Review Zooloretto

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by -tcq42-, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. -tcq42-

    -tcq42- Active Member

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    Zooloretto
    I thought this was supposed to be like Zoo Tycoon...

    What is Zooloretto?
    Unfortunately, I was unaware of this when I decided to review the game. Based on the name and the game's icon of a cute panda eating bamboo, you would think that this game is a Zoo Tycoon clone. But that's not the case here.

    Zooloretto is actually a board game ported over to the iPhone OS by SpinBottle Games. The board game itself is supposedly famous, but I've never actually heard of it. As you can imagine, I struggled with this game at first since I had no clue what I had gotten myself into.

    Fortunately, SpinBottle Games did a very good job of porting the game over the iPhone with a nice interface and very cool visuals. It's definitely a very good port of a board game, but it may not appeal to everybody.

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    The old man in the middle looks like a poacher!​

    Gameplay
    If you have never played the Zooloretto board game before, this game might overwhelm you at first. So here's the lowdown on how this game goes. The basic goal in Zooloretto is to construct the most successful zoo possible by obtaining animals and vending stalls. You play against two other CPU opponents and you can unlock more as you get deeper into the game.

    At the start of every turn, the player draws a card. He/she will put that card onto one of three trucks. Then the computers do the same and load cards onto the trucks. The most cards that can be drawn in a round is nine because there are three trucks and three slots on each truck. The cards you can draw include different animals (panda, cheetah, camels, etc), vending stalls, and money (game credit).

    Usually, you would load up specific trucks for the things you would like for your zoo. For example, if you have a panda exhibit and you want to completely fill the exhibit for more points, you would put more pandas on your truck. Now the key here is to take the right truck at the right time. You do not have to pick a truck that is full, so you may take a truck if there is only one animal on it. If it fits your need, take it because you may end up with a truck of excess animals and you might have to put them in a barn where they might suffocate. Not only does that deduct points, but you can also get charged with animal cruelty. After 15 animals are drawn, the game ends and the scores are tallied. The person with the highest score obviously wins.

    I think that pretty much does it for how the game works. It sounds really difficult, but that's basically how every board game instruction goes. Have you ever tried to read the instruction manual on how to play Monopoly? Makes it sound a lot harder than it really is. Once you get the hang of the game, it's pretty fun.

    In terms of the actual iPhone game itself, it's done pretty well. The game has a decent degree of difficulty where you will have to get to know the game before you even have a chance to win. The controls are usually drag and drop, making it very friendly for even the most novice users. The only complaint that I have about the gameplay is that there aren't enough animals and the zoos are a bit too small. It would definitely be more of a strategical challenge when you have around fifteen types of animals instead of eight and more than five exhibits in the the zoo.

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    As you can see, you don't have too much room to work with.​

    Visuals
    I don't think a developer can ever mess up the graphics on a game that is supposed to look like a cartoon. Sure enough, SpinBottle games followed suit and made the game look pretty good.

    The game is basically a 2D game due to the fact that you put some animals on a non-moving 2D background of the zoo. At times, it may look 2.5D, but that might be because the animals actually move and have their own lighting to make it look like they're somewhat 3D.

    What is probably the best thing about the game visually is that the colors are so vibrant. It fits perfectly with the cartoon-like feel of the game. Each animal exhibit is a different kind of environment, so the green grass of the grassland really contrasts well with the yellow sands of the desert. It all makes the game look like a nice rainbow of vibrant colors that is very pleasing to the eye.

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    Zooloretto, more than meets the eye. Zooloretto, board game in disguise.​

    Audio and Presentation
    Usually, board games that turn into video games have that looping background music. This one definitely fits the stereotype. What's pretty cool about the game in terms of audio is that the animals make noise. It's especially awesome when you hear the noise a baby panda makes when it's born. Too bad that doesn't happen often enough in real life or the panda population might not be endangered. That's why you have to love video games.

    The game's menus are very simple to navigate and the interface itself looks very good. However, what's missing here is some kind of detailed tutorial to help new players (like me) know what I'm supposed to do. It's like the developers just thought that only people who knew how to play the game were going to buy it. In my opinion, that's not a real good way to go about your business. Because obviously, not everybody in the world has played a German board game about managing a zoo.

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    Oh noes! That poacher is going to capture those pandas!​

    Replay Value
    Good board games tend to last for a very long time. Monopoly's been around for decades and people still play it like it just came out the other day. Zooloretto is no different. It's a very strategy-rich board game that will keep you interested for a while. Every game can go a different way. Plus, the more you play, the more characters you unlock. The more characters you unlock, the more outcomes there could be.

    At the least, you'll play the game for a couple of hours in order to figure it out. If you don't even have enough patience to do that, go see a doctor. For fans of the game, it will provide months of entertainment. If you also have a friend or two who might be interested, you can play a multiplayer game on one iPhone or iPod touch.

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    The all-seeing God Mode. Mwahaha...oh wait.​

    Final Thoughts
    Zooloretto is a very good transition from board game to iPhone game. It features the same strategic gameplay of the board game as well as some very good looking visuals. In addition, you can also play the game with friends as it has a multiplayer mode. The game should appeal to fans of the game as well as board game enthusiasts. However, if you would rather blow off a zombie's head and you have the attention span of a monkey, this game is not for you.

    All in all, Zooloretto is a solid game with some very good features. It has some flaws and does not appeal to everybody. But there is no doubt that SpinBottle games did a very good job of porting the game over to the iPhone.

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  2. Abcmsaj

    Abcmsaj Retired Moderator

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    What is Monopoly like, btw?

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    Seems expensive for something I already have under my bed
  3. -tcq42-

    -tcq42- Active Member

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    The actual Zooloretto board game is like $30. For $5, it's not too bad.
  4. studangerous

    studangerous Super Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Gotta say I love reading your reviews dude. Very sharp & informative. Not a game I'm going to get as I've never heard of Zooloreto but for fans it looks great. Nice job.
  5. Abcmsaj

    Abcmsaj Retired Moderator

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    But do I get Zooloretto, Monopoly or Cluedo?

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    Hmm.. so many board games..
  6. SumDaii

    SumDaii Active Member

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    nice review.... no wonder you're a MR.

    btw.. where did you get this from? :

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  7. -tcq42-

    -tcq42- Active Member

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    Thanks.

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    ------------------double post merged------------------
    I'll give you the .PSD on MSN.
    ------------------double post merged------------------
    Monopoly's like 250 MB and it would take a while to download. I'd say this one.
  8. Abcmsaj

    Abcmsaj Retired Moderator

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    Abcmsaj

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  9. -tcq42-

    -tcq42- Active Member

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  10. Radish

    Radish Banned

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    Looks a bit like Zoo Tycoon but a board game

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    Very informative review ;D

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