New Software To Be Reviewed Review

Simplz Zoo: Managing the Menagerie

Submitted by jerrymouse on Thu, 2010-02-04 23:08.
Author's Product Rating:
Ease of Use: 
The lowest price: 0$
You can buy it at RegNow for that price.
New concept of zoo building, cross-over between match-three and building games, diagonal swap, great for match-three experience, synergy between the two parts, many different points to earn.
Cartoonish graphics, zoo building game definitely needs improvement as far as the GUI goes, music is not so good.

Owning a zoo with all kinds of exotic animals and curious visitors is a dream come true with Simplz Zoo! This wonderful game from Reflexive Entertainment is a cross-over between match-three and build-a-lot genres. The player begins with a vast expanse of grass to build a zoo on, with only one lion as the exhibit. Obviously the previous owner who has bequeathed the property to you did not do much to make the zoo become #1 in the world. Well, that is the goal of the game.

Soon you are led off to a puzzle, where you have the opportunity to earn the much-needed resources for your zoo. Lining up three or more woodpiles, hard hats, coins or steaks will yield equal number of building supplies, personnel, money and food for animals. Unlike many other matching games, this one allows diagonal swap, which is all but welcoming for situations where you have the odd little piece sitting in the corner. Some of the pieces have tiles behind them, and popping those pieces will give you chunks of pathways to put in the zoo.

The object of each puzzle game is to collect a certain number of resources, pieces of sidewalks, or special boxes containing decorative items such as trees, direction signs, benches, flowerbeds, benches, etc. The game does not remain simple as you will soon encounter pieces locked to their places, which can be freed only by making a match with them. An interesting twist is saving an animal through a maze inside the puzzle by popping pieces and leading it to its ‘natural habitat’. Thus, you also earn conservation points and research points, which unlock research facilities and animal houses, and allow you to buy rare species. As a direct result, you will see more visitors flowing into your zoo and slowly carry it to the top.

The building game also gets interesting. Choosing to buy the right kind of animals or birds, or founding a research institute will get you going. Balloon dialog boxes out of visitors’ mouths will tell you what they really expect in your zoo. The buildings can be moved anywhere at no cost. Vendors, shops, academies, clinics, trash bins – there’s no end to the types of facilities you can erect. Research institutes allow you to research new animals, which are added to your menagerie at the end. All of these contribute to your standing in the competitive zoo business.

There is a lot of synergy between the two parts of the game. Even though the matching game gives you the resources, the building game also has a part to play in its counterpart. As soon as you have an ape cage in your zoo, the steak symbols in the matching game gets replaced with bananas, which give you 3 times the food as steaks. There are other similar puzzle power-ups that you get from the building game.

The game is by no means simple and easy. There are numerous power-ups, as well as challenges. You can choose to play with the timer enabled, and I never managed to finish on time after the first two levels. Even though you can do diagonal swaps, the board shapes can be pretty crooked and there will be an odd piece remaining at the end. The camouflage hat, which changes nearby symbols to identical ones, can give you an upper hand in those cases. So does the eagle icon which can be used to remove any useless piece.

Graphics is at best cartoonish. The match-three game has animated features. But I was disappointed with the zoo map. Everything is 2D there, exactly like kids’ drawings. Animals don’t do anything special to attract attention; sometimes you can’t even see them inside the building. The map is too big to browse with the mouse, although there is an option to zoom in and out. Building roadways is a pain, since you cannot drag a single road piece around to build a continuous path; you have to keep clicking them in place. Music can get pretty much repetitious.

The game has nice potentials and an interestingly new concept. My expectations would be to improve its graphics and music, as well as adding more ‘life’ and easier GUI abilities in the building part. For the price, it is quite an enjoyable game, with countless different buildings to build and animals to put in cages. Recommended, but not too strongly!


Simplz: Zoo from Reflexive Entertainment is a cross-over between match-three and build-a-lot genres. While the match-three game is excellent, the building part is not up to my expectation. Recommended for match-three lovers!