Back in the summer of 1994, I made one of the best plans of my teenage youth—on borrowing amusement park, amusement park On Mega Drive from a school friend just before the end of the semester, which means I won’t be able to get it back until after summer break. Thus, this joyful summer was spent creating 16-bit theme parks. Let’s Build a Zoo reminded me of this simpler time, which has a similar visual style. The only difference is that instead of playing it on a 14-bedroom TV, it’s on a 50-inch TV in the living room. This is progress.
The cute and colorful 16-bit style art direction is somewhat deceptive, making you at first think that this is a simple matter; A game that would have existed in 1994. This is not entirely the case because it is not a typical management game, but rather a game Detailed management One. Every aspect of how the park operates, right down to the bus lines, is under your control. This is what makes the experience surprisingly deep and multifaceted. Not to mention one of the things that constantly demands your attention – stay away from the screen for too long, and you’ll discover that your rabbits are born like rabbits.
There is a degree of flair for the simple visuals, too. The drive can handle hundreds of visitors randomly roaming around your zoo at once, and the zoo quickly grows in size once additional plots are purchased. Zooming in and out with the analog stick is intuitive. Unfortunately, there are a lot of hidden details – as we have seen lately To Park Campus.
It starts simple, as you’d expect, with a step-by-step tutorial. Set aside the expectations of a zoo filled with elephants, giraffes and other exotic creatures – you’ll need to invest dozens of hours to get to this point. Instead, this project begins with what can only be described as a “pet garden” that includes smaller animals such as rabbits, geese, and pigs. Shops, attractions, amenities, and decorations have to be researched – a large number of tokens are provided every day – while getting the animals is much more complicated than just opening a menu.
The Springloaded developer seems to have been careful to stress that animals are not on this planet just to be bought and sold – one of the few virtuous moral themes out there. Instead, the animals must be traded with other zoos from around the world or taken from adoption centers. Random events can also trigger the arrival of new arrivals, such as responding to an emergency distress after a forest fire. It turns out that the trade is time-consuming, as most zoos only want rare breeds or variants. This is where DNA splicing and breeding programs come into play. Breeding pairs can be taken ‘behind the scenes’ – which means they are no longer shown to the public – and there is an opportunity to produce a new, rare breed. This process takes about 30 minutes, to determine the pace of your growth and expansion in one form or another.
DNA braiding is a strange insert, and I didn’t necessarily care about it. Basically, hybrid animals can be created – random creatures with snake heads, for example. While it lends a slight twist to the actions, and younger players might steer clear of it, it does dilute and distract from the basic experience somewhat. In short: I didn’t want these atrocities in my zoo.
I also wonder how the younger players will deal with the more sinister aspects. Although Let’s Build a Zoo is far from satisfying, it does feel a little bleak in places. When the animals die, they are taken to the crematorium – run by a young man who enjoys his work a bit very Many. It is also possible to invest in meat processing, glue factories, and leather workshops – although they greatly affect your morals. Making positive choices opens up more environmentally friendly solutions, such as recycling centers – which can make a small amount of money with increased publicity.
One of the most surprising ideas is the ability to invest in new industries – features that have not been seen for some time. Essentially, zoos can become self-sufficient – crops can be grown (lending a Harvest Moon / Stardo Valley Twist) to feed or sell animals for a profit, while water towers and wind farms cut bills. Of course, farms occupy valuable space. The zoo constantly demands your attention even when you’re at its smallest, so you can imagine how demanding the experience becomes once you apply additional layers. Furthermore, once the additional decorations start to unlock, you’ll likely want to redesign entire areas with new themes, even if it means saving money.
That’s what makes Let’s Build a Zoo so compelling and engaging – there are a large number of metrics to adjust to ensure maximum profits, happy visitors and healthy animals. Visitor thought bubbles give some indication of your performance (amusingly, even if your entry fee is so cheap, some will still moan because it’s so expensive) while performance details are provided at the end of the week. In addition, there are tasks that must be completed as well – each with a cash reward – and they can be tracked or hidden off the screen. Even the hiring process allows for detailed management – after the ad has been rolled out, it’s a matter of waiting for applicants before negotiating payment. One real downside is that there is quite a bit of waiting; It and the cursor can be hidden easily.
Let’s Build a Zoo throws a lot of ideas into one big bowl – it seems as if hardly a single idea from pre-development is left on the table. Agriculture, ethical choices, DNA splicing, commerce, breeding, a huge research tree to explore – all these ideas and more, most of them are introduced gradually. While this may sound like a recipe for disaster, the result is something more comforting and more. A digital trail that mixes both sweet and savory, able to satisfy all tastes.
Posted by No More Bots Let’s Build a Zoo Now available in all formats. It first appeared on PC in 2021.