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This is a freemium game review, in which we give our impressions immediately after booting a game up, again after three days, and finally after seven days. That's what the strange sub-headings are all about.
There are approximately one million games on the App Store that allow you to look after animals while building a habitat for them. Roughly half of those are freemium games.
Does Gameloft's latest stand above the rest like a giraffe reaching for a leaf? Or does it wallow in mediocrity, like a below average hippopotamus?
The aspect of Wonder Zoo - Animal Rescue! that immediately grabs you (aside from the rogue exclamation point in the title) is its presentation - it looks great. You're given the standard isometric view typical of world builders, but the accompanying art is detailed and filled with colour.
3D models of the animals you rescue populate your vibrant little zoo, scampering about their environments and going about their business. They're not incredibly realistic, but they move smoothly and fluidly, bringing a lot of life to the various habitats.
If there's a criticism to be made, it's that the screen can look very busy. There are park attendees wandering around, constant movement from the wildlife, loads of contrasting colours, cash, and experience icons. If you've not laid out your zoo well it can get really cluttered.
Where there's a little more space is in the capturing mini-game, in which you drive a truck around in an effort to capture wild beasts that need rescuing. Its implementation is essentially little more than busywork in the form of a luck-of-the-draw opportunity to capture an animal, but it's a neat diversion.
Pretty soon you're filling out the zoo, buying concessions stands to fleece money from punters, and expanding your ecological empire by buying up more land - all of which is gradually doled out through challenges.