PC Gamer review confirms what we feared

I am actually quite sad that the legitimate fear that many of us had of the game not delivering in the management department has come true.

The review in PC Gamer calls Planet Zoo out for being either exhaustingly over-taxing in management when you do career or franchise mode or being dull if you are playing sandbox.

This review is worse than Planet Coaster got.

I hope the post-launch updates will improve the game but I fear that Frontier just has a problem making an engaging management game.
 
I disagree with PC Gamer's review. I can't imagine how anyone could be bored in Sandbox mode unless they just aren't creative and if that's the case, they shouldn't be in Sandbox mode. There is a steep learning curve for sure but I suspect that the over-taxing in the other modes could be quelled with a slow-down of the timing though. It was a bit much for me too but I didn't play Coaster. I'll bet the reviewer didn't either.
 
Call me weird but I wouldn't trust some random journalist at a popular gaming news outlet to review a game from a niche market like this.

I prefer watching gameplay videos or streams to see if I might like a game before I buy it, preferably by people who have played these types of games before.
 
Of course I made the thread title a bit too provocative, but I do mean that Planet Zoo does not succeed in making it to the top of management games. It is still fun and beautiful to look at. But unfortunately not a classic

Call me weird but I wouldn't trust some random journalist at a popular gaming news outlet to review a game from a niche market like this.

I prefer watching gameplay videos or streams to see if I might like a game before I buy it, preferably by people who have played these types of games before.
I dont think you can call Planet Zoo a niche game anymore. Frontier is a major publisher betting heavily on Planet Zoo (the same way they did on Planet Coaster). Their finance reports are available and open. This is meant to be a big IP.

I disagree with PC Gamer's review. I can't imagine how anyone could be bored in Sandbox mode unless they just aren't creative and if that's the case, they shouldn't be in Sandbox mode. There is a steep learning curve for sure but I suspect that the over-taxing in the other modes could be quelled with a slow-down of the timing though. It was a bit much for me too but I didn't play Coaster. I'll bet the reviewer didn't either.
Of course you can disagree with a review. It is only just an opinion. But I think the review is quite fair to what the strengths and pitfalls of Planet Zoo are.
 
I agree. I really like Geekism's videos. It shows what is possible with this game once you learn it. Basically - unlimited creative potential! My zoo doesn't look like much right now, but once I get the hang of this I'm really looking forward to seeing what I can do with my new video card's Ansel screenshots.

Call me weird but I wouldn't trust some random journalist at a popular gaming news outlet to review a game from a niche market like this.

I prefer watching gameplay videos or streams to see if I might like a game before I buy it, preferably by people who have played these types of games before.
 
I stopped reading game review media years ago.
Their incompetence has become laughable, you can bet that the person who wrote that review doesn't even play builder/management sims. It's like calling a DCS unplayable and ovecomplicated while admitting at the end of the review that you've never played flight sims and don't even have a joystick (That happened, btw. it's not just a hyperbole.)

There's too much agenda and not enough journalism in media in general, but gaming media are the worst.

If you need a review before buying anything, find a youtuber with similar interests in gaming as you and watch them, instead.
 
the game not delivering in the management department
The review in PC Gamer calls Planet Zoo out for being [...] exhaustingly over-taxing in management
Sounds to me like it delivered in the management department just fine, in that case.

This review is worse than Planet Coaster got.
The general consensus seems to the be that Planet Coaster wasn't that challenging... Seems like you can't have it both ways.
 
I stopped reading game review media years ago.
Their incompetence has become laughable, you can bet that the person who wrote that review doesn't even play builder/management sims. It's like calling a DCS unplayable and ovecomplicated while admitting at the end of the review that you've never played flight sims and don't even have a joystick (That happened, btw. it's not just a hyperbole.)

There's too much agenda and not enough journalism in media in general, but gaming media are the worst.

If you need a review before buying anything, find a youtuber with similar interests in gaming as you and watch them, instead.
I like to write my own reviews.
Then I read them to see if the game is any good or not.🤪
 
Painting the Zoo with piece-by-piece objects, it is not playing the game as intended in management style games. I've already had 1 million in my bank account and 15K CC (franchise mode). So no interest to play further. What could challenge you to think and strategize when you are filthy rich in the game?. Everything is too easy. I'm not a painter, I am a manager.
So, maybe, I agree with some points in that review.
 
Painting the Zoo with piece-by-piece objects, it is not playing the game as intended in management style games. I've already had 1 million in my bank account and 15K CC (franchise mode). So no interest to play further. What could challenge you to think and strategize when you are filthy rich in the game?. Everything is too easy. I'm not a painter, I am a manager.
So, maybe, I agree with some points in that review.
But you do realize that Planet Zoo is primarily about building habitats for animals, taking good care of animals, breeding animals, looking at animals, selling animals and releasing animals into the wild, right? All management there is, is there for one reason - to make it a game. The management part should maybe a bit challenging, but it shouldn't be detrimental to the POINT of the game.
I don't know you or your preferences, but I would dare say if you see abundance of money as a PROBLEM in a Zoo Tycon game and can't find a reason to play... maybe you shouldn't be playing (or judging) a Zoo game?

Just sayin'. There are amazing, complex and long lasting economic simulators, out there. This ain't one of them.
 
