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New 'Zoo' pack expands the fun

November 08, 2007

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Microsoft is digging up the past in their new expansion pack for the 'Zoo Tycoon' series. 'Extinct Animals' not only introduces new creatures that you can populate your zoos with but there are great gameplay modes to explore too.

Zoo Tycoon:..or the Zoobusters!Many of Extinct's enhancements spotlight prehistoric creatures and dinosaurs and with the fascination children have for the gone but not
forgotten beasts, it makes sense to draw on their popularity. Like miniature John Hammonds, kids can create herds of tyrannosaurs,
velociraptors and even mastodons and sabre-toothed cats.

When they get tired of herding the ancient animals, players can flip on over to the mini-games. With some of them though, pre-existing conditions must be met. If an Extinct Animal Research Lab is purchased, players can go on fossil hunts and unearth buried treasures in their zoos. Once all of the fossil pieces are gathered and put together, the DNA can be scanned and then a dinosaur can be resurrected through a cloning minigame. In a quirky twist, if you fail the cloning minigame, your creation will be a misshapen version. Likewise, if you do really well, the animal will be of the "super" variety and can be immune to diseases and the like.

Speaking of diseases, if any animal in your zoo succumbs to one, the "illness curing" minigame will activate. With the help of your lab, diseases can be identified and treated.

Zoo Tycoon: when dinosaurs roam the earthBy far the best minigame of the bunch though is "Dinosaur Rampage". If one of your dinosaurs becomes enraged at their present living conditions, they will go berserk. That is when you leap into action and into first-person mode. Armed with a tranquilizer gun, you chase down the irritated dino, put it to sleep with a shot from your gun and then crate it up so you can transport the animal back to the proper enclosure. It is G-Rated family fun and it sure does break up the building and maintenance gameplay.

Hands down, 'Extinct Animals' is the best expansion yet released in the 'Zoo Tycoon' series. Blue Fang Games has done more than enlarge the roster of animals. They have given gamers new ways of playing the simulation. 'Extinct Animals' adds more choice and a heck of a lot more fun.

Zoo Tycoon: Extinct Animals
Format: Windows PC
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Blue Fang Games
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Official Site: http://zootycoon.com/

Rating: 7 / 10

 
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