Review: Planet Zoo
Frontier Developments already owes its fame to the successful game Planet Coaster. In Planet Coaster you can build your own amusement park. It is not surprising that a zoo version would also be released after a while. Planet Zoo is the latest game from Frontier Developments. Here you can create your own zoo in peace. Well, in peace, just like in Planet Coaster there are a number of things that demand your attention.
It's been a long time since I played a fun builder game. Planet Zoo has brought me back to the builder games. Because once the game runs well it's a great zoo builder. The game consists of a number of different modes. You have the Campaign in which you learn to play the game on the basis of missions. In Franchise mode you can create your own zoo under varying circumstances. And then you have the Sandbox mode in which you can build to your heart's content without having to worry about finances.
Franchise mode is the mode that most people will play in Planet Zoo. In the options you can choose an online or an offline animal park. Offline you have a computer generated pet trade in which you can purchase your animals. Online you are more at the mercy of the animals that other players put up for sale. These are sold and bought in a currency other than your default money. Especially in the beginning of your zoo it is often lucky at the pet trade if you want the rarer animals. This does cause some frustration, especially if you start a new zoo and therefore always have to start with the small animals.
Build and care
Like any builder game, you spend quite a bit of time building your zoo. If you haven't played Frontier Developments before, building your zoo will take some getting used to. Planet Zoo is quite extensive in what you can do and build. You can build and combine practically anything in the game. And with this you get the most fantastic designs. On various forums you can view all the creations of people who also play the game. Nothing is too crazy and you can let your creative mind loose on it. You can also build your zoo in different themes that match the animals.
In addition to building, you spend the rest of your time looking after the animals in Planet Zoo. Each animal has its own preference in terms of living environment. For example, you can change the surface on which the animals live or add vegetation to the enclosure. But the animals can also get bored in your enclosure, this is solved by providing the enclosure with toys or other objects. You also have to take the composition of your animals into account. You can also pay attention to gender, but also to other animal species.
The unfortunate thing about Planet Zoo is that in the base game they mainly chose land animals to start with. You have little choice of animals that live in the water. And the animals that you can choose are mainly the tropical ones. Hopefully they will soon come with a DLC where you can also buy some more aquatic animals, such as penguins, orcas, dolphins and otters. Also, it would be nice to get birds in your zoo.
Verdict Planet Zoo
Planet Zoo is a good and fun zoo builder. You can make your own zoo very extensively. You have enough freedom and choices to set it up according to your own taste. In addition, you also spend enough time taking care of your animals and you are not just building. Franchise mode is the most fun mode to play. Playing Franchise online is a bit tedious since you don't have to buy most animals with money but with another currency. And you can only gain that currency by buying animals yourself or putting them out in nature. It is also a pity that mainly terrestrial animals have been chosen. I would have preferred to see some more aquatic animals, hopefully a DLC is coming soon. But despite this, Planet Zoo is a really fun game to play.
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