Zoo Tycoon 2 Game Poster Image

Zoo Tycoon 2



An outstanding zoo simulation game!
Popular with kids

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.

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

This review of Zoo Tycoon 2 was written by

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


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; OK 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 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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

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 September 12, 2010
really fun game nothing bad or nasty in the game
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 12 years old January 30, 2014

"Zoo Tycoon Complete Collection" review - it's great

Hi, Epicboy21, yet again. I couldn't find the PC Zoo Tycoon 1 and haven't played the second one, but I'm reviewing the first one. The first game is basically about building a zoo, getting customers and taking care of animals. When you take care of the animals, you get tour guides and have to be careful for financial reasons. You can also get zookeepers that will feed animals and clean up their poop (you can assign them to a particular place) and you also pay cleaners. With MARINE MANIA included, you also can pay a man that feeds the aquatic animals and with DINOSAUR DIGS you can also have a palaeontologist dinosaur take-care guy, with a helicopter. You can name things, like animals, and yes, it accepts profanities. However, you can't hear staff saying the name. As far as I know, nothing gets in the way about online stuff. If you don't take care of animals and let them create havoc, it gets nasty however. That's why the "VIOLENCE" descriptor is there. For example, animals that aren't fed or not taken care of can pass away, and if you allow it, animals eat other animals (all you see is a cloud and then the victim disappears; it's all natural behaviour anyway, and it isn't rewarded); when it comes to human-related violence, animals can attack humans, and humans can die by drowning. However, some can swim and to make them drown you do special stuff. However, NONE of the violence is part of the game. Except it notifies you if animals pass away. And if it says a notice, your animals' or keepers' name will appear. As in "---------- looks overjoyed." "Help! Get me out of here!" most of the time. So the game has it's violent moments, but most of it is if animals aren't taken care of properly. (Heck, even a dinosaur can throw a boy up and eat him in one gulp.) Also, the game's a little difficult to take care of the finance and animals, so that at least provides SOME education. If someone's named a profanity, it'll appear in some notices. As in if you call someone the F-word, it'll accept it. All in all, it's a good game. Thank you for reading.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
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 requires you to meet their needs first. For example, if I was building an exhibit for, say, a lion, I would first need to put down the correct biome and foilage from the area in the world it was from (in this case Africa). I could put down savannah plants from other parts of the world, but guests will judge you based on the educational factor of the exhibits. I would then need to put down food, water, toys, shelter, and a few other things to keep it happy. This game tries to be as realistic as possible without being inappropriate. "Mating" is usually just a male and a female of a species laying down next to each other. And "fighting" is two animals pawing the air, and one animal usually falls to the ground, and magically turns into a carcass. There is no blood or gore whatsoever in this game, so violence is not a issue. This game may be a bit too hard for kids under 5.
What other families should know
Educational value


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

Star Wars Guide