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Zoo Tycoon 2

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Zoo Tycoon 2

Zoo Tycoon 2 Coverart

Release Date:
November 9, 2004
ESRB (E10+) PEGI (3+)
Zoo Business Simulation
Blue Fang Games

The sequel of the 2001 game Zoo Tycoon.

As well as primarily made for Microsoft Windows, Zoo Tycoon 2 is also available for the mobile phone, Mac and Nintendo DS.

Recently, a sequel to Zoo Tycoon 2 has been released by the same name.


Each mode has limitations (with the exception of freeform) and the player can choose which mode depending on the experience and age of him or her.

A freeform game in Zoo Tycoon 2 allows you to create the zoo of your choice, the only restriction being space. The player's money supply is unlimited, and all items are available from the beginning of the game play (except those that can only be unlocked in Scenario and Challenge games). Freeform games begin with an empty zoo, to which the player adds animal exhibits and guest facilities (such as restaurants and bathrooms), hiring employees to staff and maintain them.

Challenge games are the equivalent of previous Zoo Tycoon games. In this gamemode, the player's begins with a limited supply of money that must be grown by obtaining donations and getting money from guests paying to enter the zoo and use facilities. Only some items are available initially, while others require the player to unlock them by various means.
Money, an important gameplay mechanic, is used to purchase animals, items, staff, and almost anything else in-game.
Gameplay is the same as freeform, except that the player must make a profit in order to keep the zoo running, and certain items must be researched before they become available for use.
This mode will occasionally give the player extra challenges. Some of them will involve creating habitats for specific animals. Other photo challenges will involve snapping a picture of a designated animal doing a specific behavior, such as running or hunting.
When a specific number of regular challenges, expansion pack challenges (expansions are required for these challenges,) or photo challenges are completed, a specific theme for buildings are available, allowing versions of the player's restrooms, food stands, scenery, and other items to be constructed altered for that theme.

A campaign is a game form in which the player must complete a goal to win. Each campaign gives the player a certain task to achieve (such as constructing a particular exhibit or gaining a specific award,) and when the goal is met, the player moves onto the next. Campaigns can range from simple construction tasks to creating and managing a popular zoo for several years. As the player progresses through the campaign, the scenarios become harder. After the player completes the last scenario, a reward is obtained, usually a new building or item, or allowing the player to take on an entirely new campaign. The campaign mode also includes game tutorials.

Zoo Tycoon 2 contains 30 animals in total, although expansion packs and downloads add up to 130 animals so far. If the player desires to do so, however, they can also download animals made by other users, sometimes in the form of user-created expansion packs, also known as UCXP.

The Zoopedia, an encyclopedia on the entire game and all of its objects, will give the player information about anything they need to know. Animal's dietary habits, compatibilities, preferred habitats, real-world and in-game behaviors, as well as many other things, are noted on the Zoopedia.

Animals each have their own biome that they belong in, and like animals, users can create biomes for Zoo Tycoon. A biome is an important feature in the game, as an animal in an unsuitable habitat will quickly become unhappy and may die if left there for too long, thus making proper biomes an important part of gameplay.
Biomes include (savannahtropical rainforestalpinescrubgrasslandwetlandstundradesertboreal forest and temperate forest, although benthicreefpelagic and coastal were all included in Marine Mania.)

Carnivores in the game will generally only hunt the herbivores if they are hungry. However, some carnivores (such as African Lions) occasionally kill others of their species for competition over space or as reproduction needs have reached a peak. In most species, this can often be prevented merely by expanding habitats, although some animals will have much in-fight, such as Gray Wolves (although this is changed for Grey Wolves in Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure) may kill each other out of territorial nature.

Each animal has a star rating, also known as a fame rating, as well as the player's zoo. While the star rating of an animal shows its popularity, the animal may not necessarily be hated by guests purely because of its star rating. African Lions are a good example of this. Unlike the star rating of an animal, the star rating of a zoo is based entirely upon how popular the zoo is. Accessible pathways, a wide variety of animal species, well-kept animals, staff centers, activities for guests, and well-built exhibits all play a part in guests enjoyment of the zoos.

