Most helpful positive review
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Too Much Fun
on September 4, 2008
I bought this for my granddaughters, ages 9 and 8. They're a tad precocious, a friend's 11-year-old son liked the game and recommended it, and also my son (the girls' father) took the demo for a "test drive." So I was expecting my grandgirls to like it, but ... they LOVED IT! I couldn't get them to play anything else!! My son homeschools the girls, and I could see he liked the idea of being able to "educate" them about how to optimize their zoo, and the girls responded well to his advice. Plus, they exercised an enormous amount of creativity in the way they designed and maintained their zoos. Since they and their father had so much fun playing the game, I had to try it. I quickly became addicted. You should see my Asian Zoo ... !
The game provides various landscapes from which to begin a zoo. Many features are available for customizing the look of the zoo, attractions and facilities you include for visitors, and exhibits (animals in the habitats you design for them) you have. The game is informative, letting you know what each animal likes so you can build good exhibits. But best of all, it's highly interactive. The game lets you know if the guests are happy, and if not, why not--like not enough restrooms or too much trash because you forgot to hire a maintenance worker or that they're hungry if you didn't give them a restaurant or hamburger stand, etc. It lets you know what's happening with the animals, too. Animals give birth, get sick, get hungry, etc., and you hire zookeepers to keep them healthy and feed them, and you can see the baby animals grow up as you play. You can name the exhibits and the animals, as well as the workers. You have about as much total control over your zoo as a game could possibly give and you can easily find out the status of your profits, sell off animals or buildings, etc., that don't make money ... on and on. The graphics are excellent in my opinion. The visitors walk about, sit on the benches, look at the animals, visit the restrooms, buy souvenirs at the gifts shop, etc. The animals play, eat, go into the shelters, walk around in their exhibit, etc. I mean, it's better than really running a zoo because you get this god-like perspective of the whole thing. Cool.
If you or your child like games that require thinking and creativity and are highly interactive, I recommend this game. And once you've gotten the hang of Zoo Tycoon (with or without the marine mania and dino add-ons), then you can go on to enjoy Zoo Tycoon 2, according to my friend's son, who now has that game and says he likes #2 because you can become one of the people walking around in the zoo in that game.
The only thing I didn't like was that the marine mania and dino add-ons in the Complete version are on one CD and you can't install marine mania without installing the dino stuff. We would rather have NOT had the dino stuff.
Other than that, my only complaint is that I don't have enough time to play Zoo Tycoon as much as I want.