Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
Buy On
  1. Zookeeper is what a video game should be: easy to learn, hard to master.
  2. Quite possibly the most under rated DS game so far.
  3. A quality puzzler for the DS. Furthermore, it's one of the few games out that makes legitimate use of the touch screen.
  4. It's not something you can play for weeks and weeks on end, but rather a game you can play for three minutes or three hours and still have a blast.
  5. The gameplay found in Zoo Keeper is both simplistic and addictive.
  6. 80
    With its intuitive interface and pile of options, Zoo Keeper is the best game of Bejeweled you'll ever play. And frankly, that should be all the recommendation you need.
  7. It's so simple. Like most block puzzlers out there, your task is to match the colours into rows of three or four. But despite its rudimentary aim, it's ludicrously addictive. [NGC Pocket]
  8. Pretty addictive, and it will help rip away those long house in the car. The music could have been much better, but the game itself is very colorful and it has a Japanese look and feel to it.
  9. While the gameplay may essentially be the same as the online flash version, which you’ll have no doubt tinkered with, the grip that Zoo Keeper has makes shelling out the money’s required more than worth it.
  10. Even for veterans, the addition of wireless two-player support and enhanced touch-screen control is just about worth the asking price.
  11. 80
    It's no stunner visually and the background music will drive you up the wall, but there's just something about its deceptively simple gameplay and excellent head-to-head mode that will keep you coming back again and again.
  12. Accessible to newcomers and seasoned gamers alike.
  13. games(TM)
    As simple and addictive a puzzle game as we’ve seen in recent years, Zoo Keeper’s transition onto a handheld platform like the DS couldn’t have been more of a success. Tetris for the next generation? It’s certainly a close call. [Apr 2005, p.94]
  14. Don’t play this game unless you have the rest of the day to thrash out your anger on the small, cute zoo animals.
  15. The perfect vehicle to kick-off the new era of immediate, accurate control that the DS brings along with it; instantly open, as it is, to new and seasoned gamers alike.
  16. Charming, immersive and intuitive. Oh yes.
  17. Pocket Games
    At half the price it would be a must own. [Spring 2005, p.63]
  18. 80
    The dark horse of the DS launch, Zoo Keeper is a smart, endearing puzzler that can engulf hours at a time.
  19. 80
    Also the fact you can buy one copy of the game to play multiplayer will help to make this game popular.
  20. It gives you immediate fun; the 6-minute challenge is perfect for when you are waiting for someone. The return of old school scoreboard gives it replay value. It's just pure and simple, unadulterated fun.
  21. When you look at Zoo Keeper strictly as a DS game and ignore the outside world, it's a great puzzle offering that looks nice and offers play that can be really habit-forming.
  22. The quick pick-up-and-play gameplay technicality will immediately pull you in. The cutesy graphics and sound set the game’s atmosphere nicely.
  23. One additional factor that can’t be overlooked is the addictiveness of this game. Zoo Keeper has been in my DS for weeks now, and as much as I complain about the weight of the DS, or the similarities between Zoo Keeper and "Bejeweled," I don’t think I’m going to change it out for anything else that soon.
  24. It’s just not a revolutionary title that will impress you with incredible graphics and fancy features and controls. But how many puzzle games really do that?
  25. It will delight gamers of all ages and the more you play the better you get. It promotes observation, color and pattern recognition skills, but the random nature of the game boards is more about reflexes than problem solving.
  26. Cheat Code Central
    The Nintendo DS version uses the stylus and touch screen to great affect and even manages to add an entirely new combo system to the mechanics of the game.
  27. 70
    I'm all for easy-to-learn, easy-to-play, hard-to-master puzzle games on the handheld, and Zoo Keeper is a pretty good one. It's a little too random for my tastes to make it a true Nintendo DS classic game, but it's got enough lasting play in its single player modes to recommend.
  28. 70
    It's just what a good puzzler should be: simple and addictive.
  29. There's only two puzzlers on DS to date, and Zoo Keeper trumps "Mr. Driller" with the inclusion of single-cart multiplayer. Worth a pickup, if puzzlers are your thing.
  30. Avery fun game. However, nobody should be playing $40 for it. It’s fun, but nowhere near worth it. Wait for a price drop on this little gem, because it’ll be worth it at half the price.
  31. AceGamez
    It's a shame both the sounds and graphics are limited, as on the whole the gameplay itself is a hell of a lot of fun; incredibly tense, simplistic enough to be picked up quickly but, like all the best puzzlers, incredibly difficult to master.
  32. The touch-screen controls are perfect and two-player action wonderful fun. But often chain reactions come from luck rather than skill and there is a lack of variety in the different play modes.
  33. Game Informer
    A solid imitation of 2001's shareware "Bejeweled" (which is considerably cheaper). [Apr 2005, p.142]
  34. 70
    A fun little game that transfers well to the format of the DS and gives new life and vigour to the genre by way of the touch-screen input.
  35. 70
    The problem with this game is there is not much to it. Your only real goal is to get a high score, which in this day and age is not enough.
  36. The portability, extra modes and various refinements of the DS version make for a much more satisfying game than the Flash effort we're continually referencing, but the DS is already home to a good few equally satisfying puzzlers (including "Mr. Driller" and "Polarium") and we'd seriously suggest looking to them before haggling for a copy of Zoo Keeper.
  37. 60
    You may think of it as a castrated form of Tetris Attack, like I did initially, but the infectious qualities of the game will prove something: even though it's not nearly as timeless as some of your favorite puzzlers, this little animal-themed gem still has merit.
  38. Nintendo Power
    It's a simple idea, but it proves to be a little bit of a trick to jump in and play. [March 2005, p.107]
  39. I could have recommended Zoo Keeper for $10 or possibly even $15, but at full price, this is a complete rip-off.

Awards & Rankings

#36 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. BlueFalcon
    Jan 7, 2007
    This is a puzzle game with lasting appeal. It plays similar to Meteos, but is less flashy and perhaps more challenging to start.
  2. ScottH.
    Dec 28, 2005
    Brilliant best and most addictive game on the ds worth every penny the game bejewled wanted to be!
  3. TonyG.
    Nov 9, 2005
    Great little puzzle game, way more fun than meteos!!!