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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Let’s Build a Zoo expansion adds dinosaurs, ‘Caveman Meat’

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Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park novels and their adaptations all serve as a warning against playing God, but Let’s Build a Zoo’s new expansion Dinosaur Island reminds us: isn’t playing God actually really tight?

Indie management sim Let’s Build a Zoo already boasts godless genetic experiments and exotic meat sales, so it was only a matter of time until developer Springloaded added the full Jurassic Park experience on top. The expansion adds over 50 new specimens to track down and show off, including the titular dinos, cavemen, sabertooths, and woolly mammoths, all accessible through fossil digs and morally dubious cloning.

Speaking of questionable ethics, the base game’s creature splicing and exotic meat vending return, with promotional screenshots showing the sliding scale of “caveman meat” quality you can feed your guests, as well as some alarming genetic hybrids like a pterodactyl with a triceratops’ head.

The expansion comes alongside a substantial free update for Let’s Build a Zoo, including controller support, employee-only areas, and the ability to plant and harvest trees. I’m particularly interested in the new waste storage and eco-friendliness options. Budding zookeepers can now use animal droppings (complete with unique sprites for each species!) as a resource, and it’s also now possible to make your zoo completely carbon-neutral, introducing the moral ambiguity of a green operation that also sells “caveman meat.”

Let’s Build a Zoo and Dinosaur Island are currently on sale, with the expansion on its own going for $9, and a bundle of the two for $21.

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