass.

Reviews for Planet Coaster was that there simply wasn't enough significant management. Things like budget controls, spending on utilities, balancing the books on each individual burger shop, etc. Planet Zoo there is still a lot to be managed, mainly down to the fact that the main attraction is the living beings and not the ferris wheel, but it still sucks.

A good aspect of management should be a challenge for experienced players and the feeling that getting into the park books can make the difference between success and failure. Planet Zoo managing the park feels like an intrusion at the best of times (delights in giving you an endless flow of tedious work to attend), and a hindrance to others (some of these simple activities require digging into menus, then submenus, then filter, which quickly becomes old true true).

The game is caught between presenting a zoo – a place where wildlife is confined – and trying to serve as a half-baked animal welfare simulator. Unlike Planet Coster rides that should only be maintained, Planet Zoo animals have to be loved in a wide variety of ways (which requires, I guess, a lot of clicks and menu navigation), and if you start failing at any of them, they will be upset. If they get upset, the protesters will show up at your zoo and start yelling at you.

Which is fine, but this is a structured game about running a zoo, not caring for animals, and the latter is a poor fit into the former. I want to build a zoo and look at the soft bears, admire my design path and show my complimentary architectural choices. I don't want to endlessly click on sick bears, old bears or annoying bears or introduce them into breeding programs or play them in the wild, because none of that is actually interesting in Planet Zoo. It's just more menus and more clicky, and how much time you spend navigating through the menus in this game instead of looking at cute little cubs.

Now, when I raised them, let's go back to the soft bears for a second. Animals in the Planet Zoo are stars. They look and move beautifully – the fur is a miracle – and I find myself spending a ton of time neglecting my park management duties so I can watch the cubs rolling around playing, or the lion doing nothing but sleep in the sun .

There is a surprisingly wide range of animals you can buy Planet Zoo, of varying size and origin, and how they respond differently to where you put them and what you put in their habitat. Indeed, the main game hook of the game is all you plan and do between deciding which animal to buy next and open their habitat to the public.

How much will their dwelling be? What will it look like? What will the barriers be? Which trees and shrubs do you grow? How much food and water do animals need, how will they be fed, are they afraid of the crowds, do I need to build somewhere to cool off, like for friends, do they need friends there with them?

It made me feel like a miserable teen mom, and tying all those threads together in a finished dwelling, then watching them move, make their home and be happy there, is a real pleasure.

Except when they go out, which for some reason are treated as just another administrative list item in Planet Zoo, but it's so cool and funny that it needs to be its own mode and even its own game. Watching one of my Orangutans walks around the promenade checking out the soda stalls while the crowd ran away screaming is probably the single best moment when playing the game, and I love the hygiene of the escape so much, I'm definitely not justified by my fence heights or maintaining as the game wants me to be.

Behind the animals in the ditches are deposits Planet Zoo The crowds, which are random to the human being, generate them in large numbers and then leave them loose in your park. Their variety and dynamics of the crowd create a wonderful sense of place and help just as much as animals and habitat design bring your life to life. They also got a pretty cool VI by driving them to behave like a real crowd, with families holding together and individuals working to avoid others as they passed, which is impressive to see on a scale in larger parks .

I'm kind of saying that three years later, this game is very similar Planet Coaster, to the extent that many of the ways you handle your animals feel determined to support the existing framework, rather than working elegantly in a way specifically designed for zoo play.

But then, I also wanted to Planet Coaster nevertheless, the same things that made me love him then apply here only in more beautiful and satisfying ways. This is one of the wonderful sandboxes of gaming (provided you can reduce its space), and if you thought it was a satisfying connection to some theme park together, wait until you do just that. baby pandas.

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