Metacritic: 65/100
Release: Oct 2001
Reviewed on: PC

Zoo Tycoon

Site Score
Good: Similar feel to RCT series – Animal options – Simple
Bad: Limited immersive options – Animals aren’t very lively
User Score
(10 votes)
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The original Zoo Tycoon promises an experience very similar to that of Roller Coaster Tycoon and has players managing their own zoo. The game was originally released in 2001 with two expansion packs, a Nintendo DS port, a sequel and a complete 2013 remake for the Xbox also created.


Zoo Tycoon allows you to tackle the game in two different modes (three if you include the tutorial). These modes are fairly standard with the scenario mode offering a range of scenarios for players to complete with varying objectives and starting zoos. The second mode is a freeplay mode where players can run wild and design a zoo with an amount of money and map size of their choice.

Your goal in Zoo Tycoon is an obvious one, you want to create the most popular and profitable zoo possible. In order to do this you will have to carefully choose which animals you want to include in your park while keeping them happy and entertaining the guests that visit your park.

In order to keep your animals happy you’ll have to design habitats that are suitable for that animal. At your disposal you’ll have a large variety of fences, toys, terrain and plants to place into your enclosures to make animals feel at home. Hiring zookeepers is also an important aspect of animal happiness and requires players to have enough roaming around the zoo to ensure all animals are being cared for. Players will also have to hire workers to maintain the zoo along with tour guides to show guests around for a price.


Your guests aren’t easy to please with plenty of different factors playing a role in their overall happiness with your zoo experience. This includes the animals in your zoo, how happy these animals are and the buildings outside of animals that your zoo has. Buildings that provide entertainment or food are particularly important and you can’t forget to make sure your guests have adequate toilet access.

The overall feel of the original Zoo Tycoon is very much like the Roller Coaster Tycoon experience making it great for fans, especially animal lovers.


  • Build your own zoo in tycoon style.
  • Follow several scenarios to test your skills or play in freeform mode.
  • Large number of animals to choose from.
  • Cater to both animal and guest needs.
  • Two expansion packs available add even more content (available in the complete collection).

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Zoo Tycoon, 8.1 out of 10 based on 10 ratings
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