With Zoo Tycoon and its Dinosaur Digs add-on pack now firmly established in the old strategy management genre, Microsoft is continuing to expand the ultimate zoo-em-up with the addition of Marine Mania.
Where players were previously limited to a few fish and amphibious reptiles, they can now house Great White Sharks and Giant Squid, which is sure to rake in the cash for a few Zoo Tycoon years yet.
In addition to building and managing your standard Zoo, you'll be charged with taking care of underwater exhibits and creating a homely environment for your resident aquatic beings. It's certainly an interesting way to make a living, but it's all part of the greater challenge.
Your job as manager will be wide-ranging. Just a few of the tasks involved within the game entail setting price points, importing new, exotic animals to your zoo, managing the staff that run your park and keeping your guests happy. There are a vast number of variables to consider.
Those with little experience of any kind of Tycoon game can take advantage of the game's tutorial section, a crucial addition to the Zoo Tycoon gameplay. Here you can learn how to master all of the above playing aspects and prepare yourself for the real game.
Zoo Tycoon allows its players to build and manage a zoo from scratch. The playing area is positioned on a grid-like isometric environment in which you must maintain an organised park structure. As long as you don't waste too much space within the playing environment, your park will be reasonably profitable. If, eventually, you think yourself to be a bit of a Zoo Tycoon veteran, you could always tackle one of the game's challenging scenarios.
Of the thousands of games available for PC, this one is certainly different. While the gameplay mechanics are the same as most strategy games, Zoo Tycoon offers a unique playing experience. The Marine Mania expansion pack helps to keep it that way.