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Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 149 Ratings

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  • Summary: Let your imagination go bananas with Zoo Tycoon. Build your dream zoo alone or with up to 4 of your friends on Xbox LIVE, choosing from over 100 visually stunning animals and a large, detailed selection of environments. Become a member of the community by uploading your creation to the cloud and working together with other Tycoons to care for and share your animals. With intuitive, easy-to-use controls and Kinect-enabled features that allow your animals to recognize your voice and react to your movements, this zoo simulation will charm animal lovers of all ages. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 45
  2. Negative: 1 out of 45
  1. This is a polished, full-fledged, very fun game. You’ll buy it for your kids so they don’t feel left out of the next-gen joy, but once they go to bed you may well end up spending as much time designing your dream zoo as they do...Maybe more.
  2. Nov 22, 2013
    80
    Simulation gaming with a sense of fun we haven’t experienced in years. Think Viva Piñata meets Theme Park and you’re close. Plus it actually works really well with Kinect. A winning combo.
  3. Nov 22, 2013
    75
    Zoo Tycoon has a distinct lack of depth, but if you're capable of sitting down with this simplistic simulator, you'll smile more times than you can count. The simulator fan in me was a bit disappointed by the ease of it all, but the child in me couldn't help but enjoy myself.
  4. Nov 18, 2013
    70
    One of the few options for kids in the Xbox One initial lineup. They will especially appreciate the animal interactions and the educational side of the game. As a tycoon, it was greatly adapted to a console but fell short on the management side.
  5. Nov 27, 2013
    70
    There's huge satisfaction to be had from building your zoo, observing the animals and watching all the graphs go up. It's just a shame that over time, as the novelties wear off, the lack of depth makes it hard to keep coming back.
  6. Dec 27, 2013
    68
    Zoo Tycoon is too hard for kids and too simple for adults, specially if they're looking for a game to become zoo managers. So we guess that it's meant for parents who want to play with their kids. If you're one of those, then it's a great choice.
  7. Nov 23, 2013
    40
    Be ashamed, Frontier! Where is the depth and the fun of Rollercoaster Tycoon? Even on the DS Zoo Tycoon was more entertaining than here. Yes: The animals all look great and you can interact with them – but this ain’t Kinectimals 2!

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 21
  2. Negative: 10 out of 21
  1. Nov 29, 2013
    10
    Without a doubt Zoo Tycoon is a must have game for animal lovers. More than 100 Gorgeous real life looking animals that interact with each other, really impressive. It could have been a little deeper with simulation aspects but you'll have your hands full with stuff that you need to do. You still have lots of customization but it stays shallow because you can't make your own paths. The game itself decides that for you. Still a game that each and every Xbox One user should have, it's different and by playing you help animal charities. Expand
  2. Dec 19, 2013
    9
    I actually really like this game. I got it because of how much fun I had with Frontier's Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 series. I figured, if it was half as fun as that then I'd be fine. Turns out, there's a LOT to do running a zoo. The animals are fun, the scenarios are challenging, and the fact that Microsoft donates money to animal conservation causes just for people playing the game makes it all the better. It's not just a kid game. Maybe in sandbox mode. But, start doing some scenarios and you'll find it just as challenging as anything else you've tried. Multiplayer is where it really shines! Full simultaneous, real-time, up to 4 friends building the zoo of their dreams. It has to be experienced to fully appreciate! Expand
  3. Dec 21, 2013
    8
    Zoo Tycoon is graphically impressive.
    I enjoy it quite a bit. Of course, there are downfalls to the game and there are changes for the
    better.
    I played Zoo Tycoon back in 05 on pc.

    Loved it. It lacks in depth customization which previous Zoo Tycoon titles, exceeded at.
    Though, they've brought the Animals closer than ever. With interactions. I noticed little thing make the game fun.
    Whether it's finding each different species of animals color variant, or completing challenges by completing different tasks which earns you items or concept are, or just interacting with the Beautiful looking animals.

    Maybe become quite dull after hours in the same Zoo, but the Co-op mode is especially fun. Building zoo's together, racing in carts.
    I am enjoying it thus far.
    Expand
  4. Dec 11, 2013
    5
    Great game for the kind of people who need something to keep there 8 yr old children occupied. As a old time fan of zoo tycoon I was someone who enjoyed making their own zoo the way they want. In this game everything is limited from the amount of trees you can have to the way you can build paths. It really feels like they took away everything that made the old zoo tycoon good and made it a generic dumbed down kinect version. In addition the graphics are really good but the game play is littered with bugs as well as kinect having about a 75% success rate of picking up your commands. In the end don't buy this game if you're an old tycoon fan because this game is not a tycoon. If you're just looking for a great game with your kids you'll have a blast playing this with them! Expand
  5. Jan 4, 2014
    4
    Graphics and controls are great. It is easy and convenient to check on the well-being of your animals and the satisfaction of guests. The variety of animals available is good as well.

    This game has a serious flaw: the Zoo Limit. With every enclosure, animal, concession stand, decoration (and anything else) that you place, the zoo limit fills a bit. In the challenge mode of the game (which restricts what you can build based on cost and income is determined by guest satisfaction), I reached the zoo limit in about 3 hours of play. I had about a dozen enclosures, each full of animals, two mini--enclosures, and about half a dozen other buildings. The zoo limit does not increase with zoo level, so once you have reached the zoo limit, you can't build anything new without selling something else.

    This is a severe limit on how large the zoo can be and how many animals can be had at one time.

    Additionally, the extent to which zoos can be customized is disappointing. Enclosures are limited to three sizes: small, medium, and large, and are predefined shapes. Exhibit enhancements can only be placed in a small number of preset locations around the edge of the enclosures, and to keep your animals happy you generally must have one of each type (feeding station, cleansing station, and toy). Due to the lack of customization, adding enhancements becomes tedious and repetitive.

    The game would be very fun if not for these limitations.
    Expand
  6. Jun 9, 2014
    4
    I am a Zoo Tycoon fans and this Zoo Tycoon feels nothing like the original Zoo Tycoon. The original Zoo Tycoon give players a lot of freedom to develop or to build a park, but the new Zoo Tycoon just feel extremely restricted. XBO Zoo Tycoon is just not as fun as the original. Basically, it is just boring. Graphics certainly look great and all animals and character models look very detailed considering it is a next-gen games but overall it is very disappointing Expand
  7. Jan 19, 2014
    2
    Zoo Tycoon currently feels like a beta that I paid full price for. As many have noted, the incredibly low build limit severely handicaps this game to the point that I cannot believe that any of the developers consider it a finished game. There are other disappointing unfinished aspects as well. For example, you can upgrade most buildings and decorations but only a couple of them change their appearance when upgraded. It feels like they intended that the buildings should change, but then ran out of time. There is also a lack of micro management that we have grown to expect from the "tycoon" genre. Another 'small' thing is that the weather never changes and the sun is constantly just above the horizon and everything is dim with long shadows. Just doesnt feel right.
    I am honestly confused over the positive reviews that use words like "polished" or "depth". I have no idea what they are talking about. This game is the opposite of a deep polished game. You will have a maxed out zoo in 3 hours of game play. Compare this to any other game in the price category.
    I gave it 2 points for the couple animal interactions and the nice graphics.
    tl;dr - Buy if rich, else wait to see if they release a free patch first.
    Expand

See all 21 User Reviews