World Of Zoo
Turn Your Living Room Into A Zoo Without the Smell
What It Is
Virtual Pet games have come a long way since the first Tamagotchi pets arrived in our pockets. While Tamagotchis are still around and getting more sophisticated all the time (best feature, the pause button so mom and dad don’t have to babysit), the current trend in virtual pets is bringing the pets out of pockets and onto game systems. Nintendogs revolutionized the category when it launched on the DS and now World of Zoo brings the long-running craze to the living room. Like all virtual pets, World of Zoo requires you to care for and raise an animal. However, this time there is a whole zoo full of animals.
At the start of the game you select one of 11 animals you want to begin with. Players choose from penguins, giraffes, antelopes, monkeys, tigers, bears, elephants, crocodiles, zebras, pandas and koalas. Once you have selected an animal, you head to that animal’s zoo exhibit where you begin working, training and caring for one animal. If you do a good job with that one animal, you will be given the option of adding more of that type of animal to the exhibit.
Why It’s Fun
World Of Zoo is like Nintendogs on steroids with a bulging supply of items and options that cover every aspect of caring for a virtual pet. (Though we highly recommend that the only appropriate pet crocodile is a virtual one.) For example, when it comes to feeding your animals you have a full menu of edibles available including several main courses and a variety of treats with different mood enhancing effects such as increased energy or sleepiness. Be careful what you feed your zoo inhabitants because too much of the wrong types of food can lead to a gassy animal. (Cue the laugh track.) No matter what you feed the animals they will need to be cleaned, which is a riot as you have to grab a brush and scrub that dirty animal with the Wii Remote. The animal isn’t the only thing you need to keep clean so you better get used to the poop vacuum for tidying up the animal’s environment.
Another hilariously fun element of the game is the animal creator feature that lets you customize your animals. Using the penguins as an example, you start off by selecting a breed such as the Emperor Penguin then you can radically alter its appearance by changing everything from the size of it’s feet to the plumage on its head. When you are done playing mad scientist your colorful creation enters the animal exhibit and goes about its daily routine.
Who’s Going To Love It
World Of Zoo is going to really appeal to little kids between the ages of 3 and 8. Most of the game’s communication with the player is based on pictures and images, which means kids who can’t read will still be able to play and have fun.
The game has an extremely high cute quotient that will be a hit with girls but the poop and fart humor balances it out and will keep the boys entertained also.
What To Be Aware Of
You can have three different and separate zoos going in the game, which is a great feature for families with multiple kids who each want their own game experience.
This game is also available for PC and on the DS. The DS version will likely have slightly different play-patterns and take advantage of the different platform features, but the overall theme will be the same.
3 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
World Of Zoo
System: DS, Wii, PC
Genre: Virtual Pet
Available: Now, at most major retail and toy stores as well as electronic gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: Holiday 2009
Date of Review: January 2010