Lions and hippos and pandas. Oh, my.
Attention, Zoo patrons! The animals have escaped! But, whatever you do, DO NOT PANIC! Remain calm! Do not run! Do not feed the animals! And, do not take a video with your cell phone and post it on YouTube! We have a trained zoo keeper who is handling this temporary holding issue and will have the situation soon under control. However, if you don’t like your kids all that much, it should be noted that he hasn’t gotten things under control over at the Lion Sanctuary (seriously, we saw those brats throwing a temper tantrum because you wouldn’t buy them any ice cream; nobody would blame you).
Zookeeper DX was recently released in the App Store, though the launch was marred by a visual issue that made the game unplayable on the iPhone. Now that it’s been patched, the game is not only a functional title on all iOS systems, but it’s actually pretty great.
This is a match-three puzzle game that plays the same as so many other titles in the genre. However, it differentiates itself from other games with its premise and presentation. Instead of matching jewels (or whatever), the game has different animal types of varying colors. The idea is that players are working at a zoo and have to catch the wildlife that’s broken out of their cages. Each level requires that players capture a certain number of animals before the timer runs out.
There are two different types of game modes available to choose from: Normal and Tokoton. Normal is the standard game type that just requires players to accumulate a set number of animals per level. Tokoton, meanwhile, demands that players snag as many animals as they can, and the level will increase each time 100 units of any animal type are captured.
Now, it needs to be noted that this is a port of a game that was originally released for the Nintendo DS. That version also featured a Quest mode that provide players with a ton of different parameters as they played through the game; this kept things feeling really fresh and challenging, and the mode’s absence is noteworthy to anyone who played the game as it was originally released.
That said, the gameplay modes that are available are incredibly addictive and fun. It’s not uncommon for one to find themselves promising that the game will be put down after only one more round, only to realize that an hour and a half has suddenly flown by.
The game’s production values are pretty charming, too. The graphics are a bit simple, but they’re as bright and cartoony as they were back on the DS. The MIDI-like music, too, is really cute, and it doesn’t ever seem to get on one’s nerves.
There are a ton of match-three games out there in the App store, but Zookeeper DX manages to stand head and shoulders above nearly all of its competition. It’s goofy and fun and -above all- insanely addictive. It’s too bad that the Quest Mode wasn’t included in this build of the game, but it’s still an excellent title in spite of this.