Zoo Club is a lackluster management-themed social game for Android.
Zoo Club is an Android entry in the “social zoo management” genre, which you’d think wouldn’t have quite so many entries. Regardless, like many other mobile social titles on Android, it feels like an early Facebook game. While Zoo Club does incorporate more modern features like real social mechanics and a quest tree, it’s still missing a lot of basic features like proper zoom controls and the ability to turn music off. The core of the gameplay is typical enough, though, asking you to fill a zoo up with entertaining creatures that draw big crowds.
A tutorial walks you through Zoo Club‘s basic features. You can purchase male and female animals who need to be fed, cleaned, and made to perform tricks (called “zoo shows”). Doing this helps you earn money which you can spend on a wider variety of animals than the zebras and monkeys you get early on. From there you can buy decorations for your zoo and buildings (like food stands) that let you earn money passively. Curiously, the game doesn’t seem to let you choose where to place animal pens or other components of your zoo.
The animals in Zoo Club are cute, though their animations are very limited. You can breed them to create new animals if you have a male and a female, but this only seems to serve the purpose of letting you get more animals for free. You begin the game with a huge surplus of funds to begin with, so it’s hard to imagine why you’d need to mass-produce any type of creature. Otherwise, your main duty in the game is just trying to clean up trash visitors leave and keep your animals in good shape for putting on lots of zoo shows to attract visitors.
Zoo Club‘s social mechanics are more developed than in most mobile social games, including the ability to appoint friends as zookeepers in addition to giving out gifts. The game lets you connect to a community for other players of the game, so if you don’t have any contacts playing the game you still stand a chance of finding other people to fulfill the social aspect of the game. That said, the game seems to be eminently playable as a solo title, if one where trash builds up very rapidly whenever you aren’t looking at your zoo.
It’s hard to recommend Zoo Club since it lacks so many basic convenience features for no clear reason. Still, it’s not a bad game, either, and could be very entertaining to a kid or a devoted fan of management sims who really needed to play one on Android. The game was extremely stable on the HTC Incredible used during the test period. It’s hard to imagine such a simple game giving problems to most Android phones. Granted, most Android owners probably have phones powerful enough to run more interesting types of games.