The other day, I saw something about Planet Zoo. I don’t even remember what or where, but it caught my attention. I started reading about this new game, reading reviews and checking out the pictures. The next thing you know, I bought the game and all of the DLC released. Since the initial release in November 2019, there have been two DLC released: South America and Arctic. I also picked up the Digital Edition Content. Of course. Steam offered 15% of the bundle, which was great, but there was still a lot of dough paid out for this.
Simulation Runs Wild
Meet a world of incredible animals. From playful lion cubs to mighty elephants, every animal in Planet Zoo is a thinking, feeling individual with a distinctive look and personality of their own. Craft detailed habitats to bring your animals’ natural environments home, research and manage each species to allow them to thrive, and help your animals raise families to pass their genes onto future generations.
Manage an amazing living world that responds to every decision you make. Focus on the big picture or go hands-on and control the smallest details. Thrill visitors with iconic exhibits, develop your zoo with new research and release new generations of your animals back into the wild. Your choices come alive in a world where animal welfare and conservation comes first.
Planet Zoo’s powerful piece-by-piece construction tools let you effortlessly make your zoo unique. Every creative decision you make impacts the lives of your animals and the experience of your visitors. Let your imagination run wild as you dig lakes and rivers, raise hills and mountains, carve paths and caves, and build stunning zoos with a choice of unique themes and hundreds of building components.
Share and Inspire
Join a connected community and share the world’s most creative habitats, scenery and even whole zoos on the Steam Workshop. See your own designs appear in zoos around the world, or discover fresh new content from the Planet Zoo community every day.
And I absolutely, freaking, love it.
So, I have been playing it in my free time, instead of Sims.
There are four modes for play:
- Career – progress through a career in zoo management by completing scenarios.
- Challenge – build your own zoos offline with full economy and various challenges
- Franchise – build your own zoos around the world and trade animals online with other players
- Sandbox – no rules, all the animals, unlimited money and resources
I started in the Career mode as that is where the tutorials are located. Completing a tutorial or scenario will unlock the next one in order. So far, I have completed the first five scenarios.
“Each Scenario has its own unique challenges, determined by the continent you’re in, the biome you’re utilising, the weather, the temperature, and of course animal availability. There will be goals for you to achieve (Bronze, Silver, and Gold), which contain gameplay objectives that vary in difficulty depending on how far you’ve progressed through the story – there’s a lot of unique objectives to get stuck in to!”
Stately Home Schooling at Goodwin House, which is located in Great Britain, maybe London.
The Ape-renticeship at The Madagascan Simian Conservation Project, located in Madagascar.
Bear Essentials at the Panda Park in China. This appears to be located in the vicinity of the real Panda rehab at Wolong National Nature Reserve.
Eye of the Taiga at Maple Leaf Wildlife Park in Saskatchewan, Canada, on the shores of Candy Lake.
Go to Crater Lengths at the Great Caldera Safari Park in Africa, Tanzania specifically. I am assuming this is based upon Ngorongoro Conservation Area at the Ngorongoro Crater. The location looks right.
I am ready to start the next scenario, which is Squeezing the Margins at the Myers Lake Island Zoo, which is located in Greece. Also, I have been playing each scenario on Medium difficulty, but there is also an Easy and a Difficult option as well.
This one is going to be fun (not, but maybe). It has a lot of animal welfare problems that will need to be fixed.
That took quite a long time – most of the day in fact. Back after starting over twice, third time was a charm and the scenario is complete.
The only picture I took while playing was of the Caretaker, or maybe the Vet, carrying the Elephant to the Vet for some treatment. Yes, the elephant is in the box.
Next up is Power Struggle, which takes place at the Myer’s Animal Entertainment Park in India.
And “struggle” is an appropriate name for this park. It took me two full days of playing, and many restarts, before I was able to complete the Gold level. But, it is done.
The lighting on the zoo at night is really pretty.
There is a lot of elephant poop – this is only a small, small portion of that. I finally had to put all the animals on birth control in order to be able to maintain control of the animals’ welfare.
