World Of Zoo is a game made for very small children, Thus, I guess I’ll have to review it from the perspective of a parent, and whether I’d buy it for my own children. I certainly wouldn’t buy it for myself, because it’s shit.
However, kids don’t actually have any taste, so that’s not a problem. What’s important is that World Of Zoo allows your little ones to create and customise more than 60 different animals, which includes varying facial features and body shapes, and, most scarily, their colour.
Yes, finally you have the chance to own a bright-green giraffe with pink spots. I’m honestly a little worried about what message this sends to children, but if it stops them singing along with X-Factor songs, then it’s probably a blessing in disguise.
Assuming you’re not morally outraged by this kind of ‘pimp my animal’ system of gameplay, then your kids will be able to interact with their newly created crimes against humanity. This includes feeding them, playing with them and throwing them toys. To be honest, this is pretty limited even for a pet sim, and plays like a really rubbish Tamagotchi, with more colours.
There’s also the option to trade animals with other World Of Zoo owners, and to visit each other’s zoos. This might well appeal to children’s love of swapping things with their friends, but might also lead to the same tears that inevitably follow when one party realises they’ve got a raw deal and wants their old animal back.
Frankly, I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy World Of Zoo, parents or otherwise. Although children might actually enjoy the very shallow interaction it offers, the lack of educational value is worrying. There is the chance for players to unlock fact cards about the animals in the game, but this seems like an afterthought, and isn’t presented in a way that would be likely to get children to take notice.
If you really want your kids to learn about animals, take them to a real zoo and/or a library. Just don’t waste you money on this rubbish.
World Of Zoo is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.