Have you ever wondered what it’s like to own your very own zoo? Do you want to experience the thrill of hunting animals in their own habitat so that you can capture and display them for the paying public to see? Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do that with Disco Zoo. This is not a simulation game, but it does offer players the unique chance to collect different creatures – real or otherwise – in different kinds of locations and terrains around the world.
Disco Zoo is drawn in pretty much the same manner as Tiny Towers, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as they came from the same game developer Nimblebit. Some of the creatures may look like their real life counterparts, but only if you squint really hard. Realism isn’t the game’s selling point, however, but rather the puzzle like elements that are involved whenever you would like to venture forth and try to capture animals.
When hunting, players must unlock vehicles that will allow them to travel to different locations and look for creatures native to that particular area. From there, it’s a matter of clicking at squares to reveal either empty spaces, coins, or parts of animals that must be completed before they can be captured and added to your zoo. If you are familiar with the game Battleship, then you would be used to the way to finding animals within the grid, as the first step is to mainly find a particular section of an animal by chance, and then working your way until all parts have been revealed.
While in-app purchases would allow you to gain access to the patterns of most of the creatures available within the game, players can pretty much be able to discern possible patterns based on the actual shape of the animal in question. Don’t rely on this premise exclusively, however, as experience is truly the key in order to be able to quickly gather as many animals within the grid within the allowed attempts. Of course, a little bit of luck is required as well. You might fail to get anything but a few coins during your first few hunts, but you’ll surely be able to see a pattern or two after the next few ones, allowing you to capture at least the more basic animals with more ease.
Once captured, players will have to play the waiting game as, if the character is a new addition to your zoo, a dedicated area is built. These animals would then be able to generate coins for you on a regular basis, and these would in turn be used in order to be able to participate in bigger and better hunts. Spectators will also drop random coins from time to time, and manually collecting them will give you the chance to build up your stash at a faster rate.
With regards to monitoring the game, players are recommended to constantly check up on their animals as they tend to sleep after a period of being awake. This simply involves waking up the creature so that it would be able to continue generating coins for you. Leveling up, which is done by collecting more animals of the same, will increase not only coin production, but the time that animals would stay awake, allowing you to leave the game for longer without having to worry about having to check up on your creatures every now and then.
In order to alleviate this problem further, there’s also a Disco mode where in creatures can be forced to stay awake for extended periods as well as generate double the coins that they usually would, although this will cost premium currency which more often than not would cost real life money to procure. This is the best way to earn more coins which would then translate to more hunts.
Disco Zoo may not be the most complicated of games nor the most entertaining, but it surely is very challenging especially If you are the type of overachiever that wants to get things right each and every time. Being able to capture all required animals, especially the rare ones, will oftentimes more luck than skill, but being able to recognize patterns as well as having the ability to weigh in risks and rewards whenever tiles are tapped on will also play a factor. Of course, it’s also quite fun and rewarding to see your collection of animals grow slowly from a handful to dozens or even hundreds more.
Disco Zoo may not appeal to everyone, but it does offer up a decent enough challenge so that it can be played on a constant basis. Once you’ve built up a respectable enough zoo with a couple of animals in captivity, you can definitely be able to stop and play a couple of hunts before you’d need to start building up your coin stash again. You can also try to actively search for animals in order to make your zoo bigger and better than everyone else’s. Players will probably not reach that latter phase, but still, Disco Zoo is worth a few hours of your time, and the premium currency model is completely ignorable, allowing you to play the game with no risk for the pure fun of it, and at no additional cost.
Tested on iPhone. Final Score: 6/10
Disco Zoo was created by Milkbag Games and was published by Nimblebit. It is available for both iOS and Android devices via the iTunes Store and Google Play, respectively, and was released on February 27, 2014.