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Game Review of:
Zoo Tycoon
Marine Mania


Kayla graduates from Elementary School in May and will spend the summer with her sister trying to get the grandparents to ?do it her way?. She and her sister will probably succeed. Joe is a frequent reviewer and is active with the American Red Cross as a disaster volunteer along with his wife, Marion. They tend to spoil the grand daughters and believe that this is what they do best!

From the June, 2003 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

This review is a collaborative effort of the person that really used the game and understands how to make it perform and the “technician” that furnished the computer and installed the program.

“Zoo Tycoon - Marine Mania” also includes “Dinosaur Digs” and these two titles are an add-on to Zoo Tycoon. These games have been developed by Microsoft Game Studios.

I don’t know about your likes and dislikes concerning Microsoft Operating Systems but you can count on their games to be exciting, well developed, and fun for all.

Kayla is one of my granddaughters and is a primary source for information on the games that I get to review. She is a source of pride for me and is an honor student just going into Middle School so my prejudices about her being wonderful, smart, etc. are supported by the facts — not that a grandfather needs facts!

Here are her opinions of the games: 

I played the game Zoo Tycoon Marine Mania and the whole game was great! I loved the fact that you could use the picnic tables, machines, and foliage from Zoo Tycoon, the buildings, and the scenery, from Dinosaur Digs and the things from Marine Mania all In the same zoo!

I only disliked a few things and one of them was that you had to wait for things that you really needed. The lack of water filters and other things that you really need can badly hurt and even kill the animals if you don’t get them when you need them. I don’t like that you have to wait for those things.

Another thing is that when you’re playing with the prehistoric animals you don’t know if a fence can hold a dinosaur till the animal breaks out of the exhibit, damaging your guests.

Other than those minor dislikes the two additions to the game Zoo Tycoon just made it a more fun and exciting Game to Play!”

As you build your water park, you can have many different types of shows with the animals doing tricks that you select much as Sea World shows are done. You must take into consideration the comfort of your guests and their needs for food, drink, bathrooms, picnic tables, rides, etc.

Since you are limited in the amount of money you start with, it is necessary to choose wisely because you must hire staff, run the whole complex, and continue to add animals. Births are exciting and can increase attendance and your gate admissions plus concession sales will grow.

The Killer Whale can do everything Shamu can do and it requires some attention from the trainers that you have to hire. If you are lucky, you can breed the whales and sell the older ones before they die to keep the trauma down for younger children that observe the game.

As Kayla pointed out you have to be sure to put good fences in when you develop the dinosaur part of the system. They come as an egg that will hatch and GROW into a hungry adult. An escape creates a loss of business, as having customers eaten tends to decrease business.

Did I mention that this is much like one of the “Sims” programs? You must pay attention to just about everything but the program will tell you when customers are happy or sad, when an animal is sick, dead, or happy.

You must choose the type of enclosure for your animals and you have the ability to research their habitat to make sure you have the one you want. Toys keep them happy and amused and the otters sure do have a knack for shooting baskets from the three-point line.

Installation was a breeze (XP should be so easy!) but you must make sure to have Zoo Tycoon installed before you add these two programs or it won’t work. The three programs are well worth the cost of about $25 for Zoo Tycoon and about $20 for the combination CD of Marine Mania and Dinosaur Digs.

I do recommend these games for the entire family. The best way is to assign a computer operator, a recorder (to keep track of the animals), a finance specialist and an idea person. This involves everyone and the kids will amaze you with their complex parks.

Go for it.

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