Zoo Keeper DSi and DS Lite
DSi and DS Lite
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Zoo Keeper Product Details
Released on 11/03/2005
Using the Touch Screen, players tap the Nintendo DS stylus to swap the positions of animals on screen to create lines of three or more of the same type. These animals are then captured, allowing other animals to fall into their place. This easy to pick-up and intuitive system is complimented by a unique look designed by the popular the Japanese developer.
- Wireless Communication capability for two-player (Single-Card Play)
- Five different game modes
- An input system that is ideally suited to the Touch Screen
- An instantly understandable and intuitive game system
- Incredible visuals
- Highly relevant plot involving an actual Zoo Keeper
Scot checks out stupidly addictive puzzler Zoo Keeper.
Zoo Keeper is the kind of puzzle game the Nintendo DS was built for. The concept is ridiculously simple - anyone familiar with the old PC classic puzzle game Bejewelled will know what to expect - but there's one main difference: you're playing with animals rather than shiny gems. On the game screen is a grid of differently-coloured animals, each shown as easily distinguishable coloured blocks. The aim is to move these blocks into matching rows of three or more to remove them from the grid and score points; hit the total for that round and you'll advance to the next level. Lather, rinse, repeat.
a lively, joyful puzzler even when the pressure is mounting
However, nothing can be quite that simple. Blocks can not be moved unless they complete a matching line of three or more, and only adjacent blocks can be swapped around, one at a time. Yet, it's all a lot easier to handle than it sounds. In fact, Zoo Keeper is a game that doesn't tend to push you quite as hard as most puzzlers, yet all the while it's one that proves just as captivating as the best - the constant threat of the clock doesn't distract, yet it's enough to make you aware of its presence and goad you towards completing the grid.
Obviously, there's no getting around the fact that this is someone else's idea, but part of what makes Zoo Keeper so down-right enjoyable is its amicable presentation. The cute, light-hearted visual style always remains very bright, very clean, very recognisable, while the accompanying sound [after turning the infuriating background music off] is similarly chirpy. All of this contributes to the game's cheerful atmosphere, making this a lively, joyful puzzler even when the pressure is mounting.
The DS Difference...
What stands Zoo Keeper out from the crowd of other Bejewelled clones is its breakthrough use of technology. Those who are familiar with the original concept will instantly recognise the benefits of using a stylus in a game like this. In fact, those who were brought up with the PC original will find it hard to return to once they spend some time with the new interface - not that they'll necessarily want to after seeing the game in all its radiant, vibrant glory.
Swapping the usual mouse-driven interface for a stylus and touch-screen works just as you'd expect - precise, responsive and, above all, unproblematic. It becomes increasingly easy to link together chains as you're able to swiftly move from block to block, something a device even as exact as a mouse is unable to replicate as accurately as this. Despite the obvious fact that this is a clone of someone else's game, the new control system adds something new - something any fan of observational puzzlers such as this will appreciate greatly.
Review by: Scot Bennet
Review Published: 12.04.05
Zoo Keeper (12/04/2005)
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