Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

Zoo Tycoon 2

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Zoo Tycoon 2 Game Poster Image
An outstanding zoo simulation game!
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 43 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byemmasmom513 April 9, 2008
Kid, 10 years old September 12, 2010
really fun game nothing bad or nasty in the game
Teen, 13 years old Written byquaggasaurus August 30, 2010

Good for kids of all ages, really

I've played this game since I was little. It involves you managing a zoo. You can build almost anything you want. Building exhibits for the animals usually... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Microsoft
  • Release date: December 6, 2004
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: E

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate