Planet Zoo BETA is now available on PC if you purchase the Deluxe Edition and will run from the 24th September till October 8th 2019.
When Planet Zoo was announced I was instantly excited, I as a child was a major fan of the Zoo Tycoon series, I loved building my dream zoo’s and seeing how many animals I could house while also keeping happy. Along come Frontier with the Planet Zoo announcement trailer which looked like the zoo management game that I had craved for a long time.
I can confirm that Planet Zoo is everything I had hoped for and more. The absolute detail that goes into each and every aspect of running a zoo is phenomenal, from details such as the right biome, the right enrichment, housing them properly within social means. I enjoyed the hell out of it. I must have spent ages with my Timber Wolves just making sure they were happy and had the right setting to keep them going. Eventually my two adult wolves had babies… I had to extend my enclosure, it was chaos. That’s another thing I think was really great about the game, the breeding programs. Planet Zoo’s animals have different traits and stats, some negative, some positive, the better the genetics the more money you earn from selling them off to other zoo’s. This is where Franchise Mode comes in. Franchise Mode has you building your own Franchise of zoo’s and making as many successful places as possible. There are two currencies, conservation credits and your dollars, you can earn the credits by completing daily challenges, selling your animals to other players online and completing tasks. Franchise Mode is all online so all these tasks you do like buying and selling animals is to other players and I found that so much fun. It all felt like you were building together with others online and they had zoo’s as-well that you could co-operate with which I found truly exciting. You’ll also have to research with the members of staff, mechanics will research new themes, new barriers, new buildings and more, vets will research the animals to give little boosts or new enrichment items and a better understanding of that animals needs.
The career mode offers an in-depth tutorial into the systems but it is provided with humour and makes the tasks fun rather than a drag. I feel sometimes in tutorials they can be quite drawn out but this one was a lot of fun especially with the Welsh Woman that guided me along the way. In this mode I got to look at how one day I could make my zoo’s look like and also get a better look at more of the animals included within the game. I feel like the career mode is definitely going to be a lot of fun down the line but Franchise Mode was my highlight. Building enclosures has never been more easier in both modes, if you make a mistake they’re often easy to correct as-well. Though a word of advice, from experience… Make sure your enclosure is high enough so the animals can’t get out. Never forget to leave donation boxes by the enclosures either, they bring in quite a bit of money at times as-long as your animals are kept happy and healthy and your zoo remains interesting.
Overall my experience so far has been positive and I am very excited for the release of the full-game so we can test out sandbox mode and have more than just one location unlocked for the Career and Franchise Mode. I felt that we were given a decent selection of animals and this little taster leaves you wanting more rather than giving you too much leaving no surprises when the game fully releases.
We also covered a video preview here: