The launch of the DS saw a handful of simple yet addictive
titles, one of which was Zoo Keeper.
This colorful little puzzler had you switching cute animal faces in and
out with the stylus, ala Bejeweled. Zoo
Keeper amassed a small following and is one of the DS’s more popular puzzle
games to date, surpassed only by Meteos.
Recently, Ignition Entertainment ported the bubbly little game to the
GBA. So, how does it fare?
honest, it’s just about as good as its DS big brother, because it’s basically
the same game. The only thing that has
been dropped is the stylus support, for obvious reasons, but the core gameplay
is just as entertaining as before. Zooo
has the rare ability to eat away time as if it were popcorn, with a “just one
more round” feel. The concept is fairly
simple, but as with all simple things, the combinations are almost endless.
spend all of the game, every mode, swapping rows of zoo animal heads back and forth,
trying to line up three identical faces to make them disappear. These heads appear in an 8 by 8 square that
is constantly replenished. It sounds
easy, but you’ll quickly discover that it takes a keen eye to single out the
areas where you can make rows match up.
All the while a timer is ticking, so you can’t simply rove over the
square lazily looking for matches. It
gets pretty hectic when the time is almost up, and usually the only way to save
yourself is by executing combos. This
means lining up one set so that several others will follow. Flashing heads will eliminate all of one kind
of animal on the board, usually setting off a chain of combos.
is broken up into five game modes, which offer a surprising amount of
variety. Normal has you meeting a
designated score within the time limit, and then moving on to a harder
stage. By stage four or five I was
sweating, a lot, but then again puzzlers aren’t my favorite genre. Tokoton is a little different; capturing 100
animals always bumps you up a level and difficulty. Score and Time Attack are self explanatory,
but the Quest mode is more interesting.
It gives you 8 different tasks to complete, such as collecting a certain
number of combos of one animal type, or completing a number of combos in a set
gamers and hardcore puzzlers alike, Zooo is a great time-waster. It’s just as addictive as Bejeweled, and its
cute graphics style and upbeat music caters to a large audience. The overall concept is rather shallow, but
Zooo is perfect for a quick, eye-twisting break from work or school.
Zooo isnâ€™t the deepest or flashiest puzzle game, but it gets the job done with a pleasing aesthetic style and solid, pick-up-and-play dynamics. Kids and adults will like this one for its simplistic appearance and deceptively challenging gameplay.
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