The original Zoo Tycoon was a terrific zoo-building simulation game, but this sequel is even better! Not only do kids get to design and build their own dream zoos, but now they can walk around in them in a first person perspective. Want to see a hippo up close and personal? No problem! Just open the fence and go on in. He’ll even let you give him a bubble bath!
The challenge of this “Tycoon” game is to build cool zoos that can sustain themselves as a business. As with all simulations, there is a learning curve before kids can jump in to start building and running their zoos. But with this simulation, the learning curve is terraced by three excellent hands-on tutorials which teach children how to control the game, how to construct the zoo, and how to obtain important information about the zoo so that you can make it better.
After graduating from the three tutorials, kids can choose to play Zoo Tycoon 2 in one of three possible modes: Campaign, Challenge, or Freeform. When playing a Campaign Game, kids gradually learn the intricacies of the game through structured scenarios that have specific goals. For example, a scenario might have a goal be to build a zoo that that can attract a certain number of visitors in a 6-month period of time. In the Challenge Mode, players again face scenarios, but this time they are more difficult because the player is limited in certain ways. For example, the player’s budget or the number of animals available may be diminished. Freeform Games allow kids to indulge their zoo fantasies because they have unlimited budgets and resources.
In Zoo Tycoon 2, there are 30 different animals available and each requires a specific habitat to be built. Kids will find ten biomes and hundreds of objects available including exhibit materials (plants, trees, foliage, rocks, ground cover, and animal-appropriate toys), themed buildings, guest attractions, and landscaping items.
This sequel to Zoo Tycoon boasts new 3-D graphics and friendlier tools to help build the perfect habitats for animals. Kids can even take on the role of the zookeeper to feed, water, and groom the animals. Players can showoff their zoos by taking “photos” of what’s happening and then share the photos with friends and families. If you own the original Zoo Tycoon, this sequel is enough different that your child will enjoy exploring this one as well.
Zoo Tycoon 2 is an exciting way to learn about animals and the business of running a zoo. It is a software title that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages and adults as well.
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