Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Zoo Resort 3D (Nintendo 3DS) Review

Review for Zoo Resort 3D on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Zoo simulation games -- you either love them or hate them. Zoo Resort 3D is the first zoo simulation game on Nintendo 3DS, yet it has a twist on your typical Zoo Tycoon game. However, how does it compare to the well-known series?

Zoo Resort opens with the story of a grandfather leading his grandchild around the zoo he owned. In his will, grandpa very kindly leaves you his world famous zoo as inheritance for when you reach a certain age. However, after he died the zoo wasn’t looked after with the same attention as he gave and its popularity plummeted. Years later, your job is to restore it to its former glory to rank as the top zoo in the world. Opening with just a handful of animals, you begin your journey into the exciting world of zoo-keeping.

Grandpa hasn’t made this easy for you, though. A main feature is the use of ‘vending machines’ to acquire animals and their foods. The currency of the game is Animal Points, which you gain based on the number of visitors to the zoo that day, or through random events. Grandpa had an odd sense of humour.

In order to gain popularity you need to take care of your animals -- nobody wants to see an unhappy wallaby! Affection of the animals is gained by feeding and taking photos to add to your blog. The blog is seen by people worldwide who will hopefully flock to your zoo to see the exhibits. The better the photo, the more people will view your page, and the more bonus points you get. Unfortunately, a lot of the time a ‘good’ photo doesn’t mean how clearly the animal can be seen or if it is doing anything exciting. Most of the time the photos judged as ‘best’ are actually the ones taken at closest range, even if the camera-shy animal has turned away. For any photos that you take, you have the option to save them only at the time they are taken -- you can’t go back into the blog to retrieve them later.

Screenshot for Zoo Resort 3D on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Being a Zoo Keeper in Zoo Resort 3D is hard work, so to avoid overworking you can only give attention to a limited number of animal exhibits per day. This means that you have to think about what order exhibits need to be attended to in order to maximise visitors the next day. Do not ignore any exhibits for too long though, as animals can get sick if they aren’t happy and their enclosure will be closed for one day if this happens. Visitors get unhappy about sick animals in the zoo; animal illnesses lead to a hit in popularity the following day.

One limitation of the map is that there is no ‘zoom out’ option, so you have to scroll around until finding an unhappy animal to lavish attention upon. One way of getting around this is to use the ‘Lists’ option -- it is possible to list animals by their number, name, or popularity to make it easier to find the desired creature. The camera within the exhibits is controlled according to player preference -- either gyroscopically by physically moving the 3DS or with the analogue stick; toggling between the control types using the Y button. The gyroscopic control is good, if a little too sensitive at times, but it is impossible to easily zoom in and out on either camera option using the D-pad. Up to three different viewpoints can be unlocked as more affection with an animal exhibit is gained. The viewpoints can be used to give the visitors a better look at an animal, or catch a better photograph whilst it is in an interesting pose.

Screenshot for Zoo Resort 3D on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Limited options on the display makes for a repetitive experience, but it can be addictive to reach for higher visitor counts each day.

Graphics

The animals are great, with good detail even down to the grass-grinding mouth movements of the ungulates. Though the 3D effect works well with creating depth within an exhibit, the backgrounds leave a lot to be desired and after a while look very samey.

Sound

Repetitive music, plus whilst the animal sounds are accurate, they are only played during the short video sequences. It would have added more to the experience if animal sounds were played more frequently.

Value

New areas are unlockable to keep exhibits and new animal species after the story mode is complete. There are 57 challenges to complete but these are easy to accomplish once you have unlocked the titles of the tasks.

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Average

About this score

Zoo Resort 3D provides a nice twist on the regular type of zoo simulation game, but once the story mode is complete there is little pull for further gameplay, even with the added features of challenges to complete.

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05.02.2012

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Also known as

Animal Resort

Developer

Marvelous

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It's a real shame as I had high hopes for this. Sadly it sounds extremely sub-par and barely got any attention, with Ubisoft sneaking it onto the market here.

Potential wasted, methinks...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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