Zoo Tycoon 2 DS



Portable zoo simulation offers impressive depth.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a zoo simulation game in which kids will learn about all aspects of zoo administration: construction, administration, and animal care-taking. It also teaches kids about animals including which earth "biome" the animal belongs to (i.e. savannah, tundra, boreal) to help them construct the proper habitat. In multiplayer mode, kids can trade zoos with each other or race to build the best zoo in Tycoon Showdown mode.

What's it about?

Get ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about running a zoo in ZOO TYCOON 2 DS, a detailed educational simulation that transplants the concepts found in its PC cousin, Zoo Tycoon 2, into a portable package – right down to the impressive graphical close-ups of the animals.

Players can start from scratch and let their imaginations run wild in Freeform mode, or work their way through Campaign mode's increasingly challenging timed scenarios. In both cases you'll have to juggle many responsibilities to keep your zoo running smoothly, whether it's building paths, enclosures, restaurants, restrooms, benches, and other amenities; managing cash flow, investing in research, hiring staff, adjusting prices, and launching marketing campaigns; or getting up close and personal with the animals by feeding and washing them, treating their illnesses, and other one-on-one interactions.

Is it any good?


Some of the challenges players will face in Zoo Tycoon 2 DS might include designing exhibits for three different horned animals, ensuring that the lions achieve a happiness rating of at least 70%, or creating conditions for an endangered species to mate and give birth. There are 36 animals in the game, from zoo staples like lions, ostriches, and zebras to endangered species and even some prehistoric and "fantasy" animals that are unlocked later on as special rewards. Each species requires different care based on the "biome" they belong to –- such as savannah, boreal forest, tundra, or aquatic, and you must construct an appropriate habitat for them by laying the right ground, foliage, rocks, toys, and shelter.

It might take players a while to get the hang of the controls and the detailed menus while struggling against the imposed time limits, but once the learning curve has been overcome Zoo Tycoon 2 DS proves itself to be an enjoyable and educational game with impressive depth.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the roles that zoos play in animal conservation. What are your favorite animals to visit when you go to the zoo? If you could add one animal to your zoo that isn't featured in the game, what would it be?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Available online
Release date:February 4, 2008
ESRB rating:E

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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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Kid, 8 years old July 24, 2010


What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Kid, 9 years old June 11, 2010

perfect for anyone

i love it. it was fun really fun
Kid, 10 years old January 12, 2010

great christmas gift - perfect for people interested in animals!

i love this game so much! it teaches how to take care of animals and teaches what they are and what their habitat is. i got this for christmas from my sister and play it EVERY day! you can manage your own money for it, teach the animals tricks, take care of them, and many, many more! i just love the exitement of watching the zoo i made grow!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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