I remember playing Zoo Tycoon when I was young and always having a blast. So renting the Xbox 360 version was a no-brainer. At first the game caught my interest, but just after an hour of playing I grew very bored with the entire game. There was no variety to the types of animals you could have in your zoo. In the old games you could have a large variety, but in this game I felt like I was forever limited to Bear, Giraffes, Monkeys, Lions, Tigers, Rhinos, Hippos, and Elephants. Also, I did not like the small amount of land you were able to use. I either had to give the animals a tiny exhibit or only have two or three exhibits in my zoo. There was plenty of land left but I had reached my max!
When I turned to the campaign and scenario modes I thought I'd have more fun but was left disappointed. There was no end to the scenario or campaign. I finished the achievements, filled the zoo, made the money, and reached the fame levels, but the level never ended. I was under the impression that beating these levels would open more animals, or options in free play mode, but nothing ever happened for me. In the end I grew bored of the game quickly.
This game could have been so good. There are scores of animals for your zoo as well as attractions and decorations. You also are given a large amount of land to build on as well. It's fun to research and unlock new items for your zoo. Challenges give you various awards if you complete them such as money or fame. Unfortunately it all comes crashing down because the game limits the number of items you can place in your zoo despite having enough land. Not sure what kind of zoo the creators ever went to but this makes no sense at all. There are dozens of different animals and attractions but you can only place a handful of them because of the limit. A tree or rock counts against this number. They only thing you can do it remove decorations, trade off animals, sell exhibits, and start another one. It's not much of a zoo if you have to rehash everything all the time. The player should be allowed to place as much as they want within the land boundaries. The game gets stagnant real fast as a result. The graphics are pretty good and you can walk around your park to view exhibits and interact with the animals. If you don't mind constantly starting from scratch or near scratch you'll probably like this game.
Lots of animals
Lots of decorations
Lots of research items.
Challenges are sometimes too hard to complete.
Restraints on the number of items you can put in your zoo.