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Animal Tycoon

For: Mobile

Zoo hullabaloo

Product: Animal Tycoon | Format: Mobile | Genre: Card/ board game, Puzzle, Strategy | Players: 1 | File size:  363KB | Version: Europe
Animal Tycoon Mobile, thumbnail 1
Animal Tycoon is a bit of a trickster, serving up play that isn't quite what you might be expecting.

The 'Tycoon' moniker, for example, suggests a certain amount of empire building, while the mention of animals suggests some kind of knowledge of all things fluffy might well be required.

In truth, though Animal Tycoon does give players the opportunity to see the quickest mating ritual in history (apparently, zoo animals don't need to make contact to produce offspring), its cast of cute and cuddly characters are merely dressing for what amounts to a simple collect-a-thon card game, the idea being to fill slots in your zoo with cards of each and every animal in the pack.

Patter of tiny hooves

In terms of its narrative, Animal Tycoon focuses on filling up the zoo with as many different species as possible in order to attract the highest number of visitors, but in practice this simply means picking out the right cards in an attempt to 'catch-em-all' before your two AI controlled opponents.

Games take a turn-based structure, each player picking a card from a shuffled pack and placing it on a 3x3 grid. Once one of the lines of three is full, it can then be picked up by whichever player is in play and placed in their respective zoo.

Slots for the cards are available in a number of pens, each animal naturally only housed with other members of their species. Opposing gender cards create offspring when housed together.

The main aim is to get each enclosure filled as quick as you can, trying to avoid picking up animals surplus to requirements that have to be housed at your expense, detracting from any points your zoo's line-up earns you at the end of each round.

Masquerading mammals

Play is nicely balanced. The option to buy extra land for your zoo or trade with one of your rivals adds another element of strategy, but its effectiveness is deadened somewhat by a less than inspiring visual take on proceedings. Its slightly confusing set-up only adds to the feeling that Animal Tycoon is a card game unsuccessfully masquerading as a management sim.

A more streamlined approach would pay dividends in this respect, but as it is Animal Tycoon is a more than acceptable way to wile away the minutes. It's a competitive tussle that's not without appeal - assuming you don't have ambitions on setting up your own rival to London Zoo, that is.
Animal Tycoon
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 26 November 2009
Slightly uninspiring and not exactly in-keeping with the 'tycoon' name, Animal Tycoon is a nonetheless playable card game, where turn-based play insures healthy competition
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