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.


The Zoo Tycoon 2 gameplay revolves around creating suitable exhibits for animals through habitat modifications (ground cover, water, elevation, foliage and rocks and a variety of items including food, enrichment and shelter) which fulfill the animal's needs (habitat, hunger, thirst, stimulation, privacy, sleep, social, exercise). Guests will visit the zoo to see the animals, and they also have needs that need to be fulfilled through scenery and buildings (hunger, thirst, bathroom, seating, entertainment).

Zoo Tycoon 2 features three gameplay modes: Campaign, Challenge and Freeform. In Campaign mode, the player plays through a scenario in an existing zoo and is assigned different goals to complete, such as achieving a certain fame level, caring for rescued animals, or breeding endangered species. In Challenge mode, the player starts a zoo from scratch and will be given random challenges which can be accepted or rejected. In both of these modes, players will have limited money to manage and will start with limited access to animals and items, with more becoming available as zoo fame level increases. The last mode, Freeform, allows the player create a zoo from scratch with unlimited money and access to all animals and items from the start.

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, 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 there. 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 combination 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 then assemble the fossils, and can also create normal and "Super" extinct animals in an extinct research lab. The player can 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]


Aggregate score
Review scores
GameRevolution2/5 stars[6]
GameSpy3.5/5 stars[8]

According to The NPD Group, Zoo Tycoon 2 was the 19th-best-selling computer game of 2004.[10] It rose to 13th place on NPD's annual computer game sales chart for 2005,[11] a position it maintained for 2006.[12]

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[9] , while GameSpy noted the improved 3D graphics.[8]

Zoo Tycoon 2 received a "Silver" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[13] indicating sales of at least 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[14]


  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. ^ "Zoo Tycoon 2 for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Gillen, Kieron (December 22, 2004). "Zoo Tycoon 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  6. ^ Radakovic, Nebojsa (November 11, 2004). "Zoo Tycoon 2 Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Park, Andrew (November 29, 2004). "Zoo Tycoon 2 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Harker, Karla (2004-12-06). "Zoo Tycoon 2". GameSpy. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  9. ^ a b Adams, Dan (2004-11-17). "Zoo Tycoon 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009.
  14. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.

External links[edit]