Tech News on G4

Something for everyone: Killer Instinct, Zoo Tycoon

Dec 12, 2013

By John Powell - G4 Canada

back to -|- Tech News index -|- John Powell column archive

Killer InstinctIt really doesn’t get any better than Judo chopping a foe in the face as a giant, slobbering, wolf, does it? Originally an arcade fighting game in the early nineties - Arcades? Remember those? – ‘Killer Instinct’ has been rescued from the musty video game vaults by Microsoft and has found a new home on the Xbox One. 

Taking the best from both Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, Instinct stands on its own as it puts the emphasis on combo and combo breakers. The best part for sluggish gamers like myself who cannot be bothered memorizing all those insane combos, there are automatic combos which only require a single press to pull off. With a sizeable bend in the learning curve, it sure does make rearranging someone’s face so much easier. 

Killer InstinctThe Combo Breakers, as they are called, are a cinch to execute as well. Just tap the correct button at the correct time and your foe experiences a humiliating fail, giving you an opening to open a can of whoop ass. 

The best part of Killer Instinct on the Xbox One is it is free-to-play, sort of. It doesn’t cost you any coin at all to download and you will have access to all game modes, a rotating free character to battle with. If you tire of the limited selection of playable characters, you can purchase other characters individually or throw down some dough for packs which contain more characters ranging from the afore-mentioned snarling wolf to a Native American warrior to a female spider-ninja butt kicker. In today’s gaming marketplace, it’s a great deal that sure doesn’t put a stranglehold on your wallet.

Killer Instinct Killer Instinct
Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Rare, Double Helix Games
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site:

Rating: 8 / 10

Zoo TycoonIf you are looking to take a break from all of the martial arts mayhem, Zoo Tycoon for the Xbox One will lead you to calmer pastures.

A tested and true PC classic, the game has been updated for the Xbox One. Demented individuals like me though are no longer able to drown mascots, run over patrons with the zoo carts or unleash the animals on the unsuspecting public. A top-to-bottom kid-friendly title, Zoo Tycoon champions imaginative construction and animal harmony. Of course, it doesn’t hurt the bottom line to squeeze every little penny out of those guileless patrons either by installing ice cream or souvenir stands.

Zoo TycoonWith the profit you have made, you can expand your zoo, invest in advertising and marketing or procure some new animals and habitats.  You can even hire staff to take care of all of those brainless tasks you just cannot be bothered with. The key though is keeping your customers happy and your animals healthy and content which could include challenges involving taking care of a sick animals or trying to firm up an endangered species.

The interaction available with the Kinect camera will surely bring smiles to the younger players who can experience everything from washing, feeding animals to playing games with them. It is actually those younger players who will get the most out of Zoo Tycoon whether it be learning about the animals themselves, overcoming the recurring tasks or much like Minecraft, sharing the experience with friends on Xbox Live. Due to the reprocessed missions and unsophisticated gameplay, adults may wish they were back in the Killer Instinct dojo rather than sweeping up after those darn chimpanzees. 

Zoo Tycoon Killer Instinct
Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Frontier Developments
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Official Site:

Rating: 7 / 10

  Related Articles
· Get G4
· G4 Press Release Index
· Interact
· Advertising Information

About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see