Since 2019, two building games have dominated my life. One of them, of course, is Anno 1800. In my opinion, this is the best building game ever, and it gets even better every year – thanks to tons of really in-depth DLCs. I have been playing this building game constantly since it was released.
The second build-up game flies a bit lower under the radar. Or to try a more appropriate picture: it’s a little harder to spot in the undergrowth of the game world. It’s Planet Zoo. Also a very excellent title, but the extensions rarely generate as much attention as with Anno.
The DLCs are actually almost always worth their money and many free updates have further refined the Parksim over the years. You will learn more about it in our night test. But if there’s one DLC that really needs your attention, it’s the newly announced Twilight Pack:
Planet Zoo: Get a Glimpse of the New Animals in the Dark Trailer for the Twilight DLC
There’s an animal in this brand new DLC that I’ve been waiting for since its release. It’s not the animal itself that turns me on.
All in all, the Twilight Pack delivers five new animal species, all of which are nocturnal and therefore feel most comfortable in the dark. Among them, a thieving raccoon, a cute wombat, the classic red fox, and a stinky skunk — which I already mentally classify in my zoo area for strange animals.
But – the real star in the ranks of nocturnal animals is the Egyptian fruit bat! She is the night, she is justice. But above all, it is one thing: a flying beast. And that’s exactly why I was so excited after the announcement and had to tell all my colleagues about it.
As cool as bats are, this mammal is not responsible for my excitement. After all, Planet Zoo could already come up with a motley selection of animal species upon release, but this selection never felt complete. In the beginning, even zoo classics like penguins or polar bears were absent, but thanks to the expansions, they are now sliding on their ice floes.
more on the topic
Planet Zoo: list of all animals
What many fans had to do without were classic birdhouses. You know, the areas no zoo visitor ever mentions as their favorite experience on the drive home. Which you actually only walk through because they are on their way to the lion enclosure. But whether it’s exciting or not: birds simply belong in a complete animal park! I would like a space where I can present exotic birds. Whether the visitors like it or not.
And now that wish is coming true. With the bats, the first flying animal has finally made its way to Planet Zoo and that not only makes me happy, but could also be a very important sign for the future of park simulation.
Planet Zoo isn’t ready yet
Planet Zoo turns three in November. That’s quite a lot, and even endless build-up games are in danger of succumbing to the weight of their own DLCs. Anno 1800 can no longer be trusted to keep up with new expansions without slowly starting to crack the foundation. We talked about this in the podcast with strategy guru Writing Bull.
With Planet Zoo, I also started to have doubts about how long I could expect DLCs here. After all, developers are increasingly fishing for unusual themes for their animals. In the beginning there were packs for Australia or South America – now there are DLCs about endangered species and nocturnal animals. This begs the question: are there enough exotics in such packaging to justify a purchase? Do I really want a skunk in my zoo?
Everyone has to decide that for themselves. As for me, I believe Planet Zoo still has plenty of room for furry, scaly, or feathered friends. Once, because the nature there is enormous. But also because certain areas have not yet been explored at all. The bats have finally pushed open the door to cages full of flying birds—and I hope a lot. I want to see toucans, birds of paradise and parrots in my zoo. But also pelicans, owls or bald eagles.
Originally I thought Frontier would save that for a sequel. But why wait? And if birds should soon be possible, wouldn’t aquariums ever be conceivable?
That’s a whole new perspective! And reason enough for me to keep myself busy with Planet Zoo for the next three years. Ultimately, Planet Zoo could even survive Anno 1800 with it.