Planet Zoo Africa Pack Review – It will take a lot to drag me away from you

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GAME INFO

Planet Zoo Africa Package

June 22, 2021

Platform pc
Publisher Border
Developer Border

At this point, the Planet Zoo DLC designers know exactly what the players want. They want new animals, new zoos and new cosmetics to highlight them both. They’ve perfected these functional packs in seven drops since their launch in 2019. The Planet Zoo Africa Pack is another glorious success for the fantastic Planet Zoo game and its incredibly supportive community. But does it offer enough to attract new players to the game?

It is a well known fact that the cuter and more beautiful animals do better when it comes to conservation. Take a look at an animal charity and you’ll see lions and tigers and (panda) bears – oh my – splashing about on their front pages. These cute, mysterious and often incredibly dangerous animals are almost always the focus of all coverage, charity and support when it comes to the public, despite the pleas of the workers who simply want to keep a giant eared bat alive. Frontier’s developers knew this was coming in. They knew that players would want to adopt and care for the cutest, most popular animals, so they took them with them from the start. With a little practice you will meet all the needs of both giant pandas and red pandas. But they did more. Zoos are big places, and you’ll find your exhibits filled with snails and ants and more than just the fluffiest of creatures.

The Planet Zoo Africa Pack does the same, and once you own it, you’ll get the chance to add the fennec fox, the African penguin (I didn’t know they existed either) and the incredibly popular meerkat. But it also includes the less cute and the more smelly. The rhinoceros may be a familiar creature, but its thick skin isn’t great for petting. The Africa Pack also includes the Scarab, which contains so many jokes it’s hard to pick just one. But this shot of the beautiful and the ugly is perfect for the game that does so much to teach players about conservation and wildlife. Any creature’s zoopedia input can be used as a script by David Attenborough and you won’t even notice it.

Each creature has clearly been thoroughly studied before being recorded, with fantastic animations and realistic features that stand out against the more cartoonish design of the world and the guests in your zoo. Like all the other creatures in the game, they are a real joy to watch, and you’ll often be tempted to go and check them out when you’re supposed to be doing important management. And like every animal in Planet Zoo, these five new species each have their own unique balance of demands and challenges in maintaining their well-being and health. But like all other DLCs released to date, these creatures don’t change the core mechanics of the game.

That’s not to say they should change the mechanics of the game, though. Planet Zoo is a fantastic management game which is why it is extremely popular within the genre. But there is a lot of management involved in playing. Besides the animals, you have to take care of the infrastructure and finances of the zoo, the staff and their research, as well as the guests. You can tweak the settings and make it easier or harder for yourself, but either way, you’ll have to manage a lot. For players who want to run a zoo but don’t want a hassle, this DLC offers nothing more, except more animals that you fear will suffer. For those looking for even more interaction and overlap systems, this package, like all the others, offers the same structure as always. But for those who love Planet Zoo or those who have been eager to get into the game but have simply waited for their favorite poop-rolling beetle to be included, this pack offers many more reasons to play.

And these packs also include more than just animals. The included set pieces have so much creativity and versatility to them. For those who don’t want to make their own structures to beautify their zoo, the game has a lot of pre-constructed blueprints to play with, but there are also a lot of opportunities to build your own structures, funny that you can find time among everything else work you have to do. These designs are beautiful, cartoonish, and a bit stereotypical, but in the harmless way you’d expect from a large commercial project like a zoo, so they’re very accurate.

You can even see them showing off in the new Challenge Zoo. For those who haven’t played Planet Zoo before, these are ready-made zoos with lots of room to expand and lots of problems to solve. They are perfect for people who are getting the hang of the mechanics and are also not ready to start their own business. This, unsurprisingly, focuses on the animals from the Africa Pack, and you’ll find habitats for fennel foxes, meerkats and rhinoceroses already in place. You will also face an energy crisis that will require you to research and build renewable energy sources in addition to managing the zoo itself.

There is a lot in Planet Zoo Africa Pack for fans of the genre and fans of the game. The new animals are incredible, the new zoo is wonderful to explore and develop, and the new cosmetics are great to include in your zoos. It might not draw anyone else to the game except the most diehard meerkat fan, but it doesn’t have to. Planet Zoo knows what it is, and the community knows they love it.

Review code provided by the publisher.

YouTube video

8.5

The Africa Pack contains no more and no less than fans of the series are used to. The quality is fantastic, the new additions just add more variety to the complexity of the games and add several hours of challenge on top of the additions to the sandbox.

Pros

  • New animals are as interested and detailed as ever
  • New Challenge Zoo offers a deep dive into the often overlooked energy mechanics
  • Appearance of creativity in the decor pieces

cons

  • Doesn’t add anything new mechanically
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