Nice To Meet Zoo
Rapid Reviews was kindly provided with a beta code of Let’s Build a Zoo. As a fan of both tycoon simulation games and publisher No More Robots, I couldn’t wait to play once I saw the debut trailer. And now, after playing forty-five minutes of the game’s introduction, what did I think? Find out in this Rapid Preview.
As with all simulation games, I was first greeted by a vast expanse of empty land; suitably future-proof for the eventual unleashing of my sprawling megazoo. (Admittedly, the time limit of the beta meant that I ended with a few humble animal exhibits and a couple of guest attractions, but this hasn’t stopped my plans for world zoo domination in the final release). Common with games of this genre, staff must be hired or fired, given raises or pay cuts, and assigned duties based on their performance. Guests must be provided with a good mix of attractions, refreshments, and seating. Accessing information on guest feedback, cash flow, and all manner of other statistics is remarkably efficient in Let’s Build a Zoo with each facility providing the appropriate information when clicked. Though in my brief time playing, I often struggled to remember the purpose of each building, I feel that this issue will massively decrease after hours of play in the final release. I was worried that the pixel interface may make it hard to process the vast amount of data but the user interface is pleasantly clear and easy to read.
One of my most-loved aspects of Let’s Build A Zoo is the heavy inclusion of animal welfare seen throughout all areas of the game. Animals can be bought from rescue and there are clear expectations of providing ample space, food, and water. In fact, guests will behave negatively if they see creatures that are not being treated correctly. Though I struggled to re-access it after the initial task pop-up, there appears to be something darker to Let’s Build a Zoo with the inclusion of an animal black market. Putting players in control of choosing whether to prioritise animal welfare or profit sounds like a very interesting idea indeed. As was seen with the end of the reveal trailer, Let’s Build A Zoo is certainly hiding something darker and I’m eager to uncover the secrets lurking beneath.
Pick and Mix
Setting itself away from other games, Let’s Build A Zoo gives access to “CRISPR”; a DNA editing contraption that allows the merging of two animals to create over 300,000 different creatures. I enjoyed watching my Rabbopotamus roam the park with its hybrid pixel art design and I’m sure my guests enjoyed gazing at this fascinating new creature as much as I did.
The beta of Let’s Build A Zoo reveals a game that is shaping up to be a real genre standout. With its DNA splicing and mysterious undertones, Let’s Build A Zoo is fantastically unique and has a real charm.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.