Developer: MiniWorldGames
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

towerzoo04Tower Zoo is one of those games that I’m almost certain is an adaptation of something else. Like a board game or something. Regardless, it’s an interesting, if limited, multiplayer puzzle game.

Some crazy zookeeper has decided that he’s going to force the animals to pile on top of each other in order to make him rich and famous. I’m not entirely sure how that’s supposed to work (maybe he thinks these animal towers will attract media attention?) but then again he is crazy. In practice it makes an interesting puzzle game. Players can choose between a gorilla or a tiger, with more options available via in-app purchase, and must attempt to put more of their pieces on the board than their opponent by the time there are no more vacant spaces. The way it works is thus: whenever three or more animals of any sort are connected horizontally or vertically, they combine to create a stack of two with the animal used to complete the set determining the type in the stack. When three or more stacks of two animals are touching, they combine into a stack of three. Singles only combine with singles (etc), however, so players will need to plan their moves as best they can.

towerzoo05It’s a bit weird, but I rather like Tower Zoo’s visuals. The oddly-shaped animals are kinda cute, and the faces they make when they win or lose are pretty great. I was also somewhat surprised to find sure a variety of boards available. A simple 3X3 grind would’ve been enough, but there are quite a few more of all sorts of symmetrical and asymmetrical layouts that can really affect strategies. The inclusion of a pass-and-play option is also nice to see as playing against the AI isn’t always much of a challenge, especially on Easy. Of course, it is Easy.

The only thing that sort of bugs me about Tower Zoo is that there’s still so much I can’t access. And the game is constantly reminding of that fact. I’m cool with it being free-to-play and all but the menus are pretty much designed to be a dangling carrot. It seems a tad abrasive.

Tower Zoo isn’t exactly a spectacular must-have title, but it’s decent fun and perfect for quick pick-up games either alone or with a friend. Plus it’s got that whole “uniquely goofy” look going for it. Oh, and it’s free.


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