Zoo Tycoon 2

Common Sense Media says

An outstanding zoo simulation game!





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this simulation teaches about zoo animals, habitats, and how to run a business. If you own the original Zoo Tycoon, this sequel is different enough that your child will enjoy exploring this one as well.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The challenge of ZOO TYCOON 2 is to build cool zoos that can sustain themselves as a business. As with all simulations, there is a learning curve before kids can jump in to start building and running their zoos. But with this simulation, the learning curve is terraced by three hands-on tutorials that teach children how to control the game, how to construct the zoo, and how to obtain important information about the zoo so that they can make it better. Thirty animals are available and each requires a specific habitat to be built; kids will find 10 biomes and hundreds of objects available including exhibit materials (plants, trees, foliage, rocks, ground cover, and animal-appropriate toys), themed buildings, guest attractions, and landscaping items.

Is it any good?


This excellent sequel to Zoo Tycoon boasts new 3-D graphics and friendlier tools to help build the perfect habitats for animals. Not only do kids get to design and build their own dream zoos, but now they can walk around in them in a first person perspective. Kids can even take on the role of the zookeeper to feed, water, and groom the animals. Players can show off their zoos by taking "photos" of what's happening and then share the photos with friends and families.

Zoo Tycoon 2 is an exciting way to learn about animals and the business of running a zoo. It's a software title that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages as well as adults.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different styles of play. Do you prefer free-form exploration of the game, or the campaign and challenge modes? Why?

Game details

Available online?Not available online
Release date:December 6, 2004
ESRB rating:E for (Windows)

This review of Zoo Tycoon 2 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old Written byJon1 March 9, 2011


This game was quite entertaining for me...was fun to play.

What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 15 years old Written byCynderMizuki January 29, 2011

Fun and educational!

I create usermade creations for this game so I literally know this game down to the coding. It's a wonderful and fun way for kids to learn about animals. The whole game is entirely kid friendly and the animals do breed but parents you don't have to worry. The animals fall asleep and when they wake up they have hearts above their heads and you soon get a notice that the animal is pregnant. I would avoid the fansites right now because everything is really dramatic.

What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byHotaru Chan August 10, 2010

Good game, I recommend it

Great game, I've had a few times where I was obsessed with it. My only problem though, is that the animals can attack and kill each other, usually two male carnivores. Nothing is shown though, I'm pretty sure it's just a cloud of dust or something. Another thing: you can very easily kill the people in this game by dropping them into the exibits or releasing the animals (I once let my Tyrannosauras out for a test, and he started attacking and eating the people) so it can get a little scary. If you're serious about the game though, it won't happen much.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families