PC - Windows : Zoo Tycoon Reviews

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Below are user reviews of Zoo Tycoon and on the right are links to professionally written reviews. The summary of review scores shows the distribution of scores given by the professional reviewers for Zoo Tycoon. Column height indicates the number of reviews with a score within the range shown at the bottom of the column. Higher scores (columns further towards the right) are better.

Summary of Review Scores

Game Spot 71
Game FAQs
CVG 48
IGN 69
GameZone 80

User Reviews (1 - 11 of 213)

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Another Good God Game

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 58 / 60
Date: October 01, 2001
Author: Amazon User

This game takes up a lot after the Theme Park series but is a lot more in depth and better in my opinion. You have to keep the customers and your zoo animals happy. You hire animal handlers, tour guides, and clean up crew. If you played Theme Park you will find this game has a lot of the same tests and struggles. You have 50+ different animals to choice from and you get to choose their sex (Yes they reproduce). Now making the pens for your new found friends is fun! You start out with green grass... you have to make the enviroment for all the critters from the jungle to the artic from rocks to waterfalls. This is indeed an intense game. If you like god games you will probably like this...

Excessively COOL Game!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 55 / 60
Date: December 29, 2001
Author: Amazon User

The lions have escaped, and the panda is very sick, and all of the guests are hungry, and, and, and! Running your own zoo is not always easy. Many things can go wrong, but just as easily they can go right. Like watching the polar bear playing with her new baby or winning awards. In Microsoft's game, Zoo Tycoon, you get to experience running your own zoo with great graphics and features, awesome gameplay, and new suprizes everywhere!

There many games that are great but have terrible graphics. Zoo Tycoon is different. It has many veiw points, and beautiful scenery. All of the animals actually look real and not like robots. The people wander around and you can tell what they're doing. Whether it's sitting on the picnic table or cleaning up Zoo Poo. In conclusion, this games graphics are one of its strong points.

The best part of playing games is playing them! ZT has many features such as baby animals and wild animal escapes that make ZT one step higher than the average computer game. The people are a challenge alone to please and the animals are a whole other story. It is not impossible though and it is fun to get awards and extra cash for making everybody happy with animal toys and burger stands. On the other hand, for the more mischeveous mind, it is just as fun to build a zoo just to terrorize it! So with a last word, ZT is a great game to play, not just to look at its box:)

If you would like to have the full challenge of playing this game with no hints, I advise you do not read the following paragraph.
As in most games there are cheats in ZT. Perhaps you were running out of cash, you could just push Ctrl-4 and you automatically get 10,000 bucks. (do this before you build anythin as it destroys your fences) Or if you were feeling very mean you could name a gueest Alfred H. and birds would come and freak out all the people. Alfred Hitchcock lives on! There are many cheats to either help your zoo or make the people miserable. You can find them on many Zoo Tycoon web sites.

Overall Zoo Tycoon is a great game for all ages to play and I highly recomend it. I enjoyed it!

-Great graphics
-Cool Cheats
-You get to pick male or female animals
-The animals have babies
-Good information on the animals
-You get to design exhibits with foilage and decorations
-Freeform or challenge zoos
-In freeform you can have up to 500 thousand dollars
-Terrorize the zoo and its inhabitants with one click of a mouse

-Build a beautiful zoo to please animals, guests and yourself

-It can be slightly slow at times
-You can only have right angles on the fences limiting creativity
-The people and animals can be to hard to please

Overall it's a very neato frito game

Great Fun for All Ages

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 44 / 48
Date: January 03, 2002
Author: Amazon User

The tycoon games get more and more fun as each new one comes out - the developers definitely learn from past experience and build suggestions into the new versions. Zoo Tycoon, the latest release, is about as fun and addictive as you can get!

This is just about the ultimate sim game from a number of points of view. First, like SimThemePark and RollerCoaster Tycoon, you've got the whole "please-your-people" aspect. You want them to have pretty paths to walk on, easy access to food, drink and restrooms, rides and attractions to see. Your visitors love looking at animals, and the happier the animals are, the more the people enjoy their experience.

