Zoo Constructor is a game about managing and building a zoo, taking care of exotic animals and their needs, building enclosures for them, and maintaining a complex climate for each type of animal in your zoo. Complete objectives to unlock new animals, buildings and other things to create a zoo the public will love! Zoo Constructor is brought to you by b-alive gmbh.
Starting a new game, you’ll need to choose a name for your player; you can also add more players or remove any unwanted ones. Once you've chosen a name for your player, it's then on to the choice of four maps. These maps are Savannah, Rainforest, Boreal Area and Temperate Area. The maps are a of good size, so you’ll have plenty of space to build enclosures for the animals and attractions etcetera in your zoo.
The Savannah is hot and dry, as is the Rainforest, but it’s also moist most of the time. The Boreal map is covered in forests, but the winters are long, cold and with plenty of snow. However, in the Summer the snow turns to rain as the temperature increases slightly. The final map, Temperate, is a mixture of half forest and half grasslands. It has a diverse climate characterized by the four seasons - cold in winter, warm in spring, summer is hot, and autumn has strong precipitation. All these different habitats will have their own problems and bonuses as you progress.
After you've decided which map to play on, there's a few more options to select before hitting the Start button. These are Unlimited Credit On/Off, All Park Attractions Already Unlocked On/Off, Account Balance (default is 10,000) and finally the Park Level which you can increase from One Star to Five Stars. All of these settings will allow you to customise the game to your preferred difficulty.
When your chosen map loads, you’ll notice a building in the middle on the left-hand side. This is the entrance to your zoo. It currently has a padlock icon with a red cross as your zoo isn’t open for business just yet. At the top centre of the screen there’s the amount of cash you currently have, along with the date, year and the weather. Sandwiched in between these you’ll find Pause, Play and Fast Forward icons. Looking around the map you’ll notice the different terrains; you can click on any section to reveal the ground types, trees, plants etcetera, which will vary depending on your chosen map.
Before starting to create your zoo’s layout, you can, if you so wish, pause the time; clicking on the pause button in the top centre of the screen will allow you to build at your own pace, you can also just leave it so time passes by. You will also need to check your objectives before starting, they can be found by clicking on the bullseye and arrow icon in the top right. Clicking on this will reveal your objectives, which to start with, are to keep happy three different one-star animals and have ninety happy visitors.
All the building items, types of animals, animal devices, maintenance people etcetera available to you are on the left-hand side of the screen. Not everything is available at once; each animal and building has a star rating (one to five). To begin with, you can only use those with one star, but as you complete the objectives, you’ll be able to use those with more stars. It’s probably best to check out the animals and their needs before you decide on building their enclosures. This way you can maybe save some pennies by building on terrain which suits a certain animal, rather than spending money on transforming that terrain. Depending on the map, you’ll find foliage, trees, water and other resources, all of which can be taken advantage of. You can remove plants and trees and replant them in enclosures of animals that eat those types of plants, saving you some more pennies as you won’t have to plant new ones.
Now that you have an idea of the animals’ requirements, you can start building your zoo. Starting at the entrance, on the middle-left you’ll notice that a small walkway is already laid down. You must expand on this, as people don’t want to be walking through mud etcetera. So, you can either start by putting down walkways and then adding enclosures around the pathways, or you can layout your enclosures and then work a pathway around them; either way works fine. The maps are quite big, so there’s plenty of building space; however, it’s probably best to build close to the entrance. There may be some lovely looking terrain on the other side of the map but if people need to walk long distances before they see anything, they aren't going to be happy bunnies, and that’s bad for business.
Once you’ve got your enclosures built for your animals, you can start adding things which will keep the animals happy, fed and watered. To keep the animals happy, you’ll have to add objects, such as places to scratch upon or boulders for jumping over, depending on the animal. You’ll also need to feed and water them; you can place water troughs in the enclosures, along with different types of plants and trees as food. You can also place meat bowls, fruit baskets and fish bowls to feed the animals, depending on an animal's diet. Animals can become unhappy if there are too few or too many of them in one place; some animals need to be in herds of certain sizes, like gazelles, who need at least six of them.
You can now add the animals to their new homes and hopefully they’ll love it, although you’ll still need to keep them stocked with plenty of food and water. You can add a keeper, who will go around refilling the meat, fish bowls and fruit baskets as they will disappear over time as the animals stuff their boat races. As well as keepers there are also cleaners, gardeners, veterinarians and technicians you can employ to help run your zoo smoothly. To use these, just place them on the map where you’d like them to work; you can reduce or increase the area you’d like them working in.
The only thing missing now is the public to wonder at your marvelous zoo, and they’ll need to be kept just as happy as the animals. There are services you can provide for them, like benches as people get tired and need to plonk their botties down (especially us old farts – hey, Froggy?!). People also need drinks and food, so you can add popcorn and ice cream booths, as well as a souvenir shop. Placing binoculars around the zoo so that folks can see the animals up close, along with restrooms and observation or information booths, will help keep the customers content and spending their hard-earned money, which will go towards new attractions and creating a bigger and better zoo.
Now you’ve got everything sorted, it’s time to open the doors to the public so they can marvel at your magnificent zoo! To open the doors, you need to click on the padlock at the entrance and then click the key in the window which opens in the bottom right. Make sure you hit the play button up top if you’ve paused it while you build. If the animals or people aren’t happy about something, then an icon will appear above them; clicking on this will let you know what they’re unhappy about. This also goes for plants - if they’ve been put somewhere that they don’t like, such as in ground that is too hard, they’ll struggle to grow.
In the settings, you'll find Graphics, with Screen Resolution, Graphic Quality (Low, Medium, High and User Defined), Anisotropic Filter, Antialiasing, Distance Detail, Range of Vision, Shadows, Shadow Details, Shadow Texture Size, SSAO, Show Underwater Effects, Bloom Filter and Additional Particle Effects. Audio consists of Music, Sound and Speech volume sliders. Next is User Interface; here you can set Icon Scale, Show Icons Above Objects, AutoSave (Every 5/10/20/45/60 minutes or None), Tooltips and Tooltip Delay.
I’ve enjoyed playing the game; it’s not hard to learn or overly complicated. I found it quite relaxing to play at my own pace, using the pause button as I built my zoo. The four maps offer different terrains and challenges, and they are quite large, so there’s plenty of room to expand the size of my zoo. The game is in Early Access, so there might be a few hiccups here and there, but so far it’s looking good. The developers are releasing updates with new features while fixing any bugs found. I look forward to seeing what else comes out in the future.
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Easy to learn
+ Plenty of buildings, animals, animals and terrain
+ Enjoyable game
+ Regular updates with new features and bug fixes
Negatives- No achievements
- No cards
Exhibit exotic animals from various climates, use personnel to feed, water and keep them happy while bringing joy to the public as you construct your own personal zoo.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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