Wildlife Park Gold Edition PC CD-ROM
Developed by NovaTrix GmbH
Release Date: Out Now
Arriving after the fantastically popular Zoo Tycoon, Wildlife Park was in many ways the more complete and challenging game. In fact whilst Zoo Tycoon in some ways felt that it was gentle paced to appeal to more casual gamers Wildlife Park actually managed to deliver a real challenge. We reviewed Wildlife Park when it was first released and awarded the game a well deserved 8.9/10. What we have of course is the Wildlife Park Gold Edition that not only includes the great original game but also the Wild Creatures expansion pack. As we have already reviewed Wildlife Park (you can read the review here) we'll take a look at the Wild Creatures expansion pack.
Wild Creatures, which installs as a stand alone game, offers a 10 scenario campaign (2 of these are tutorials), 15 new animal species, new plants and equipment as well as the ability to train your animals. The Free Play mode has also been improved allowing you to configure a variety of details before you begin. The most striking feature of the game is the Breeding-Back ability that your zoo now has. Breeding-Back is basically the ability to breed a once extinct animal species by using similar animals that are alive today. For instance using a mammoth's DNA and an Indian elephant it's possible to have baby mammoths in your zoo. One of the Zoo Tycoon expansions, Dinosaur Digs, allowed you to have dinosaurs in your zoo but at least the developers have managed to think up the interesting concept of Breeding-Back to make the whole thing of having pre-historic animals in your zoo slightly more plausible. On the whole the Wild Creatures expansion is a solid addition that compliments the original game.
Graphically Wildlife Park and its expansion are 2D isometric affairs that look OK and do the job quite nicely. You can zoom in if you want to but to be perfectly honest the graphics do look pixelated and quite poor when zoomed in so the chances are it's a feature you won't use much. The animals look and animate quite impressively though and whereas in Zoo Tycoon 2 the animals almost have a slightly cartoon like appearance, in Wildlife Park it's obvious that the developers attempted to make the animals looks as realistic as possible which I personally prefer.
It's quite amazing just how many strategy games you can now buy that are less than £10. To be perfectly honest though, most of these are rubbish. There are some gems to be had though and I would certainly class Wildlife as one of these. Zoo Tycoon may have sold a lot more copies but in many ways Wildlife Park is a more comprehensive game and offers more of a challenge. We said in our review of Wildlife Park that the game is very deaf gamer friendly (there's no speech in the game at all) and it's exactly the same for the Wild Creatures expansion. There's months of fun to be had with the original game alone and coupled with the expansion pack it's a real bargain that strategy fans should not miss out on.
Overall Game Rating: 4.5/5
Wildlife Park was a much underrated game when it was first released and with it now being bundled with the expansion for less than £10 it's an offer that's too good to miss.
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click the letter or here for details)
There's no visual clues for the audio but all information is in text (there's no speech in the game) so you'll be fine.