But in Zoo Tycoon, instead of "boring" rides that you merely maintain, you now have incredibly animated animals! Put in a pair of lions, and you'll find them running around with glee, chasing each other, and lounging on rocks you give them. If you don't give them an environment they enjoy (say arctic tundra with cactusses) they'll pout and growl instead. If they're content, they might even have lion cubs, that you can watch grow over time!

The game is great for kids, adults, and everybody in between. I have friends with 3 computers in their house and all 3 are running this at the same time, as each little zoo is being worked on. You can have lions, tigers and bears ... flamingos and ostriches ... black leopards and rhinos, elephants and giraffes. You can research the ability to work with endangered animals, build aviaries and other special buildings.

The scenarios are great. You take over badly-run zoos, and cringe when you see the concrete-and-steel tiny homes these poor animals had! The pleasure you get when the once-miserable animal runs around its new home, happy and content, is very real. Their free-form games mean that you can build yourself your ideal zoo, too, on any number of map-styles.

Highly, highly recommended as a game that will be enjoyed for months and months!

OK!! My turn now!!!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 32 / 32
Date: November 24, 2001
Author: Amazon User

Common words in my house over the past couple of days. Now Microsoft even owns my four kids! From 6 to 16, my kids can't leave this game alone. And when my wife or I try to play, all we hear are complaints, "When are you gonna be done?"; "It's MY turn now!"; "We haven't eaten for three days!" ...stuff like that. Not since 'The SIMS' has my house gone through so much turmoil. Loading this game for play in my house is like watching lions battle for dominance in their pecking order after a kill on National Geographic.

It's a true credit to this game, that they have made it simple enough for my 6-year old to play (and do pretty well), yet challenging enough to keep my 16-year old off the phone for hours.

You start with any one of a LARGE number of open terrain maps of varying sizes and shapes for your zoo. Build an enclosure, make it good so the little animals are happy, adjust the terrain, add plants and toys, get a trainer, reasearch new items, skills for your workers, flora and fauna, as well as new places for your customers to go. You even get awards for different accomplishments! This game really has it all! AND if I ever DO get bored of being the all time #1 Zoo Tycoon in my family for all available maps, I have plans for terrorizing guests with a "SUDDENLY IT'S A WILD ANIMAL PARK!!" idea...

Buy the game. You'll see what I'm talking about - just don't tell your kids you have it for a few weeks.

Worthy Software Game!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 32 / 34
Date: November 01, 2001
Author: Amazon User

When I looked at this game without opening it, I thought to myself it reminded me of Roller Coaster Tycoon. The graphics are very detailed and wonderful! I tried and game out. Let me tell you, if you love RollerCoaster Tycoon, you will adore this game!

You can build secure exhibits so people can see animals like the elephant, penguin, and sea lion. But be careful. If you don't have a strong enough fence or a fence monkies can't climb out of, or your animals can escape and terrorize your guests!

There are many buildings to add to the fun like a Japanese Garden or Animal Show.

So all together, the gameplay is pretty much the same as RollerCoaster Tycoon, only this is a zoo instead of a themepark. =o)

A winner for all types of gamers

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 29 / 30
Date: December 11, 2001
Author: Amazon User

This is an excellent little game in the style of Rollercoaster Tycoon. It is quite suitable for children or non-gamers, because of its simple interface and unobjectionable content. However, it kept this long-time game player riveted for many hours.

You are in charge of a zoo, and the animals and guests are your primary concern. You'll spend most of your time making the animals happy, as guests are pleased primarily by happy, well-adjusted animals. The great cats are notoriously hard to please, but all animals have their demands - from a certain type of terrain, to toys, to shelters. You also have to consider the most suitable fence type to keep your lions away from your Thomson's gazelles. The most difficult portion of the game strategically is raising the money to afford all of these improvements.