Guests prefer continuity, and thus will not enjoy exhibits being replaced. For this reason, it is often best to simply make new exhibits for any new animals to be introduced to the zoo. Alternately, the player could mix an animal's habitat with another animal they wish to introduce (which may require the mixing of biomes for some species,) provided the two animals get along and will not fight upon being placed in the same exhibit, information that can be checked in the Zoopedia. Guests also enjoy baby animals.

Uncaged animals will cause guests to panic and scream --- even simple animals. The only animals this does not apply to are ambient animals, such as the Monarch Butterfly or the Giant Bullfrog. These can be obtained through failed research lab experiments, as well as Killer Penguins, a deadly penguin that will kill any other creature in the game. This fact makes free-ranging animals, despite being highly desired in zoos, incapable of existing in them.


Animal Biome Zoo Fame Conservation Status

African Elephant

Savannah 4 stars Endangered
American Beaver Wetlands 3 stars Vulnerable
Bengal Tiger Tropical Rainforest 3 1/2 stars Endangered
Black Rhinoceros Savannah 3 stars Critically Endangered
Cheetah Savannah 2 1/2 stars Vulnerable
Chimpanzee Tropical Rainforest 3 1/2 stars Endangered
Common Peafowl Temperate Forest 1/2 stars Low Risk
Common Zebra Savannah 1 1/2 stars Low Risk
Dromedary Camel Desert 1/2 stars Low Risk
Emperor Penguin Tundra 1 star  Low Risk
Gemsbok Scrub 1 star Low Risk
Giant Panda Temperate Forest 5 stars Endangered
Greater Flamingo Wetlands 1 star Low Risk
Grizzly Bear Boreal Forest 3 1/2 stars Endangered
Hippopotamus Wetlands 2 1/2 stars Vulnerable
Ibex Alpine 1 1/2 stars Vulnerable
Jaguar Tropical Rainforest 2 stars Low Risk
Lion Savannah 2 1/2 stars Vulnerable
Moose Boreal Forest 1/2 stars Low Risk
Mountain Gorilla Tropical Rainforest 4 stars Endangered
Nile Crocodile Wetlands 1 1/2 stars Low Risk
Okapi Tropical Rainforest 2 stars Low Risk
Ostrich Savannah 2 stars Low Risk
Polar Bear Tundra 3 stars Low Risk
Red Kangaroo Scrub 2 stars Low Risk
Red Panda Temperate Forest 4 stars Endangered
Reticulated Giraffe Savannah 2 1/2 stars Low Risk
Ring-Tailed Lemur Tropical Rainforest 3 stars Vulnerable
Snow Leopard Alpine 2 stars Endangered

Thomson's Gazelle

Savannah 1/2 stars Low Risk

Downloadable ContentEdit

The Asiatic Black Bear, used to be a downloadable content if you had both the PC and Mobile game. Now discontinued. People have now recreated it.

Ambient animalsEdit

Ambient animals fly over and run around in the zoo. You may only get them in the Extinct Research Lab in Extinct Animals.

Expansion packsEdit

Endangered SpeciesEdit

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species.

In October 2005, Microsoft released the Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species expansion pack. This expansion pack adds more rare animals, including the komodo dragonscimitar-horned oryx, and orangutan, as well as a number of new forms of transportation, including sky trams, jeep tours and elevated paths. The expansion also has a feature called "variant skins", which means that when the player adopts an animal, it may look different from normal members of its species (such as a white Bengal tiger and King Cheetah).

African AdventureEdit

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure.

Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure, released May 2006, adds 20 new African animals such as the bongosecretary birdratelgeladamasai giraffegerenuknile monitorpygmy hippopotamusaardvarkmandrillstriped hyena, and the meerkat, allows the player to drive through exhibits with African-themed jeep tours to get closer to them. The expansion pack also includes new maps based on well-known African locations, as well as new desert-themed buildings and lizard live food, and a new set of challenges and campaigns. The Jeep vehicle tours originally included in Endangered Species are featured in this expansion, with the addition of the new Jeep Liberty.