The Indian peafowls have given me trouble in every scenario. I couldn’t keep them from getting sick – and sometimes there were three different ones running through the habitat. For the last attempt, I not only gave them birth control, but I also thinned out the population. Having fewer in the habitat made the two instances of illness much easier to control.
It is raining. I believe this is the first time it has rained in this scenario. Anyways, I have finally completed this scenario and am moving on to the next one.
As I moved on to the next scenario (#8), and then reached a point where I don’t think I can complete it on Gold, I realized that I am looking at these scenarios as something to finish so I can get to the real part of the game. Yep. So, I have one remaining task to complete for Gold, and I am trying to decide to continue to hold on to the hope that eventually I will completed, or to just start over with a brand new plan, and a brand new mindset.
After playing through this scenario for almost a week, I finally got it completed on Gold. It took 21 years – and I had to completely rebuild the park in year 17 along with laying off most of the staff. But finally, the park is profitable. For the record, this park is located in South America, either in Peru or along the border with Brazil.
The next scenario is set in Siberia and comes with another set of problems.
Snow, a poorly designed and cramped zoo, more snow, and did I mention the snow?
My cheetah mama is about to give birth to three babies.
The babies have grown up and they are now fighting with each other, which means someone is getting released into the wild.
And the tortoises. These things breed like it is the their job. By the time I finish the zoo, there are about twenty babies. Because they don’t become adults until they are 25 years old. And mom and dad kept on making more of them.
I was worried about the Siberian, and he did die of old age after this.
There are actually a few months each year where there isn’t any snow.
Timber wolves, and since these are brother and sister. The sister was released into the wild.
And another Gold as I finish the ninth zoo, out of fourteen.
For the next zoo, the challenge is to make something eco friendly while breeding and releasing timber wolves. These are the first guests to arrive and they are headed over to the wolf habitat.
The wolf habitat was the only thing I had for several years. Slowly I started to add exhibits and habitats (and I thought I had taken more pictures, but I can’t find them).
This was still early in the play, but now there are two habitats, two exhibits, and a handful of vendor shops.
Anyways, it is done. I keep thinking I am going to take more pictures, because they did a great job on the animals. We’ll see.
The next zoo is 11/14, but the first 12 came with the base game release, while 13 and 14 came out with the Arctic DLC. This zoo is located in Japan and it is beautiful.
It is another one of the fix-me zoos and this one came with an additional challenge of virtually no funds.
Even so, everything seemed to flow well, although at one point I was negative 20k and the expenses were definitely outstripping the income. But once the bleeding stopped, money came in hand over fist, and another career level is completed.
As I start the last of the original twelve career levels, I find that this will probably be the smallest zoo in size, but will have to house twenty different species. The picture shows the entire size that the zoo will have to fit. (all of the picture). The first and largest habitat will be the African Savanna – 8 or 9 different species will be included in the habitat. And, this will come back to haunt me.
And there she is – the final zoo. Some species moved around as time passed for one reason or another. One thing I noticed today, is that my zoos look alot like my Sims houses – big squares with walls at weird locations.
I now move on to the Arctic Adventures, which only contains two career levels.
Today’s zoo is located in Norway and it is beautiful. The zoo will be centered around the little village (not really a village but pretty enough to be one). It will include Reindeer, Arctic Wolves, and Polar Bears, among other tundra based animals.
In the middle is the Dall Sheep with the Reindeer to the right. Reindeer quickly become one of the most irritating animals as they get sick over and over with different diseases.
Joining the Reindeer are both Timber Wolves and Arctic Wolves, Grizzly Bears, Siberian Tigers, and American Bison. The extremely large habitat is for the Polar Bears.
That makes 13 completed, with one more to go.
Finally, the last of the career scenarios. This time Bernie sends us to build a zoo in Mexico that includes all of the Arctic animals.
That was fast as I finished it in three years and two months. That was probably the fastest scenario for me to complete. Next up, well I am going to be playing with the Franchise, Challenge, and Sandbox options. We’ll see how that works out since I already know that my design skills suck.
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