Zoo Keeper

Puzzle 1994 Dos Davidson Strategic scope

A different kind of run and jump

Think of Zoo Keeper's worlds as miniature planets, and then the puzzles will make a bit more sense. Because what you will be doing is running circles outside these parallelepiped structures. While you touch the ground, the inside space (inhabited by baddies and by a number of other thingies, mostly powerups) will become filled with bricks. As you brick it all up from inside out, you progress the level, and when you've covered sufficient space inside the space, and collected the powerups and killed the monsters, you will move on to a next puzzle. Also, you need to consider the threats outside the dome, the baddies that hunt you. You can escape these by jumping or by hitting them or shooting, if you've collected the right powerup. Graphically, it looks like a weird version of Super Mario Bros. but once you understand where the game is coming from (experimental puzzler/run and jump) it will sort of sink in with you. At any rate, the fun is only so long lived, as soon enough the lack of variety will play its toll on you. But, sure, if you've become tired of these modern indie games acting like they've invented wackiness, this mid 90s title will show you that creativity and thinking outside the box (sic!) was something that isn't that recent, actually

Game for children

ZooKeeper is an excellent game for children. It has a wealth of information about the various animals in the zoo, with short animations of the creatures and photographs of each animal in the wild. As zookeeper, players must capture the Troublemakers, four beings who delight in ruining the animals' habitats. At the beginning of each segment, they escape from their cage and signal (with a trickily worded clue) the animal that they next intend to visit. The player's goals are to determine the Troublemakers destination quickly enough to catch them and fix whatever the Troublemaker has done. The game teaches the dietary requirements, habitats and preferred climate of each animal, and introduces many species - some rather obscure. There are also exhibits for extinct animals. The game has many bright colors and distinctive auditory cues, but requires fine control with a mouse that children younger than 5 or 6 may not yet possess.

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