Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
Buy On
  1. Zoo Tycoon 2, for the animal lover young and old, is far more than twice the game as its predecessor and could easily have been called Zoo Tycoon Squared.
  2. Colourful, loveable and extremely enjoyable to play. With the incredibly detailed zoopedia, drip fed online downloads and exceptionally fun and rewarding gameplay this is certainly one game I wouldn’t mind my children playing, that’s if they can get me off the thing first. Genuine family fun and for once, brilliance that's suitable for all.
  3. 90
    The mix of gameplay elements, the many types of animals and biomes to place them in, and the open-style freeform mode allow this game to last for a long time, for both child and adult. I just wish I could make monkeys throw poop.
  4. If you're a sim fan or have kids between 6 and 60, it’s a "must buy." Aging graphics, sound and slowdown are its only detractors.
  5. It’s a simple, if utterly engrossing game with a concept that appeals to the kid in all of us.
  6. Not only does the 3D engine add far more versatility to the game, but you get the overall feeling far more attention to detail went into this sequel.
  7. While more choices in exhibit design and more stats would have added to the enjoyment a trifle for adults, the lack of these won't bother the kids, and really won't most adults, either.
  8. An impressive game that will teach as well as entertain. Microsoft does a wonderful job in accurately and beautifully portraying both the sights and sounds of zoo life.
  9. 80
    It's inoffensive and challenging enough to keep both the builders and the managers entertained for much longer than an outing to a real zoo would.
  10. 80
    The graphics are solid, though nothing spectacular. Gameplay is very streamlined, and the controls are very easy to learn.
  11. In just about every way Zoo Tycoon 2 is bigger and better than the original, but is still holds true to the heart of what made Zoo Tycoon such a great game.
  12. This update, happily, is more appealing, with improved, streamlined gameplay.
  13. A solid game that is a dream for animal lovers and younger players. It is well laid out and well-presented. It just isn't challenging enough for older gamers.
  14. Pelit (Finland)
    80
    A nice, sunny, feel-good game. Best in free mode with unlimited funds. [Feb. 05]
  15. It does have that irritating childish feel and some minor bugs, but if you're an incorrigible animal-lover such as myself you will love it, for one and one reason only, and that is its addictiveness.
  16. Given its target audience, you’d have a hard time finding anything on the market quite this good that is also targeted at the 12 and under crowd.
  17. The hours of gameplay enjoyment are more limited by your personal interest in the game style and topic than on the breadth of the game itself.
  18. 75
    The new 3D engine helps out with that a lot, but the art that fills out the world is nothing special. Animations are decent, but models and textures are low detail.
  19. The only place I felt the game could really be improved outside of more realistic graphics was the control for the overhead view didn’t allow for very accurate rotation. If I wanted to see my zoo from a specific angle, it often took about a minute of adjusting the rotation.
  20. Has its glitches, like zookeepers walking through animals, but all in all it's worth purchasing if you are a fan of the strategy genre or just need a break from other games.
  21. The sequel's enhanced graphics and sound make it a good "sandbox" kind of game, and if you're a parent with small children who need to be entertained, that might be all you need.
  22. Novice gamers or gamers who don’t really like games where there are objectives (such as fans of "The Sims" or "SimCity") might like Zoo Tycoon 2.
  23. There are some surprising omissions. The main one being the complete lack of any ability to speed up time - especially since that once a park has stabilised there can be a lot of waiting around while you amass enough cash to buy a Gorilla or whatever.
  24. It is certainly not a rehashing of the former title and is a respectable entry into the crowded world of Tycoon-style games.
  25. 70
    It's stable, almost bug-free, and has easy-to-use controls, which makes it a nice way to introduce kids to the genre. But anyone who has spent any significant time with tycoon strategy games will probably find it a little light on the strategy.
  26. The biggest grumble is that, once you have constructed a basic park, there is often nothing to do except sit back and wait for more money to roll in. Your zookeepers and maintenance staff take care of the park, and there is rarely a calamity that needs your attention.
  27. Zoo Tycoon 2 successfully acheives what it sets out to do and that's to let you build your own zoo.
  28. Unimpressive sim that misses a chance to impress with groovy visuals. [Jan 2005, p.94]
  29. AceGamez
    60
    It almost angers me at times that publishers have the gall to demand a fee of £35 - £40 for simply applying a lick of paint to something that in essence people have played many times before.
  30. Computer Games Magazine
    60
    The irony is that although it plays better now, the 3D makes it look, well, flatter. [Feb 2005, p.61]
  31. PC Gamer
    54
    Undulates between periods of manic maintenance and mundane management, with long stretches of ho-hum in between. [Feb 2005, p.58]
  32. It should have waited for the next generation of 3D hardware before going 3D and should have been left in the development oven a bit longer to smooth out the control and gameplay issues.
  33. Computer Gaming World
    50
    The main problem with Zoo Tycoon is its lack of a fast-forward button: A single year of gameplay consumes a grand total of six hours. [Feb 2005, p.85]
  34. 40
    It's passable in short spurts, but if you’re looking for something deep and challenging, look elsewhere.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 59
  2. Negative: 6 out of 59
  1. Aug 29, 2011
    10
    Addictive and fun. Is basic enough for kids to play, but let's you geek out with challenges and business management if you want to reallyAddictive and fun. Is basic enough for kids to play, but let's you geek out with challenges and business management if you want to really complete the game. Full Review »
  2. Jan 17, 2014
    8
    zoo tycoon 2 is one big improvements the the 2001 game it still fun and enjoyable to play
    the game has nothing more then view animals in 3d
    zoo tycoon 2 is one big improvements the the 2001 game it still fun and enjoyable to play
    the game has nothing more then view animals in 3d the game itself is fun and i enjoy it a lot
    this game have alot awesome feature in it as well
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 30, 2013
    9
    even though its a children game and who gives a this game awesome and addictive game play, heck if you get to the free roam version of it youeven though its a children game and who gives a this game awesome and addictive game play, heck if you get to the free roam version of it you can do whatever you want, and it evens shows how to run a zoo perfectly i just wish this game was on steam since my copy of it was broken and its definitely worth your money if your looking for educational games. Full Review »