Indie publisher No More Robots revealed its latest title today, Let’s Build A Zoo. The game, which is being developed by Springloaded, is a pixelated zoo tycoon-esque sim but with a pretty major twist. Players can genetically splice together their animals, resulting in adorable new creatures.
A trailer for the game, as well as a gameplay preview posted on YouTube, show that at first it looks like your average zoo tycoon game. Players can create themed areas representing different environments that animals inhabit, and decorate them to match. For instance, a woods-themed section with panda bears and boars shown in the gameplay trailer is populated with sprigs of bamboo and a lilypad-filled pond. According to Pip, the woman showing off Let’s Build A Zoo, there are “hundreds and hundreds of items to choose from that allow you to decorate your zoo any way that you like.”
As it moves to the Savannah portion of the zoo, the gameplay trailer also shows off the variations of animals players can encounter. Each animal has multiple different coats or pelt colors, so your pens won’t all be filled with the same exact animal.
If you’re not interested in running the perfect zoo, it seems that there are also some shadier ways to stay in business. Pip doesn’t detail these extra money-making methods, but the buildings she shows off paint a fairly clear picture. If players want, they can get into the business of making food — chicken and pork plants are shown specifically — or even fashion accessories out of more leathery or scaly creatures.
But if you want to really set your zoo apart from the rest, you’ll have to splice together animals and make your own. No other zoo has a monkey-tiger hybrid or a monkey-hippo hybrid, but yours can. According to the game’s Steam store page, players can make a total of 300,000 different types of animals using DNA splicing.
Let’s Build a Zoo is coming to PlayStation, Switch, and Xbox sometime this year. However, the game’s PC version has a more specific release window this summer.