Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania Review


Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania is an expansion for Zoo Tycoon 2 that lets you add some of your favorite finned friends to your zoos or lets you build your very own Sea World complete with killer whale shows. A few handy features have been added to the game in general, but the fish are the stars of the show here.

Before you can add aquatic creatures to your zoo you’ll need to give them a place to live and that’s where the new tank building tools come in. When building a tank you start by enclosing an area with tank walls and then by adjusting the height of the walls and the depth of the floor. This lets you make big deep tanks for animals like sharks and orcas or shallow tanks for your rays. Next you’ll need to fill the tank and you do so by first selecting a biome as when building enclosures for land animals. Marine Mania adds two new segments to the biome selection tool: shallow water and deep water. Pick the water appropriate for the animals that you’ll be adding to the tank, click on the tank, and it will be filled in an instant. When adding water to your first tank you’ll notice something new in the biome tool. Now you can click check boxes to automatically add rocks, plants, and the like when creating a new environment. This new feature does not just apply to the tanks; you can use it when creating new exhibits for land creatures as well. While it won’t be useful to those who want complete control over the placement of every last thing in their exhibits, it’s a nice addition for everyone else that allows you to get your exhibit open with a lot less time and effort than before.

There’s a nice variety of animals included in Marine Mania. You get sharks, manatees, rays, fish, and mammals as well including dolphins and orcas. Also included are some amphibious creatures such as seals, turtles, and sea otters. All of the new animals include a “swim with” option that lets you see the world through the eyes of the selected creature. Depending on the animal you selected, this may be a lazy float through the water or a crazy jumping, diving ride that will have you trying to hold on to your lunch. While there aren’t a large number of fish and shark variants available, the total number of new creatures is plenty to add variety to your zoo or let you create a little marine park. And with marine animals come … shows!