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Zoo Tycoon DS

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Release Date:
October 11, 2005
PEGI (3+)
Zoo Business Simulation
Nintendo DS

Zoo Tycoon DS is the Nintendo DS version of Zoo Tycoon.

A sequel to the game, titled Zoo Tycoon 2 DS, was released in 2008.


Although the game is meant to be a port of Zoo Tycoon, many gameplay elements had to be changed due to the technical limitations of the Nintendo DS, such as the size of the maps and the overall graphical quality. Some of the buildings from the original game were modified partially in appearance, such as the various food vendors, with the exception of the vending machines, all using the exact same sprite with only a palette swap as the difference. Otherwise, much of the gameplay remains intact and closely resembles that of the PC & Mac versions.

The objects and animals available in the game are the same as in Zoo Tycoon, but with the addition of five additional animals that can be unlocked by completing scenarios and meeting special conditions in your zoo . Other features, such as unlimited exhibit sizes, were removed due to the aforementioned technical limitations. Also, certain variations of buildings and structures were removed, such as single restrooms, leaving only the family restroom.

The game has two game modes, tutorial/scenario or freeform. Tutorial/Scenario mode takes the player through many short games, each with a set goal much like the PC & Mac version. This game mode starts off by teaching the basics of how to play the game and eventually progresses to challenges that have a set time limit and require a certain animal/guest satisfaction level, number of exhibits, etc. Freeform lets players create a zoo free of time restrictions and goals.


This game is also contains five unlockable animals, two of which are completely new to the series; the Kouprey (Bos sauveli) and the Onager (Equus hemionus). Other unlockable animals include; the Asian Elephant, the Unicorn and the Orangutan. In regards to the latter three, the Asian elephant and orangutan (the latter of which being part of the Endangered Species Theme Pack) were DLC in the original Zoo Tycoon, while the unicorn could be unlocked in said game by naming an exhibit "Xanadu".

There is a 20 exhibit limit to each zoo.