Planet Zoo: Console Edition review

by on March 25, 2024
Release Date

March 26, 2024


I’m a big fan of park management sims, whether its rollercoasters or dinosaurs, keeping an eye on every little detail while running the day-to-day business is a satisfaction I rarely get from other games. Jurassic World Evolution and its sequel are fantastic examples of this, and never having played Planet Zoo on PC, it was interesting to see how Frontier integrates similar systems from JWE into this brand new console edition. Just be warned, this isn’t for the casual fan. There is a hell of a lot to learn, but if you’re willing to listen to the teacher, the rewards are vast.

Planet Zoo: Console Edition is a gorgeous looking game on PS5. The different biomes and locations for where you can build your zoo are so colourful, and the level of detail in all of the various architecture is sublime. As for the animals, they’re so beautiful, moving and acting like the real-life counterparts, it’s such a joy watching your park come to life and the happiness you bring to everyone that visits. On occasion I did encounter some animals bugging out, like my chimpanzees glitching when getting stuck to a climbing pole, but these are few and far between.

In order to get the most out of your time, the tutorials are by far the most important element. They teach you the basics of building habitats and making your animals comfortable and happy; powering your park and hiring staff to keep it running; and filling you in on every little detail necessary to run a successful park. When you’re learning the basics and going through the wealth of menus and information, you’ll see something else that looks so complex that you’ll feel overwhelmed, but most of what you do is explained well. There are times when the game takes the stabilisers off and you’re thrust into a certain objective, but by experimenting and reading the hefty tutorial information in the menus, the answer will always present itself.

It’s worth dedicating your time to learning because you’ll get so much out of it. When you’re comfortable enough to enter sandbox mode and start from scratch, having all of that knowledge is going to help when it comes to bringing in the guests. It will take a lot of time until you’ve fully grasped even the basic of concepts, but when you start to buy and adopt animals and watch them grow, there’s a real bond that grows between you and your zoo. So much so that when it’s time to free an animal back into the wild or find that one of them has passed away, it can be rather emotional.

However, the need to maintain the right temperature in your enclosures, offer the right balance of social interactions and plant life depending on the species, and supply the perfect foods and toys for your animals is all part of the fun. It can be stressful and things do go wrong from time to time, but you can pause the game and fix whatever needs fixing without the park going into a full-on meltdown. You can also build while paused so adding an entire sanctuary for your newly acquired hippos can be done without anyone noticing. It’s a godsend when the going gets tough, but it’s all about balance, and there is plenty of information available that help you with every aspect of the park’s management.

With so many menus and information, Frontier has done an excellent job of making it control well on consoles. Even after a handful of hours you’ll be pressing the wrong button trying to replace a wooden barrier with a glass one or changing the incline instead of swapping out for a gate for your keepers to get through, but the finicky details do take the most time to familiarise yourself with. Getting into the finances, research options, animal information, and every other detail takes time to learn, but doing so is clear and concise so I never struggled to do what I needed to do as long, as I’d learned the correct process.

Depending on how you want to play, Planet Zoo: Console Edition offers so much content and tons of options that go into every facet of park management. There’s so much to get your head around that it might put people off, but it’s a gorgeous game with real warmth, and even when the going gets tough you’re encouraged to keep going thanks to the emphasis it puts on your relationship with both the animals and the people that visit your park. It also controls well on consoles, with big text, tons of tutorial notes, and all the information you would possibly need to succeed.


Looks beautiful
Rewarding experience
Full control over every aspect of your park


A lot to learn
Confusing in the early stages
A few small bugs while watching animals

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Planet Zoo: Console Edition offers so much to do, but a lot of work has been put into making it transition nicely to consoles. There's a hefty tutorial and constant help throughout, and with some gorgeous visuals it's well worth trying.