Painting the Zoo with piece-by-piece objects, it is not playing the game as intended in management style games. I've already had 1 million in my bank account and 15K CC (franchise mode). So no interest to play further. What could challenge you to think and strategize when you are filthy rich in the game?. Everything is too easy. I'm not a painter, I am a manager.
So, maybe, I agree with some points in that review.
Frontier´s game are always like this. Not my cup of tea sadly. I wish they did this management part better, because in combination with pretty neat art and graphics, it would be gold. Sadly, I just feel any satisfaction when I do something in Planet Coaster for instance. simply because it´s too easy.
 
Prepared for a wall of text? Here we go!

"Management" has never been Frontiers strength before. Neither with the oldschool games nor the more modern games (I've played them all a lot) they made it to implement gripping and fascinating management functions. After the first few hours playing the Planet Zoo beta my first thoughts regarding to this topic were "Okay, no real management part again and hopefully the few functions available and the environment doesn't end up in permanent stressorgys like in Jurassic World"

But - All in all I (hope I) can live with that!

It depends on how you approach Frontier games; To me especially the Planet titles are games to spend hours and hours in building/creating cool stuff in an pretty awesome looking sandbox environment with an astonishing attention to detail - And it's not static! It is moving/living/working, in 3D!!! This is Frontiers strength and in my opinion they are the market leader on that score, for reason! Planet Coaster is fantastic! Yeah, there are some 20 year old functions available - like the staff configuration f.e. - Some people call it management functions, I call it nice to have but not really necessary content. Because there's no real impact. There's no exciting gameplay regarding to this. Very simple example: Have you ever had money problems in a Frontier game...?

Similar counts for Elite Dangerous... It's all about collecting/exploring/improving in an breathtaking looking universe, but not about direct management. Nevertheless I love it to fly thorugh the universe by using my HOTAS.

Jurassic World Evolution was a pancake landing in my eyes. In this title Frontier tried to raise the management factor at the expense of the building/creation factor in an awesome looking environment with an astonishing attention to detail ( :p )... Like I already said, pancake landing, stressorgys... Frontier stay true to your roots!

And now Planet Zoo... I have no glue what will happen when my Zoo includes 50 habitats and hundreds of animals... But what I know is, that there are too little functions available for a good animal/issue/desaster/meltdown management, this starts especially with overview functions that are prequisites for a good management game in my opinion - And I'm not talking about 4X-like micromanagement, don't get me wrong.

Can I continue building while the game is not paused in a big Zoo? Or is there another stressorgy similar to JW:E coming up to me, because my zoo is out of control and I don't have the chance to act proactive nor reactive because of lacking interfaces/functions which leads to frustration and demotivation and kills the feeling I expect from a building game? And the time is currently running very fast in Planet Zoo. These are points where I can understand why the word "survival game" was used in their review.

For now I've played 50 hours Planet Zoo. My Franchise Zoo is very little, that's because I'm loosing myself in details while building without quite being bored... And in the end that's all that counts for me when I'd like to play a good building game.
 
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But you do realize that Planet Zoo is primarily about building habitats for animals, taking good care of animals, breeding animals, looking at animals, selling animals and releasing animals into the wild, right? All management there is, is there for one reason - to make it a game. The management part should maybe a bit challenging, but it shouldn't be detrimental to the POINT of the game.
What you've listed are mostly boring repeatable actions. Build habitat (once in a game), buy animals, check on genes and family relations, wait for offspring and sell (or release). Buy, breed, sell... Buy, breed sell... After 15-30 hours of play, everything is done automatically without emphasizing. I did a lot of those repeatable actions yesterday, today, and in the beta. It is not fun at all. Taking care of animals is only a (not so) small part of the bigger picture, including the economy, staff management, guests' needs, building. And when everything is doable too easy, where is fun?
 
In the end, it is interesting that Planet Zoo is considered to be the BETTER management game by PC Gamer. I wouldnt say I agree, but I do agree with the proposition that watching people in rollercoaster in Planet Zoo and riding the rollercoaster yourself was more fun, than watching people watch animals. I love zoos and I love my fellow earthlings, but it just doesnt live up to its premise. I will try to appreciate Planet Zoo for what it is: a beautiful creative canvas. And I will try not to resent it for what it isnt: an engaging management game. We will have to wait for an indie title to scratch that itch
 
Agree. Pc Gamer does not say game is bad says taxing yes a lot to learn. However did op read any of the many other reviews. 9/10 4/5 from most other reviews and yes its one persons review. I love the game personally yes a few bugs but im sure over time will be sorted. It seems these days everyone wants everything fixed NOW. Its a game a good game that I'm sure will get better. Ive no complaints
 
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I spent about 1 hour with the game when it was in beta, and I've spent about ~12 hours with it since release. Mostly playing through the tutorials, and setting something up as a "test run" in challenge mode. I'm not sure how things will play out when my zoo gets much bigger than having 4-6 different habitats, but... I found myself pressing "pause" a lot to try and manage the issues that kept popping up. Being able to "delegate" or hire managerial staff when you hit a certain size or income would be a really, really nice feature to help things stay realistic AND keep the management from getting overbearing.

That being said? It's far more engaging than I thought it was going to be as far as the management is concerned, but it definitely took a decent chunk of time for me to wrap my head around everything and "get there." I'm going to dig into Sandbox mode next to really let my creative juices fly...

And I really do think that creativity--more so than management--is what this game is all about. They found a decent balance between the two in Franchise and Challenge mode (in my opinion). I'm just curious to know what people think could be implemented to simplify things... What about management would you change? That seems more constructive than just saying "It doesn't deliver." Especially when we know this developer is open to making updates like that along the way.
 
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