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Planet Zoo: Arid Animal Pack Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Fast Facts

Planet Zoo: Arid Animal Pack

Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Website: Arid Animal Pack – Planet Zoo (
Genre(s): Simulation
Platform: PC
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 20/06/2023
Price: £7.99

A code was provided for review purposes

Dunes, Desert and Dust

It seems not that long ago I was writing up my review of Planet Zoo’s Tropical Pack, yet here I am again with Frontier kindly offering us a code for their latest Planet Zoo DLC, the Arid Animal Pack! The regularity of the DLCs gives fans new things to look forward to; however is this a pack that should be selling hot, or is it just too dry to enjoy? Let’s take a look.

Eight Animals

  • A dromedary camel plays with a large ball
  • An addax carries a blue enrichment item across their enclosure.
  • A sand cat walking over a hill with the desert sun behind
  • A dama gazelle sips from a water trough.
  • An African crested porcupine in its enclosure.
  • A desert horned viper, with guests watching through its glass exhibit.
  • A black rhino rubbing against a tree
  • A Somali wild ass snoozing in the shade of trees.

I was excited to see that there were eight new species in this pack, considering the last one had five. These include the Somali wild ass, addax, dromedary camel, black rhino, sand cat, dama gazelle, African crested porcupine and the desert horned viper. This was a fantastic range of animals, the addax and dama gazelle two I had never heard of before, so I enjoyed learning about them using the Zoopedia too. My absolute favourite, to no one’s surprise, is the sand cat.

Watching the sand cat rub against the rubbing pads was just adorable, and seeing their kittens in the burrow ready to enter the world was so cute! Other animals have been given new animations, such as the wild ass braying to each other and the dromedary camels spitting on visitors when agitated too. As always with Planet Zoo, it’s a joy just to watch them almost as if they’re the real thing.

I have to say that the Arid Animal Pack does feature species that are similar to what is already in the game. For example, Indian rhinos are in the base game, and the Southern white rhino is in the Africa pack. The Bactrian camel is also a part of the base game. However, the wild ass, porcupine and sand cat are pretty unique species. Again, it’s a case of seeing what you already have and whether it’s worth it personally for you.

Scenery or Species?

Unlike the last pack I reviewed, I was a little disappointed to see that there were no scenery pieces to be found. Upon opening up a new sandbox zoo to see the new animals, I tried filtering items by the Arid Animal DLC to find nothing. I quite like designing each of my zoos by theme, so this was a shame. However, there were already items in the game that could go well, such as sandy architecture and Indian-themed decor, along with desert plants. It is difficult to think of what new items they could have added too, to be fair, and we are getting more animals than the last pack. I then realised, looking at all the DLCs, that the ones with eight animals don’t feature scenery pieces, whereas the ones with five species do. Therefore, that’s something to consider when buying and what your priorities are.

Arabian Nights

A new scenario is available to get stuck into as well, which gave me inspiration on how I could use the already available items to create an Arabian-style sanctuary. Tiffany Summers is back and eager for our help again with a new zoo as her next responsibility. I much enjoyed this scenario compared to the last one. The bronze objectives were fairly simple, including adding buildings and three species, easing you into when the next objectives levelled up a tad. They still were not overly difficult, though, but it took a lot of grinding to raise animal welfare, which was the main focus, the hardest part being to keep an eye on your money to be able to buy enrichment items to keep the animals happy.

  • A bird's eye view of an Arabian themed zoo
  • A letter asking to help with a zoo from Tiffany Summers

You also needed vets to study each species in order to unlock said items to keep them happy. This added to the challenge and extended game time, being able to expand the zoo with your extra space and keep playing as long as you wanted past achieving the objectives. You also unlock special statues for completing them, perfect for collectors.


Overall, I loved the animal selection and getting eight new animals was exciting! The sand cat is my new favourite addition to the game, and it was fun to watch their animations. Though it was disappointing not to get new scenery pieces, it is understandable why, since the game already has related items to use, making up for it with more animals instead. The scenario was a challenge but not too difficult, particularly if you’re used to non-sandbox mode and being wise with your spending. For me, the Arid Animal Pack is a welcome addition to my game! However, remember to take into account whether you would prefer new animals or scenery pieces and whether the species included are similar to what you already have. Now, I’m off to continue watching the sand cat kittens…

Rapid Reviews Rating

4 out of 5


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