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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Let’s Build a Zoo is a cute yet chaotic sim full of animal abominations

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VIDEO: Why you should play Let’s Build a Zoo. Also on YouTube.

Take a quick look at Let’s Build a Zoo, and you’ll see your bog-standard zoo management game. There’s a tiger, there’s a cow… wait, is that an elephant’s head on a giraffe’s body? How does that even work?

It’s something I found myself asking a lot as I pondered the various crimes against nature you can commit in Let’s Build a Zoo. Sure, at its core it is very similar to the likes of Planet Zoo and Zoo Tycoon. But then Joe Exotic wanders into my zoo and offers to sell me a raboose—a cross between a rabbit and goose—and it feeds some weird chaos-loving part of my brain that the other games can’t satiate.

Of course, you’re not forced to dabble in these questionable activities. They often appear as random events, offering you a choice in the matter. One man asked me if I would like him to paint my horse to look like a zebra. Zebras are much cooler than horses, apparently. 

It’s these fun, if rather immoral, choices that make Let’s Build a Zoo feel a little spicier. But even without all the weird science, it’s still an awfully enjoyable zoo management game. The 2D art style is great and lends itself to making your animal mash-ups more palatable. It’s also super easy to plonk down and subsequently rip up your various attractions and enclosures, perfect for indecisive decorators like myself.

Let’s Build a Zoo is only available as a demo on Steam right now, but the full release promises over 500 animals, with 300,000 different ways to squish them together into new, heinous creations.

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