The lights are on
Up to four junior zookeepers can work together to build the largest zoo on the planet and manage an impressive collection of animals.
If cleaning up Elephant poo gets your motor going then Zoo Tycoon may be the series for you. While the game will require you to dispose of large amount of animal waste, the game is also a serious simulation manager for zoos. Players build their zoos from the ground up, adopt new animals, and make sure their visitors remain happy.
We jumped into a multiplayer game at a pre-Gamescom event in Germany where we got to team up with a few other players and make changes to a sprawling animal habitat. Expanding your zoo is easy and simple; you pick a new habitat from a list and chose where to drop it, then the game automatically fills in the trails and auto-generates things like trees and benches for visitors to use. Players can further customize these areas by picking the kinds of plants, pavement, and decorations featured in that zone, but games who aren't interested in the fine details don't have to do much work to get a zoo up and running.
Managing your animals happiness is a big part of the game, which we found out when we explored our Grizzly Bear habitat. Our bear Hubert wasn't enjoying his accommodations, but a breakdown of his needs helped us pinpoint the problems. He was hungry, dirty, and lonely, so we bought him a small pool to clean himself in, installed a treat station full of fish, and adopted a baby bear named Thunder for him to play with. Now Hubert is as happy as a clam. The clams, however, are still upset. Looks like we'll have our work cut out for us when the game releases on Xbox One and Xbox 360 later this year.
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