Zoo World 2 takes an already great zoo-tycoon game and makes it better
Full-blown sequels to hit Facebook games aren’t all that common just yet, but if they could all be as good as Zoo World 2 we wouldn’t mind seeing more. The successor to Zoo World takes everything that made the original a four star game and makes it better: more options, better visuals, and just an improved experience overall.
Once again you’re tasked with building and managing a zoo in a tycoon-style game. You’ll build various habitats, ranging from dusty deserts to frigid arctic tundras, and then fill them with animals and decorations, as well as add other attractions like concession stands to keep customers happy. This will earn you money and experience, which allow you to further improve your park by purchasing and unlocking new animals and other content. You can also gather popcorn, which, much like in Ravenwood Fair, lets you trade in food for extra energy.
The animals themselves of course need to be fed, and you can increase your zoo’s population by either purchasing more animals or breeding them. Anytime you have two animals of the same species close enough to each other the option to breed. This will cause the stork to come, drop off the baby, and after a little while you’ll have a brand new addition to the zoo. Each species takes a different amount of time to mature, but once they’re full-grown animals can then be bred themselves.
Zoo World 2 also has some conservationist blood running through its veins, which is evident from the Animal Diary. This feature keeps track of all the animals you own, whether bred or bought, and then ranks where each species stands on the endangered list. The goal, at least right now, is to own at least 50 of each animal to “save” them.
The sequel also sports an entirely new look. Gone are the cartoony, colorful visuals of the first game. In their place is an impressive 3D art style, with animated animals that are quite emotive. They jump around, they sleep, and just generally act like lively, happy animals. There’s also a surprisingly large amount of them, including “rare” creatures like unicorns and pegasus’ (pegausi?). There is one issue with the way the game looks, though, and it comes down to scale: the animals are significantly larger than your human visitors, which can be a little off-putting, especially when you’re zoomed in nice and close.
The game also hasn’t done all that much to improve the experience socially, so you’ll still be able to visit your friends’ zoos to lend a hand and send them gifts, but not a whole lot else. Some sort of animal trading feature, or something else in line with the collection element of Zoo World 2, would go a long way towards making the game a more social experience.
But even as a largely single player game, Zoo World 2 is still a whole lot of fun. While the tycoon portion of the game is certainly solid, the real stars of the show are the animals themselves. Breeding, unlocking, and collecting each creature proves to be a very compelling motivator. I know I won’t be stopping until I can save the Galapagos tortoise, and maybe even the unicorn.