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 PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Corsair's K70 RGP Rapidfire features new gaming-focused Cherry MX switches
- EVE Valkyrie's new Carrier Assault mode will fulfill your Millennium Falcon dreams
- Doom co-creator John Romero teases new PC shooter
- Microsoft kills off its Xbox 360 gaming console, but Xbox 360 games will live on thanks to Xbox One
- Microsoft adds Android Wear support to Outlook for Android
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 ManagerQLD
- CCSystem Administration / Application Support | NV2 clearance neededACT
- CCIntegration Delivery Project ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Business Analyst - BINSW
- CCProject Specialist - Contact Center and Unified CommunicationsVIC
- FTSenior Project Manager, SoftwareNSW
- FTProject Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- CCSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager, Technology Upgrade & RefreshNSW
- CCSAP BW developerVIC
- FTProduct OwnerNSW
- FTTrading System QAAsia
- FTTechnical Writer - Trading SystemsNSW
- FTProduction ConsultantVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCSenior Automation Tester - MicroservicesNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperVIC
- FTDatabase Administrator / ArchitectNSW
- FTInfrastructure Project ManagerACT
- CCNV2 - System Administration / Application SupportACT
- CCBusiness Project ManagerAsia
- FTSupplier Relationship ManagerVIC
- CCICT Project Manager - Contact Centre/Telephony FocusNSW
- CCNV1 | System admin with SQL server experience for Defence Application SupportACT
- FTAGILE Training Manager/CoachNSW