World of Zoo



Spectacular virtual zoo lets kids get creative with animals.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players learn the responsibility in caring for their animals, as well as the rewards one gets from kindness and compassion. They also get valuable lessons about endangered species. Creativity is encouraged in the animal editing mode.

Positive role models

As a first-person game, there's no real main character to be a role model. But the structure of the game encourages the zookeeper (the player) to act with kindness and compassion throughout.

Ease of play

The free-form nature of the game makes it accessible for even very young children, who could still get some enjoyment out of playing even without grasping any of the more technical aspects of the gameplay.

Violence & scariness

Agitated animals can briefly turn on their zookeeper (meaning, you, the player). When this happens, they snap and growl angrily at the camera and the word "Attacked" appears onscreen. There are no repurcussions for being attacked.


It's the player's job to clean up poop with a device called the "Poo-Vac."  Also, some sick animals will audibly pass gas.


The National Geographic name appears on "fact cards" that fill kids in on animal trivia.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this very entertaining zoo simulator mixes a lot of real animal knowledge and realistic animal behavior (tigers flinch and flee at the sight of a crocodile) and mixes it with some elements of cartoonish fantasy (pandas beat on drums and go down slides). It also has an animal editor which allows kids to customize their zoo inhabitants in a slew of different ways, from ear and paw size to stripe and spot patterns and more. Children could, if they wanted to, end up with a blue-and-green spotted tiger with a bushy tail and thick legs -- but it would still act like a tiger.

What's it about?

In WORLD OF ZOO, players care for and play with the animals they create to live within their own virtual zoo. Every animal can have its appearance edited -- colors, patterns, tails, noses, paws, manes, etc. -- to suit the player's whim. As the zookeeper, players will feed the animals, clean them, play with them, and clean up after them. Keeping the animals happy earns the player stars, which he or she can use to \"buy\" more animals or build fancy play areas within the animal habitats.

Is it any good?


Zoo sims are certainly nothing new, but World of Zoo is well executed and has enough original features to make it stand out among the crowd. The  focus on interacting with the animals makes World of Zoo's gameplay more akin to pet sims like Nintendogs than to business-y games like Zoo Tycoon. And World of Zoo's animals are loaded with personality. When they're at play, they're adorable; when they're angry (which is not often), they're appropriately scary.

Caring for the animals and keeping them happy is relatively simple, which means there's not a lot of drudge work you're forced to do in order to get in some good belly-scratching time. It is seriously fun to watch the animals. For instance, it is very amusing to build a dummy gazelle in the big cat habitat and then seeing a lion bat at it the way a kitten bats at a a ball of string. The creature editor, where you can mix and match animal body parts, is also insanely fun to play around with; that feature alone could give kids hours of enjoyment.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about responsibility and caring for pets and animals. What would be required to care for a real animal that is overlooked in the game?

  • Parents can also use the game as a jumping off point for discussion and further research into the plight of endangered species. Children who become interested in the topic through playing the game can look up real-world ways to help.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, Nintendo DSi
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 27, 2009
ESRB rating:E for Crude Humor, Mild Cartoon Violence

This review of World of Zoo was written by

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Learning ratings

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

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Parent of a 8 year old Written byvelveta December 23, 2010
Teen, 13 years old Written byHotaru Chan August 10, 2010

Cute game, I would get it

My 5 year-old cousin plays this game, and she really enjoys it (she can't read though, so someone has to be with her for her to understand most of the words) the crocodiles seem like they would scare her, but she doesn't really play with them anyway, so there's no problem :)
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old May 14, 2010

A fun, easy, but mildly boring game!

This is a good game right here. I sold my Havoc-Heli for $20 and began looking for a good game for Nintendo DS. Then, I found World of Zoo. It looked interesting, so I tried it. And guess what? I haven't been able to get off of it! There's no "Attacked" stuff in here. Maybe that's just on the Wii and Windows. Anyway, it's a little bit boring. All you do is tend to your animals. No guests or shops or nothing. I was expecting something like Zoo Tycoon, but this is fun in its own way. You also get to type up Journal Entries each day!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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