Put your skills to the test in the interactive zoo-tycoon game, Zookeeper. Control all aspects of a growing a flourishing zoo and keep your guests happy by providing everything they could wish from such a facility – and more.
Build new exhibits, manage and control costs, hit goals, unlock new animals, breed them and attracting more visitors. Yes, the core gameplay of Zookeeper is just like the many other games of its ilk. However, with such a loved genre, is that necessarily a bad thing? Besides, how much can these games change without becoming something else?
We’ve always been fans of games we can just sit back and relax into. City and zoo simulation games offer the perfect pace for a chilled-out gaming session and Zookeeper doesn’t break the mold here. Further more, your, the player, set the pace as Zookeeper comes with four time settings: pause, play, fast-forward and..erm…faster-forward. This time-bending feature allows you to pause the action as you go over your animal park with a fine-toothed comb and, more importantly, with time stood still (if you so choose).
Zookeeper still has a Lack of Pace
This sounds like a contradictory statement, given what we have just mentioned about the fast-forward feature, but bear with me.
Far more pace is needed in Zookeeper. Yes, you can fast-forward time, but this also leads to the acceleration of other events, such as visitors becoming unhappy or animals growing hungry, dirty and bored. There’s simply not enough happening in the early parts of the game to offer any sort of variety.
The tutorial is a drawn-out process of going through the same generic controls and actions as with any other city or zoo simulation game. We suppose this is unavoidable as the genre does still draw new players. However, after unlocking and playing the second zoo for quite some time, we still have no access to any animal other than our lucky lemurs. As cute as lemurs are, it does get quite tedious caring for the same two creatures, with the same handful of wants and needs.
While most of the icons in Zookeeper, there are a few that are less obvious. Sadly, the help tab only served to leave us more questions. In our quest for knowledge, however, we did discover that ‘RTS mode’ could be turned off. This put an abrupt end to the irksome scrolling of the screen when we were trying to access the menu icons at the far reaches of the screen.
Zookeeper – Graphics
Turned up to the ‘ultra’ graphical setting, Zookeeper is more than pleasing on the eye. Textures and lighting give an attractive edge to the game that still holds appeal hours into the zoo simulator. The game comes bundled in with enough graphics settings to finely tune how Zookeeper looks dependent on your computer’s capabilities.
Zookeeper – Summary
As far as zoo simulators go, Zookeeper is a solid game that will keep fans of the simulator genre happy and entertained for hours (once they get past the early lemur stages and tutorial). Saying that, it doesn’t stretch the realms of imagination or bring anything new to the relatively niche category.
To have any animals beyond the lovely lemurs, anyone playing Zookeeper for the first time will first have to grind through at least two hours of feeding, cleaning and entertaining the same furry fellas. If you’re willing to put some real time into the game, however, it will reward your patience with a relaxing and suitably intricate experience.
Zookeeper is available now on Steam and is priced at just over eight dollars.