Planet Zoo: Reenacting the Lion King

…Spoiler: In my version, the hyenas won.

I am growing increasingly dissatisfied with Planet Zoo. I still think it’s a great game overall, but the amount of bugs or weird behaviours annoys me and if it leads to basically having wasted three or four hours of my gaming time, then yes, I can’t recommend this game to anybody. Not for its full price and not unless they fix the bugs.

This time, it happened in the mission in Greece where your task is to fix a cheap zoo with much too small exhibits. The mission map comes with some beautiful buildings which you apparently can’t edit or delete. It started out great. I wrote down which animals the zoo had and worked my way through the exhibits to fix the existing problems. Two remained: The warthogs had no access to fresh water (although I’m not sure they really need that) and the hyenas had a much too small exhibit. So, I built a new exhibit for the warthogs with fresh water. I ordered them to be moved. But my staff were oddly slow to react. One warthog had been pregnant and before it got moved, it had given birth to two babies. So, two more animals to be moved. In the meantime, I fixed other issues. Some animals got sick. The diseases (yes, several) spread. My warthogs had gotten sick as well. I hired more vets but they apparently couldn’t keep up with the demand as more animals became ill. I’d also built a new vet office to take care of the space demand for the animals.

But hey, the old warthog exhibit was finally empty! All warthogs had been taken out of the exhibit. So, I removed some barriers and merge it with the hyena exhibit that way. Before, a visitor path had been between these two exhibits. I’d built a new path which was elevated instead. Visitors basically walk above the now combined exhibit. I removed the old path and so, the hyenas got all that space for themselves. They were happy, I was happy, the visitors were happy… except that it was still only one hyena when the second one should have been transported into the exhibit a long time ago already. And then I saw a member of my staff with an animal transport box into the building behind the elevated path which serves as a staircase… stuck in the masses of people in there. Nobody was moving anywhere. Both floors had lots of people stuck.

Thankfully, I figured out that you can move visitors and staff. I found at least 10 staff and 4 of them were transporting animals. No wonder nothing was working properly and animals weren’t arriving. Vets weren’t doing anything etc. It took me a good 20 minutes, at least, to manually remove all the groups of visitors and individual staff members (I’d guess about 100 people were in there). Since you can’t edit the building, I was considering putting up walls in front of the building’s entrances, but thankfully, you can also just remove the paths leading into the building. So I did that in order to prevent anybody else from using the building. I also built another path leading around the building now.

All was well, except for the spreading diseases, of course. And then I got the message: Hyenas were attacking the warthog in the exhibit. Remember? My previous empty ex-warthog exhibit had gotten merged with the hyena one. The tooltip had said “empty exhibit”. EMPTY being the keyword here. However, at some point during the mess in the staircase, a warthog had gotten transported back into the exhibit. Since the zoo keepers had gotten stuck, the hyenas had been starving (I’d received warning messages about that as well) and then this cute little warthog arrived just in time for lunch. I think I could have gotten it out of there by transferring it to the trade center, but then I would have had to sell it. So either way, the warthog would have been lost. Let me tell you, the warthog squeaks when it gets attacked. It wasn’t a pleasant moment, to be honest.

With all of that having happened, I restarted the mission and the very first thing I did was removing the paths to the the staircase! But that’s a gaming evening lost…

(IntPiPoMo count: 52 in total)

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