Review by mtpfreak

"If you can find a cheap copy of this game, I recommend it."

Zoo Keeper is one of the first few DS games released for the system, and oddly enough was actually a flash game to begin with, but actually turns out to be a great DS game.

The basic storyline is that you work as a Zoo Keeper and have to maintain the Zoo and it's species of animals, nothing special but it doesn't need to be when it's a puzzle game.

In particular this game is often known as Bejeweled, in which you swap pieces on a grid to make a line of 3 or more pieces.

Gameplay - 9/10

The basic gameplay is very straight forward, on the bottom screen you have a grid of animals which you have to switch around in order to create combos, and depending on the gameplay mode you'll have different objectives.

There are four main modes, Marathon, Tokoton 100, Quest and Time Attack, they all offer unique gameplay and interesting ways to play, this review will focus on how Marathon (Zoo Keeper) works.

During gameplay you can use either the D-Pad or the touchscreen, for obvious reasons its better to use the touchscreen.

Unlike Bejeweled, you can swap around pieces whilst combos are taking place, this is a superb improvement over the original because you have some real action going on, this is entirely an action based version of Bejeweled, the puzzle element doesn't exist so much.

Also unlike in bejeweled, being unable to make moves does not result in a game over, instead you get given a point bonus and a new set of pieces, I personally find this preferable because I get to keep playing.

Overall, the gameplay works, it's extremely fun and basic, the reason you'd get this in the first place.

Graphics/Sound - 8/10
Some people will love it, some people will hate it, personally I love it because of the cute japanese appeal.

Everything has a blocky style which looks nice (don't compare it to the online flash version) and the music sounds low tech yet has really nice composition, it's an unusual style that makes you very aware that you're playing a game, you also some some nice cute Japanese voice samples.

Replay value - 10/10
It's your basic puzzle game with high scores, if you're the kind of person with free time or lots of waiting then this will work great for you since the scores will keep you entertained and you've got modes to suit your situation.

Recommendation:

See if you can pick this game up cheap, for a cheap game you'll get a lot out of it to play on occasion. Gameplay sessions can last a long time if you want them to, it's surprisingly fun.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/09/07

Game Release: Zoo Keeper (JP, 12/02/04)


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