A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection is a family-friendly zoo simulation with nearly 200 animals included. Players need to care for these creatures, as well as build, manage, and maintain their dream zoo. Up to four players can work together over Xbox Live, as well. There isn't any inappropriate or controversial material in this game.
What's it about?
ZOO TYCOON: ULTIMATE ANIMAL COLLECTION lets you create and maintain the zoo of your dreams. Your goal is to design, build, and run a successful zoo while keeping the animals, employees, and patrons happy. You'll shelter nearly 200 animals, and do everything from road and enclosure construction to park decoration and setting prices to ensure everything is running smoothly. This game can be played solo on an Xbox One or Windows 10 device, or with up to three other people. In fact, this game is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, meaning you can pick up your saved game on another Xbox One device or Windows 10 PC, as your zoo's progress is saved in the cloud. It also supports 4K televisions for four times the resolution of HD and 1080p, and HDR (high dynamic range) for even better contrast, brightness, and color.
Is it any good?
Even though this is just an updated version of the 2013 title, it's just super fun for players of all ages. The graphics are really the standout, supporting 4K Ultra HD quality for more realistic-looking animals. There's also some new wildlife, from South America and Australia specifically, and you can create a much larger zoo than in previous games. Visually, the animals, such as lions and zebras, look fantastic -- not just in the increased detail, but they're animated smoothly, lit nicely, and made to sound like their real-life counterparts. The Zoopedia is back and improved, giving you information about each species you have.
Nice to see included is the Challenge mode, which throws a few scenarios your way, such as taking photos and dealing with escaped animals. There's also the main sandbox mode, optional multiplayer options, where you can trade and play with others, and some mini-games, too. There's not much to complain about this straightforward simulation that challenges you to keep everything humming along and everyone happy. Overall, you won't be disappointed with the remastered Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection -- especially with its sub-$30 price of admission.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about remade games. Is it fair to expose players to older games that may have missed them by adding updated graphics and more features? Should designers solely focus on creating new games and new properties?
Talk about simulations. Do simulations give you a full sense of how to handle circumstances in real life? Do you think that these sims could prepare you to interact with these scenarios in real life?
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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.