The game includes both scenarios and free-form maps. I prefer the scenarios as they offer a challenge - for example, build a zoo with at least 6 different endangered species within 12 months. There are cheatcodes available to give you unlimited money, which could be fun in free-form mode to build one's perfect vision of a zoo. Imagine that you're building Disney's Animal Kingdom or your favorite local childhood zoo and you have the idea.

Microsoft/Blue Fang have released a number of updates to the game, including new exotic creatures. They also included a bug-reporting feature. If you do experience a crash, Zoo Tycoon will upload information to Microsoft for troubleshooting.

This game exceeds efforts of similar games, such as SimSafari. Its mass appeal makes it an excellent Christmas gift, and it's definitely suitable for children as well as adults. You won't have to worry about unnecessary violence or sexual content here - although the animals do produce offspring, there is no hint of how they did so. And if the lions do leap the fence and eat your gazelles, you won't be seeing any blood spatter. The lack of these elements doesn't spoil gameplay, while making the game stand out as a game that parents can feel comfortable sharing with their kids.

A lot of fun

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 23 / 23
Date: November 06, 2002
Author: Amazon User

A lot of people have said rightfully that this is a lot like Rollercoaster Tycoon, from the gameplay right down to the graphics. Whilst this is true, it's no real bad thing necessarily; Rollercoaster Tycoon was a great game and so is this. Right from the time Theme Park was released all those years ago, a similar game for a zoo was just waiting to be made, and finally here it is. The game offers freeform or scenario games, although for beginners it's best to start with scenarios, which offer a basic tutorial to the game. They include just placing new items, taking over a delapidated zoo and making it popular again or concentrating on one type of animal, say big cats.

There are a lot of animals to choose from, although of course you have to research a lot of them, which helps make you feel like you're aiming for something rather than just building randomly. You could even say that it's educational, given that each species has a neat little factfile to go with them and especially seen as you have to ensure that each animal's habitat is ideally suited to the one they would have in the wild. Balance this with customer happiness and cashflow and you're got yourself a winning zoo.

My only real complaint is that it can get a little frustrating occassionally if two animals in the same enclosure both want different things (this seems to happen a lot in the chimpanzee enclosure for some reason), but apart from that this is a very good game indeed. It's educational, addictive, and there are even two add-on packs now. And did I mention you can get baby animals?

It's Better Than I Imagined!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 20 / 21
Date: October 23, 2001
Author: Amazon User

I'm not a huge fan of zoos, but Zoo Tycoon (ZT) is better than I imagined! To sum it up, this is an AWESOME game!!!

I'm a newly married graduate student working on my Ph.D. I have been waiting patiently for a sim that comes close to the near perfection of the Rollercoaster Tycoon (RCT) series. Now the wait is over! I tried the ZT demo and was so hooked that I purchased the full version the very next day. The game play is amazingly similar to that of the RCT series, so fans of these games should have no problem.

For those of you who don't like to spend tens of dollars on sequels, you'll be happy with ZT since you'll find that they won't be necessary. ZT comes loaded with tons of animals, scenery, guest attractions, and other features that will ensure that no two zoos will ever be the same. [Picnic tables are even included...a pet peeve of mine about the RCT series.] There are 13 scenarios provided, but for those who prefer freeform zoo construction, there are dozens of options for you as well. You can even alter the amount of money you begin with so money will not be a problem if you truly want to rid yourself of constraints.

There is quite a bit of precision that is involved in playing ZT, from providing just the right balance of terrain types and foliage for each animal exhibit, to replacing worn out terrain and fencing. Most of the buildings can also be customized by painting their roofs. In addition, you have to be mindful of the number and gender of the animals you place in each exhibit. If conditions are right, the animals will have babies. If not, your animal population will start to decline due to illness, old age, or (sniff) an untimely death.

I'm sure that as players explore the challenges of ZT, there will be some talk about what is not currently available and should be in future sequels. I for one will spend countless hours enjoying ZT as is. ZT is a wonderful addition to the world of sims!

Zoo Tycoon is not bad, but......

