Sep 1, 2012

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Jane’s Zoo HD Review

Jane’s Zoo HD Review

I will start by saying I love time management games. Attempting to complete a goal within an allotted amount of time while trying to juggle many obstacles at once gives an addicting sense of urgency; when you reach that goal the sigh of relief and feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming. That is, until you enter the next level which has an even stricter time goal and more obstacles are thrown in your way.

Jane’s Zoo is a story about Jane who’s most recent entrepreneurial venture is opening zoos around the world with her Uncle Ben to save wildlife. You are taken to three different continents to take care of 11 different species of animals. If you can keep all of your animals happy, you are trusted to care for new animals and can move on to the next zoo.

In the game you are charged with feeding the animals and taking care of their spaces. As part of the time management, you also must play mini-games with the animals to make them happy. After certain levels you can buy new mini-games and zoo upgrades with earned coins, or increase Jane and Uncle Bob’s work efficiency. With each level you will have more mini-games to play and more animals to care for, and as an added wrench in the system you have to watch out for pesky crows that will make your animals unhappy.

The game’s graphics and sounds are cartoon-like and basic, but that is typical of an iPad game. The game’s graphics and sound are an improvement on the iPad over the 2009 version because the game is in HD. While they are nothing to write home about, the graphics and sound are not disappointing in any way.

While the game is only a few hours long, challenges await after normal mode by also completing the game in expert mode. You can also achieve expert score in each level. The completest in all of us can certainly appreciate that.

The game is overall fun and I did want to keep playing to the end, but a flaw that I encountered throughout the game and even in expert level was that the game poses nearly no challenge at all. Yes, it is a casual game, but reaching expert score on every level with ease made me feel like I was not working hard enough to reach the goals. Even when it came to making upgrade choices, only one or two upgrades were available at a time; the game never presented any real choice or gave any reason to save coins for purchases. The only challenging choice you have to make is when choosing which bonus to give Jane and Uncle Ben or the animals.

In all, Jane’s Zoo fun, but it could have been more fun if it posed more of a challenge. A casual game does not mean everything needs to be handed to you. A casual game can still be fun while making you think. In the end, you will feel like you achieved something and not just following the steps.

Jane's Zoo HD
Platform: iOS (iPad only)
Genre: Time management
Release Date: August 30, 2012
Developer: Realore Studios
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
iTunes Rating: 4+
MSRP: $4.99


7.5