Zoo Tycoon (Xbox One)
Microsoft's animal park management simulator does away with some of the nitty-gritty in order to be a more accessible game
- Easy to read and navigate menus
- Good Kinect implementation
- Restrictive construction limit
- Difficult to meet visitor demands
Zoo Tycoon is a well designed and fun management simulator, but its restrictions on park size means that the growth in business is short-lived.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
The Zoo Tycoon series has been letting PC owners build and manage their own animal park for over a decade, and the latest entry makes its debut on Xbox One. While it’s a comprehensive business simulator on PC, the console version simplifies the administration experience to make the game appeal to a wider audience.
Building the zoo
As in the past games, you are charged with building up a zoo from scratch with the goal of gaining both popularity and profitability. A campaign mode also presents you with various troubled zoos, where you are entrusted in solving myriad problems afflicting the businesses.
You have access to various animals and enclosures when you construct your park, and each one comes with its own strengths and weaknesses following its implementation. There are also plenty of graphs and statistics to read through in order to make an informed decision when choosing and running the attractions, as well as the animal park overall.
Zoo Tycoon is not just about building as many different attractions as quickly as you can; you need to keep the ecology angle in mind as much as the profitable one. That means an environmentally conscious park that protects and preserves animals is a better choice than one that just displays animals in cages.
The PC versions of Zoo Tycoon were heavily reliant on the mouse to navigate the menus and construct facilities, though the Xbox One version makes use of the control pad and the Kinect voice function. Fortunately, the menus are easy to navigate on the Xbox One with these controls, and the text is big and readable.
Although all of the in-game menus can be navigated with the control pad, you may want to give the Kinect controls a try, as they are both well implemented and practical. You can bring up information as pop-ups with a quick voice command, while simple hand gestures are used in feeding and interacting with animals.
While the detailed graphics and intuitive controls immediately stand out in Zoo Tycoon, a few shortcomings with the game crop up once you get a hang of the building mechanics for the park. For one, there is a limit on how many animals and structures you can have in your park.
All construction games of this type have limits, but in Zoo Tycoon you will likely max out the scope of your facility within the space of a few hours. Once you reach that construction threshold, there is not much else to look forward to except micromanaging the structures and the animals that you already have.
The downside of this is that visitors to your park will continue to be demanding, to the point where tweaking the attractions you already have may not be enough to maintain their interest. For that reason, you’ll likely want to start a new zoo from scratch instead of persisting with your stagnating initial attempt.
With management simulators like this, the motivation to keep playing is always bigger and better with facilities that are in turn costlier and more time consuming to obtain. Without that motivation, only the early part of the game will be engaging, while the latter parts of the game will likely only keep the most dedicated park owners interested.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Craig Wright backpedals, refusing to prove he's Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto
- Steam updates user reviews to better reflect trends
- Valve cleverly battles Steam cheaters with two-factor authentication
- Minecraft steps into virtual reality as Samsung Gear VR Edition appears in Oculus Store
- Corsair's K70 RGP Rapidfire features new gaming-focused Cherry MX switches
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCProject Coordinator- PRINCE2 & Portal/Website/Digital bckgNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCCloud Service Solution LeadVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - master data managementACT
- CCSCCM - SCOM - AD Systems EngineerNSW
- CCHealthcare Test SpecialistSA
- CCInfrastructure Assurance OfficerACT
- FTSenior Middleware Lead Shared Services (Support and EngineeringVIC
- FTProduction ConsultantVIC
- FTFunctional Kronos ConsultantNSW
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- CCMEAN Stack DeveloperVIC
- CCCommunication and Change ManagerVIC
- CCMicrosoft Server EngineerWA
- CCRelease Management LeadNSW
- CCDigital Project ManagerNSW
- CCWindows Automation EngineerVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCPMO Support SpecialistVIC
- CCContract Contract Junior Programmer (JUD-16493-4)Asia
- FTSolution Architect (Guidewire Billing Center)NSW
- CC.NET Developer (Application production Support)NSW
- CCSenior Front End / UI Developer (React.js / LESS / SASS)NSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Field Systems Engineer/Administrator - Multiple opportunitiesNSW
- CCSkilled Sitecore / .NET DeveloperNSW