Wildlife Park Tycoon Review
By Boyd Kitson |
There are 45 different kinds of animal species, representing virtually every region of the world, including aquatic life. To tailor the habitats, you control everything from the temperature, the kind of surface, and the hardness of the floor, to the kind of food the animals eat. Some animals have special needs, so you can put in scratching posts, climbing trees, and even instructional mating videos to help those endangered pandas procreate. You can also hire a variety of staff members to keep your park in order, including janitors, gardeners, veterinarians, animal keepers, and animal trainers.
Wildlife Park comes with 20 missions that represent both extremes on the difficulty scale; the early missions are incredibly easy, while the later missions become frustratingly difficult. Many of the early missions give you an almost unlimited amount of funding, so it's easy to spend your way to success. However, the later missions have you struggling to make a profit just to keep solvent. It doesn't help that the game has an almost baffling economic system that keeps you wondering just how it is your park makes any money at all. You have to make sure that your visitors are completely and totally happy so that they'll recommend the park to their friends, but to reach that level of happiness you have to focus obsessively on every detail and cater to their every whim.
Many of the missions are also badly paced. For instance, in one mission your job is to make sure that an endangered species breeds offspring. It takes about five to 10 minutes to set the habitat up correctly so that the animals are happy enough to mate. Once they're pregnant, though, you've got to wait for gestation and birth. Even at the fastest speed setting, it takes at least 10 to 15 minutes for that to occur. In the meantime, you've already done everything you need to do, so you're forced to sit and wait it out. Other missions require you to build a small, profitable park so that you can save up and buy certain exotic animals, but you find yourself eking out so little profit from monthly operations that it takes forever to accumulate enough money.
Wildlife Park might have been a fun distraction for theme park fans, but the poor design and execution cripple it in a crowded field of competitors. This game may have lions and tigers and bears, but, in the end, it's not worth your bother.