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Zoo Tycoon 2: It Has Literally Nothing To Do With Money

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Zoo Tycoon 2: It Has Literally Nothing To Do With Money

I’m pretty sure most human beings who have owned a computer have played Zoo Tycoon. The first one.

That was one CD that survived puberty – I had both Zoo Tycoon Complete Collection disks and I went ahead and reinstalled them a few years back. I’ve been making insane zoos ever since and raking in thousands and thousands of dollars.

By Ghost Lily

Release Date: November 2004

Zoo Tycoon 2 was released in 2004 for Mac and PCs only.  The three expansions that followed were all released two years later.

Zoo Tycoon 2 Gameplay

While Zoo Tycoon was all awesome and very 90′s, my boyfriend’s mom heard about the game and bought me Zoo Tycoon 2 for Christmas one year (what an embarrassing gift for a college student) and I installed it as soon as I could. It’d be ZT perfected – no more insanely finicky animals, no more rampaging dinosaurs, more guests, more challenges, more buildings.

Unfortunately, it seems like Zoo Tycoon 2′s directors completely forgot what the game was about when they made it. It’s a tycoon game – meaning you build and make as much money as possible while taking care of animals and guests – but money has barely anything to do with ZT2.

Because you can’t make money.

No, seriously. No guests come in. I don’t care what you do. You could have the admission at $2 per person and the best zoo in the entire god damn world and nobody would spend that two bucks.

It’s baffling.

I was initially heartbroken. What is the point of the game, then? No guests? No money? I mean, you can cheat code money by the barrel, but making it was the whole point of the game.

But then I realized: holy hell. This game is just about hanging out with the animals. They made a game about hanging out with zoo animals and doing zero work.

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Cheat code some cash for yourself, build a few enclosures (or don’t – they don’t even care! Let the animals roam!) and then hire zoo keepers to take care of them – oh, wait. No, you don’t need those either, because you can go into guest mode and do everything yourself.

What results is basically just a game where you run around the zoo at ground-level and chill with these adorable, hilarious little animals. The underwater camera is surprisingly gorgeous, you can build really detailed areas, there are fossil-finding puzzles where you can create genetically superior extinct animals in labs or find the cure for mysterious diseases.

Zoo Tycoon 2 Rating

Honestly, if I had to rate this game, I don’t know where to start. If you’re grading it by how similar it is  to a normal tycoon game, then probably one out of five stars. If you’re grading it by how fun and engaging and crazy it is, probably 4 out of 5 – simply because hell, all you wanted to do was build a zoo tycoon.

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