Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Zoo Tycoon: Complete Collection

Zoo Tycoon: Complete Collection

Fall 2003 Software
Ages: 8 & Up
Price: $29.95
Platform: Windows
Start building your own zoo with a few ready acres, limited funds, and imagination and see how far you can get! That's the premise of Zoo Tycoon, this fun and educationally engaging business building game that lets kids open a zoo from scratch and struggle to stay in the black.

But this title isn't just Zoo Tycoon; this is the complete collection combining three top-selling titles--the original Zoo Tycoon with the Dinosaur Digs and Marine Mania expansion packs that include more than 100 animals (land, aquatic and prehistoric) and more than 500 building objects that make for the most unusual and expansive zoo possibilities thinkable. Add to that the bonus Endangered Species Theme Pak (12 threatened creatures such as orangutans, whale sharks, and Komodo dragons) and Zoo Tycoon Strategy Guide that comes with it and it's the best zoo-creating deal upwind of the monkey house!

Graphics are the little-people moving around style that first showed up in other location sims such as Roller Coaster Tycoon. Sound is zoo-like with roars and cawing noises. But it's the decision-making that matters most here: Mixing species based on climate or location? Go after the escaped walrus or not? Build more snack bars and restrooms? Make an Orca attraction to draw customers? Educational content beyond the problem-solving includes loads of research on each species of animal and its habitat.

The game isn't for everyone. But for kids who love animals, are challenged by the idea of creating a business, who don't need the adrenaline rush of explosions and fast cars, and have patience enough to play a slow-developing game over a long period, this is a must-have game. It's among the smartest and most fun games available--and now you can get all of it in one box!

Don Oldenburg   ©2003 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
Electronics Stores

Share This