3 Rating: 3, Useful: 20 / 22
Date: October 26, 2001
Author: Amazon User

My kids and I are fans of Roller Coaster Tycoon, so I immediately bought a copy of Zoo Tycoon when it was released. After playing it for about a week now, I'll give you my opinion of it.

Much like Roller Coaster Tycoon, you are tasked with designing and operating a profitable park. You can lay paths, change the height of terrain and change the surface to various groundcovers. Basically, you must first create an enclosure, using any of a wide range of barriers, including fences and soild walls. The you select a groundcover. Once this is accomplished, you pick from an impressive array of animals and "adopt" them into your enclosure.

They will quickly let you know how they like the enclosure you designed via little happy or frowny faces that float above their heads. For guidance, you can hire and then ask a zoo keeper what they recommend for that particular animal. Add some trees, add some rocks, add a building for the animal to sleep in, add some flowers, add some water and eventually, after much tweaking, the animal(s) will be happy. Or not.

Your guests are pretty easy to please, as long as you follow this formula: HAPPY GUESTS = HAPPY ANIMALS. As long as your animals are happy with what you give them, the guests will keep coming and more items become available for you to buy.

Eventually, you will be placing food places and even basic amusement rides for your guests to enjoy.

The program is mostly nicely executed. The graphics are clear and the animation is OK. It ran a little choppy on my 300 MHZ system, though. My biggest complaint is that I wish the game allowed you a bit more creativity. For instance, all the enclosures you can build are basically rectangular, since you can only assemble walls with right angles. I wish you could build elevated paths (or tunnels) a bit more like Roller Coaster Tycoon. Each enclosure ends up being almost cookie cutter-ish. Build a square, stick stuff in it, get an animal...repeat.

Don't get me wrong, my daughters (12 and 8) LOVE IT! They are little animal fanatics. The game is good, my kids really enjoy it, but as an adult, I wish it could do more and let more creativity flow.

My Favorite "Sim" Game to Date!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 18 / 19
Date: December 25, 2001
Author: Amazon User

My interest in simulation games goes back to the original SimCity. Since then, I've played everything from SimAnt to Sims: Hot Date (haven't gotten into it, yet... I spend too much time designing & building the houses & environs for my characters ;) and RollerCoaster Tycoon (fun, but I'm not a big rollercoaster fan). Zoo Tycoon is the perfect mixture of everything I like in sim games -- flexibility, challenge, knowledge acquisition and a bit of devilish fun now and then. My only complaint about Zoo Tycoon is it's extremely limited zooming capabilities -- you only have two views on the world you create, a normal wide view and a "close-up" view that doesn't get you nearly close enough, particularly when you want to admire your handiwork. If Zoo Tycoon had the zooming capabilities of, say, Tropico or even The Sims, I'd be in hog heaven with this game!

As others have already admitted, Zoo Tycoon sucked me in immediately after I started playing it. I purchased it a couple weeks before the Christmas holiday season, and I had to extricate myself from the game lest the holidays pass me by entirely. I'm 27 years old and do not do much gaming except in short spurts (an afternoon, now and then), but Zoo Tycoon easily captured a three-day weekend and left me wanting to play more. It's a very fun, educational game, when you approach it as such. Every now and then, I get frustrated with the slow pace at which my "dream zoo" is taking shape, and it can be fun to unleash lions in your chimpanzee pen or your Yeti (what, you don't have a Yeti?! What's an zoological park without a prized Yeti?) into, well, any exhibit.

Hours, days, weeks of fun. Like other popular simulation games, this should probably have a strongly worded Surgeon General's warning on the box lid... I'd love a Zoo Tycoon on steroids, something with the depth and breadth of information you get from National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. Then again, I probably truly wouldn't stop playing.

PS: That windchime sound you hear in the game once you've had an established exhibit with animals for awhile? That's the sound of your zoologist administering medication to a sick animal. I'm sure its mentioned somewhere in the documentation or advanced tutorials, but if you jump into the game after the forced beginner tutorial, as I did, it could take awhile to stumble upon that tidbit.

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