Planet Zoo continues to expand, encompassing all corners of the world. Its latest DLC, Africa Pack, adds a new continent under its belt.
Africa Pack joins other Planet Zoo expansions – Aquatic, Southeast Asia, Australia and South America – in ensuring the game represents as many species on Earth as possible. With Africa Pack installed, not only can you add a new selection of Africa-native animals to your zoo, you can also decorate it with over 180 pieces of gorgeously crafted new pieces of scenery. It packs in everything you need to create a true slice of African paradise.
Of course, the pieces of scenery become available to you across all areas of Planet Zoo. If you want to add an African-themed area to your zoo firmly situated in the Northern Hemisphere, that’s fine too. The building designs – sand-blasted, with circular windows, flat roofs and painted in warm hues – transport you to a bustling desert market town. You can almost feel the sun scorching your skin just by looking at them.
There are ready-made blueprints you can use, allowing you to create your African-inspired idyll in minutes. Or you can layer up elements, crafting a truly unique attraction. If it’s been a while since you’ve played Planet Zoo, you might need to tune up your skills – it isn’t the most user-friendly game to jump back into without revisiting the tutorials. But if you’re a regular player, then you’ll be able to hit the ground running with every new piece of scenery.
The true attraction of Planet Zoo: Africa Pack, though, is likely to be the six new animals it introduces to the game. They are: Meerkat, Southern White Rhino, African Penguin, Fennec Fox and Sacred Scarab Beetle. As you add them to your existing zoos, you’ll learn all about them, their natural habitats and the best way to care for each of these species.
The Fennec Fox is a particular highlight; as always, each animal has been carefully recreated in-game, looking as realistic as a video game animal ever could. The Fennec Fox is as adorable as ever; its huge ears and mesmerising eyes make it a joy to watch in action.
Planet Zoo: Africa Pack also adds a brand new timed scenario for players to jump into: the Oasis Bazaar. Here, you’ll take control of a small existing zoo. You’ll have a series of goals to meet in a set amount of time: expand the zoo, add new animals, and make it more profitable. It won’t be so easy, however, as you’re limited on usable space, and you’ll experience frequent power cuts due to old and unreliable generators. I wouldn’t recommend jumping into this one until you’re a pro, but if offers a welcome challenge, set against a beautiful backdrop.
The Africa Pack isn’t the only thing that’s new to Planet Zoo this week, however. While you’ll have to pay to access the content from Africa Pack, all players of the game will be updated to Version 1.6 at no extra cost. Along with some quality-of-life updates, like additional animal storage and improved search and filter functions, it adds a number of key features and improvements. A new habitat webcam allows you to see what your animals are up to at any time. The game’s sandbox mode has been improved, with new default options for ease of playing. And there’s a new asset: Vista Points allow guests to better view your zoo, and visiting one will give them a happiness boost – providing your zoo is nice to look at, that is.
There’s also a new timed scenario available to all Planet Zoo players. You’ll take over an existing zoo, and rather than purchasing animals as you would in a normal situation, here you’ll rescue them from Guatemala. Rescued animals will be delivered to you periodically, so you’ll need to be ready for them and ensure you have somewhere safe for them to reside.
Planet Zoo continues to grow and developer Frontier continues to demonstrate its expertise at delivering the best simulation games around. If you opt to purchase Africa Pack, you won’t be disappointed with its new range of decorations and new animal species it brings to the game. But all players get some great updates to enjoy thanks to Update 1.6. There’s no better time to get back into zoo management.
Planet Zoo: Africa Pack is available now on PC priced £7.99/$9.99. You’ll need the base game to play.
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