Something strange is happening in the world of Zoo Tycoon. Yes, developer Microsoft has come up with a Jurassic twist to the original game in the form of an upgrade entitled Dinosaur Digs.
The object of the game is the same — the better you look after the animals in your care and the people visiting your zoo, the more cash you reap — but Dinosaur Digs presents you with a few more challenges than its predecessor.
Dinosaurs require constant attention, much more so than the animals in the first game, which makes it a greater challenge. They’ll often trash the foliage in their pens. Replacing it quickly is made difficult, though, if you’re already controlling several other dinosaur exhibits, not to mention keeping the guests happy. Multitasking is the name of the game.
A great section of the game, and my personal favourite, is when the electrified fences — which keep the dinosaurs inside their pens — wear out and your dinos go on a rampage among the visiting crowds.
Watch as they chase their keepers, catch and eat them. A brown cloud appears as your dinosaur munches away and a perfunctory message flashes up onscreen which says “Allosaurus 2 has just eaten the scientist”. Satisfying stuff. If your dinosaurs manage to escape, you’ll need to call the recovery team in the helicopter to shoot the dinos with a tranquilliser rifle, à la Jurassic Park.
In terms of gameplay, Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs isn’t that different from the original, but with 20 new dinosaurs to control and 100 extra items, such as giant dinosaur statues, tacky bronto-burger stands and fossil excavations, there’s plenty to keep you and your guests entertained for hours.
Developer: Blue Fang Games