Planet Zoo is a realistic simulation zoo game that strives to teach players about conservation and how zoos function. You become the keeper as you manage everything from finance to breeding programs, but there are some things where Frontier missed the mark. A few aspects of your new job don't line up with how keepers in zoos actually function.
We have uncovered some of these discrepancies, as well as laid out the things they managed to get right. You might not have noticed some of these things when you first started playing, but now you will be granted a new perspective. Keep reading to learn about five things Planet Zoo gets right about zoo keeping, and five it doesn't!
10 Right: Keepers Walking To Huts To Make Food
The developers decided to utilize something called the Keeper Hut where the zookeepers go to make the food for the animals. This is very realistic because keepers in real zoos just don't pull meals out of thin air.
They are required to feed the animal based on its dietary needs and that doesn't include prepackaged food. We love this aspect of the game, even though occasionally this can kill some of our starving animals as they wait for a keeper to arrive with their meal.
9 Wrong: Caretakers Transport Animals From Quarantine Or The Trade Center
If you watch when an animal is taken from the trade center or quarantine, oftentimes it is a caretaker who transports them to their new exhibit. There is no way in any zoo that someone who picks up trash all day for minimum wage would be given the responsibility to transport a tiger to its new exhibit.
It is just not realistic, but we see why they had to do it this way. The keepers already have so many responsibilities, it was a task that caretakers could take on during their spare time to cut down on the in-game keeper's workloads.
8 Right: Animals Can Escape If Given The Wrong Enclosure
You wouldn't stick a bear behind a flimsy wire fence in real life, and the same goes for the game. If you give your animals the wrong enclosure they are prone to destroying the barriers and breaking free of their enclosure.
Your guests will run screaming for the hills while your dangerous animal peruses the paths of your zoo. It is quite an exceptional feature, even if the animals don't eat humans for lunch in this game. They will frolic around until a vet comes by and takes them back to their rightful habitat.
7 Wrong: Keepers Fill Enrichment Items First
If you were a zookeeper who came upon a starving animal, your first thought would probably be to fill up their main food dish. Planet Zoo says this is wrong as keepers prefer to fill all of the enrichment items before the actual food dish.
We don't really understand their thinking as we continue to delete these items and watch our animal's welfare levels rapidly decrease as time passes. It makes no sense and it backward thinking from how keepers in a zoo would react in these types of situations.
6 Right: Animals Need Enrichment To Be Happy
Animals in a zoo need to be kept entertained with things that help keep their natural instincts alive. They are not meant to live their lives in an enclosure with nothing but food and water being served to them every day, rather, they are supposed to be given enrichment items.
These simulate things that they might find in the wild, like strange scents, items filled with food that they have to scavenge for, and a variety of toys to keep their spirits high. The animals in your virtual zoo need the same type of stimulation to live happy lives and be fulfilled despite not living in the wild.
5 Wrong: Keepers Can Walk Into Predator Habitats
There are some zoos where the keepers are on good terms with a few of their larger predators like lions, tigers, and bears, but many are not. Planet Zoo allows the keepers to walk directly into any habitat, despite a major predator walking about the grounds.
They can go right up to one of these creatures and there will be no reaction whatsoever. It was necessary for this to happen in this way as otherwise, it would make it too difficult for keepers to do their job efficiently.
4 Right: Different Animals Have Different Terrain Needs
Animals live in different climates, which means they have different needs when it comes to the layout of their exhibit. This is something the game excels at as players are required to tailor these habitats based on terrain, hard shelter, plant life, and amount of space in terms of land, water, and climbing needs.
It adds another dimension as it forces players to learn about these creatures in order to properly care for them. They have also added things like coolers and heaters for players to use in order to maintain certain temperatures based on the animal's preferred climate.
3 Wrong: Animals Are Boxed Up For Transportation
When an animal needs to be transported in a real zoo, there are several steps the zoo takes to make this happen. They usually have to tranquilize it, hook it up to an anesthetic, give it oxygen, and place it onto some sort of vehicle in order to take it from place to place.
This isn't true when it comes to the game as staff transport the animals by boxing them up and carrying them from place to place in their arms. It's not really a plausible solution to the problem, but it is what they have come up with to simplify the process.
2 Right: Keepers Can Detect Injuries On Animals
Keepers are usually assigned to a specific group of animals or habitats in a zoo, which means they understand how the animal generally acts and looks. The game allows keepers to detect injuries on an animal and call for a vet when they believe it needs medical attention, which is exactly what would happen in a real zoo.
It really helps with the realism of the game as a whole so you don't have to focus on monitoring the animals consistently while still managing every other aspect of your virtual zoo.
1 Wrong: They Do Not Run Education Programs
Keepers in zoos generally help run some sort of education program as they are the ones who are knowledgeable about the animals. These programs help the general public grow in their appreciation of certain endangered species, but this game failed to implement this.
They did give players education boards and speakers, but some would have liked this other element to give it an added dimension of play. We understand why they didn't add it in as this would add more responsibilities onto the keepers, but we hope they might be able to add in some sort of show in the future.