Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. It's a benchmark for finely tuned balance, interface, and polish. It has nearly all the little features we cry out for in these types of games but never overwhelms or frustrates.
  2. An addictive experience for any animal and zoo lover who may or may not be accustomed to sim games. Unfortunately, experienced simmers may find the game lacking in complexity or motivation.
  3. A fresh breath of air for the management style of gaming genre.
  4. A little repetitive, and it’s lacking in strategy, and the scenarios can take forever to play.
  5. The zoo theme is a lot of fun. Newcomers to sim gaming may get more bang for their buck, but oldtimers with a Noah (as in the Ark) complex will enjoy it as well.
  6. Fun for what it was worth, but I didn't have a problem walking away from it when the time came. [Dec 2001, p.117]
  7. Once they fix the problems, and I’m sure they will, the game will be a great diversion for kids and adults alike looking for a good, educational and more-or-less non-violent game.
  8. Caring for a zoo full of your own miniature animals has its own charm, and despite its visual flaws and less-than-spectacular sound, Zoo Tycoon conveys this charm well.
  9. In choosing to take their inspiration from such a strong game ["RollerCoaster Tycoon"], the developers have invited comparison with it, and, perhaps inevitably, it's a little wanting in that context.
  10. There are only two view levels, and they’re both fairly distant. This makes it not only hard to find animals or workers in a crowded zoo, but also, frankly, less fun to watch. [Feb 2002, p.98]
  11. 69
    I just think you'll be bored by the average graphics and sound and the sad lack of real creativity that makes some real world zoos absolutely amazing.
  12. 67
    More often than not, the gameplay mechanics and the zoos themselves are just plain dull. Watching animals circle around in cages while guests amble around on sidewalks offers little to hold your attention or capture your imagination.
  13. Shows a total lack of innovation and desire to improve the gaming experience, but it does have cute animals in it. If you can accept the fact that you are here to manage tigers rather than whatever the focus is in any other management game then you can have a lot of fun.
  14. A pleasant diversion, but it’s about as deep as a puddle, and frustratingly finicky. [Jan 2002, p.93]
  15. Beyond basic maintenance, you'll mostly just watch and wait for the next rush of action.
  16. Zoo Tycoon is somewhere on the verge of turning from nice fun for long winter nights into arduous work that would make your eyes, hand and brain hurt.
  17. This game has the imaginative spark of a wet napkin. [Jan 2002, p.76]
  18. Due to severe problems in graphics and gameplay, this title cannot hold a candle to "RollerCoaster Tycoon," still firmly at the head of the class.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Jan 19, 2014
    I can't express my horrible hatred for this game. It's plain broken. Certain animals are literally impossible to make happy, the system is confusing and nothing is explained. Do not play this game no matter what anyone says. Full Review »
  2. Dec 15, 2013
    This is a terrible, terrible game. Everything about it is wrong. It's horrifyingly tedious, severe lack of customization, and terrible glitches. I hate this game. Full Review »
  3. Jan 17, 2014
    one of the least fav game that i enjoy

    this isnt bad orm good it an ok game the game would be more worth as a 3d game
    the animals are
    awesome to use and play this still one thing that bugs me and it the gameplay on this game the way they use this just does not smeen interested in my fav game of all Full Review »