Dino Danger Pack (premium download)Edit

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Dino Danger Pack.

The Dino Danger Pack was released at the end of July 2006. The pack could only be downloaded from the Zoo Tycoon website via credit card. It added four new animals to the game, TyrannosaurusTriceratopsCarnotaurus, and Styracosaurus, as well as new objects to be used for them and a campaign game. The Dino Danger Pack could be purchased for US$4.99 and downloaded at Zoo Tycoon premium downloads. Since the release of Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals, which includes more updated versions of all of the animals included in the pack, Dino Danger was taken offline from the Zoo Tycoon website and can no longer be downloaded.

Zookeeper CollectionEdit

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection.

The Zookeeper Collection was released in October 2006. Rather than being an expansion, it's more of a large standalone pack featuring the Endangered Species and African Adventure expansions, as well as all animals and content from Zoo Tycoon 2. It includes some Marine Mania features, such as the new mode of biome layout.

Marine ManiaEdit

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania.

Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania was released on October 17th, 2006. It features 20 new aquatic animals, new marine options, marine shows and several other brand new gaming features. The expansion also includes marine plants, the ability to build tanks, animal shows, minigames to teach some of your marine animals behaviors, and 4 new aquatic biomes. Which were the reefcoastalpelagic,and benthic zones of the ocean, new scenarios and challenges. Changes have been made to the original method of biome layout allowing the ability to turn off rocks , flowers and/or trees.

Extinct AnimalsEdit

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals.

Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals, was released on October 17, 2007. It is the largest and latest expansion in the Zoo Tycoon series, with 34 adoptable animals, plus two bonus animals. You can hire paleontologists to find fossils hidden under the ground or go in first person to find them yourself. The tools are a fossil finder gun that beeps based on proximity to the fossils. Then, in the laboratory, depending on the animal, you execute a series of clicks and spacebars to increase the lifespan and rarity of the animal. If you execute it perfectly, you will have a perfect animal clone. Like the animals in Zoo Tycoon, they get sick with diseases. Because of extinct diseases, the player must investigate the zoo to find the cure. You have to find the subject, cause and the cure.

Ultimate CollectionEdit

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection.

Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection contains the original game and all four official expansions, similar to Zoo Tycoon: Complete Collection. Many people have had a formatting program on their Ultimate collection discs, causing this particular expansion to be not so popular. This title was released on September 30th, 2008.


The release of Zoo Tycoon 2 in 2004 received mixed views. Many parents played the game with their children, which resulted in the numerous awards for the sequel. Although the game is aimed at children and teenagers, the educational side of the game was the rise to popularity.
However, the numerous bugs for the sequel were a major turning point. Reviews on sites like Gamespot and IGN complain of poor performance of lower-res computers, unimpressive sound system and acceptable graphics.


Zoo Tycoon 2 received numerous awards from various points of view. Multiple awards from parent organizations for being a family-friendly game that could be played by young children (with the assistance of an adult). The sequel also received Dan Takahashi’s "Top 10 Games of 2004". The expansion packs for Zoo Tycoon 2, in particular Marine Mania, also strut over 5 different family friendly gaming awards.

Competition Edit

Since the release of Zoo Tycoon in 2001, many other companies have imitated the gameplay, and the concept of running a zoo. The followers since include RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Wild!Zoo WorldWildlife Park 2, its expansion packs Crazy Zoo and Marine WorldZoo Empire and its platinum pack Marine Park Empire. All of these have different gameplay and content, but all have the same basic concept.

However, Zoo Tycoon seems to have become more popular and better known. Zoo Empire was a relative failure, while the Zoo Tycoon franchise has continued to expand since it first came out. The franchise is still expanding, with more expansion packs coming out. The most recent competition is Deep Silver's Wildlife Park 2, originated in Germany, which has produced two expansions in two years.

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