Zoo Tycoon 2

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Zoo Tycoon 2
Zoo Tycoon 2 Coverart.png
Zoo Tycoon 2 boxart
Developer(s)Blue Fang Games
Publisher(s)Microsoft Game Studios
SeriesZoo Tycoon
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
ReleaseNovember 9, 2004
Genre(s)Business simulation game

Zoo Tycoon 2 is a business simulation video game developed by Blue Fang Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios and MacSoft. Originally released for Windows, Zoo Tycoon 2 is also available for Windows Mobile, PDA, and Mac OS X, although expansions are not included in the Mac version. A Nintendo DS version, titled Zoo Tycoon 2 DS, was released in 2008.

Zoo Tycoon 2 features similar gameplay as its predecessor, Zoo Tycoon; the object of the game is to build and operate a zoo by creating exhibits and aquariums, keeping guests and animals happy, and maintaining employees, finances, terrain, and scenery.


Zoo Tycoon 2 features a number of gameplay modes, each with differing limitations, with the exception of Freeform. A Freeform game in Zoo Tycoon 2 allows the player to choose what kind of zoo to create, with the only restrictions being space, animals, and objects; the player's money supply is unlimited, and all items are available from the beginning of the game, except for those that can only be unlocked in Scenario and Challenge games. Freeform games begin with an empty zoo, to which the player adds animal exhibits and guest facilities such as restaurants and bathrooms; the player must also hire employees to staff and maintain the facilities. The player chooses a plot of land for the zoo to be built upon at the start of a new Freeform game, and each plot of land represents a different biome (the biomes are alpine, benthic, boreal forest, coastal, desert, grassland, pelagic, reef, savannah, scrub, temperate forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, and wetlands); each plot of land is also a different size (large, small or medium).

The player must accommodate their animals with spacious enclosures, adequate food and water, animal enrichment objects (toys or items that otherwise encourage the animals to use their natural instincts, abilities and behaviors), shelters for them to sleep or gain privacy in, and environments that suit them (for example, the Bengal tiger is naturally inhabited to the tropical rainforest biome, as is the common zebra is to the savannah biome); the player must also provide for the guests, which is done by placing food and drink stands, bathrooms, picnic areas, seating, trash and recycling bins, and playgrounds around the zoo. The player can create a range of elevated and lowered terrain types, including hills, valleys, cliffs, basins and ditches.

In addition to Freeform mode, there is also a Campaign mode in which the player chooses a campaign to play through and is placed in the role of an average zoo owner and is assigned different goals to complete; these goals may include having to breed tapirs, train dolphins, and rescuing abused animals; as well, there is a Challenge mode in which the player has a limited amount of money (although the player can choose a starting amount) with which goals must be completed. Some goals are harder than others.

Expansion packs[edit]

Endangered Species[edit]

In October 2005, Microsoft released the Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species expansion pack; this expansion pack adds more rare animals, including the koala, Gray Wolf, Komodo dragon, scimitar-horned oryx, American bison and orangutan, as well as a number of new forms of transportation, including sky trams, jeep tours and elevated paths. The expansion also has a feature called "variant skins", which means that when the player adopts an animal, it may look different from normal members of its species (such as a white Bengal tiger and king cheetah).

African Adventure[edit]

Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure, released in May 2006, adds various new African animals such as the bongo, secretary bird, ratel, and the meerkat, and allows the player to drive through exhibits with African-themed jeep tours to get closer to them; the expansion pack also includes new maps based on well-known African locations, as well as new desert-themed buildings and lizard live food, and a new set of challenges and campaigns. The Jeep vehicle tours originally included in Endangered Species are featured in this expansion, with the addition of the new Jeep Liberty.

Dino Danger Pack (premium download)[edit]

The Dino Danger Pack was released at the end of July 2006; the pack could only be downloaded from the Zoo Tycoon website via credit card. It added four new animals to the game, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Carnotaurus, and Styracosaurus, as well as new objects to be used for them and a campaign game; the Dino Danger Pack could be purchased and downloaded at Zoo Tycoon premium downloads.[1] Since the release of Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals, which includes more updated versions of all of the animals included in the pack, Dino Danger was taken offline from the Zoo Tycoon website and can no longer be downloaded from zootycoon.com, however other sites still offer this pack.

Zookeeper Collection[edit]

The Zookeeper Collection was released on October 17, 2006. Rather than being an expansion, it is more of a large standalone pack featuring the Endangered Species and African Adventure expansions, as well as all animals and content from Zoo Tycoon 2.

Marine Mania[edit]

Released on October 17, 2006, Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania features 20 new aquatic animals, new marine options, marine shows and several other new gaming features; the expansion also includes marine plants, the ability to build tanks, animal shows, mini games to teach some of the player's marine animals behaviors, and four new aquatic biomes (reef, coastal, pelagic, and benthic), and new scenarios and challenges. Changes have been made to the original method of biome layout allowing the ability to turn off rocks, flowers and/or trees. New animals range from the giant whale sharks to the tiny rockhopper penguins.

Extinct Animals[edit]

A typical zoo in Extinct Animals, with Styracosauruses and a short-faced bear

Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals was released on October 17, 2007, it is the largest and latest expansion in the Zoo Tycoon series, with 34 adoptable animals and one bonus animal. The player can find fossils or get staff to find them; the player can put together the fossils and can also create a normal or a "Super" extinct animal in an extinct research lab. The player must also stop rampaging dinosaurs.

Ultimate Collection[edit]

Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection contains the original game, all four official expansions and a new menu theme exclusive to it, similar to Zoo Tycoon: Complete Collection;[2] this title was released on September 30, 2008.[3] Some users reported disk problems, whereby the third disk was the same as the second one. Microsoft sent free disk replacements at their support site.

Microsoft subsequently licensed the game to Ubisoft, who re-released the Ultimate Collection in a variety of formats across multiple territories including a single disk DVD-ROM for Windows PCs.[citation needed]


According to The NPD Group, Zoo Tycoon 2 was the 19th-best-selling computer game of 2004,[4] it rose to 13th place on NPD's annual computer game sales chart for 2005,[5] a position it maintained for 2006.[6]

The game received generally positive reviews. IGN gave the game a 7.5/10 praising the game's lasting appeal while criticizing the game for being too easy.[7] GameSpy gave the game a 7.2/10 praising the improved 3D graphics.[8] The game received an overall Metacritic score of 72.[9]

Zoo Tycoon 2 received a "Silver" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[10] indicating sales of at least 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[11]


  1. ^ "Zoo Tycoon.com - Premium Downloads". Retrieved 2007-10-18.
  2. ^ Zoo Tycoon - ZOO NEWS - JUNE 19, 2008 Archived July 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection. "Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection: Video Games". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  4. ^ Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry; 2005 Sales, Demographics and Usage Data (PDF) (Report). Entertainment Software Association. May 18, 2005. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 4, 2005.
  5. ^ "Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry; 2006 Sales, Demographic and Usage Data" (PDF). Entertainment Software Association. May 10, 2006. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 21, 2006.
  6. ^ Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry; 2007 Sales, Demographic and Usage Data (PDF) (Report). Entertainment Software Association. June 2007. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2008.
  7. ^ Adams, Dan (2004-11-17). "Zoo Tycoon 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  8. ^ Harker, Karla (2004-12-06). "Zoo Tycoon 2". Gamespy. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  9. ^ "Zoo Tycoon 2 Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  10. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009.
  11. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.

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