The Planet Zoo: Oceania Pack has landed – that’s right, folks. It’s that time again. The 15th downloadable content pack for Planet Zoo, the Oceania Pack is live!
At this point, Frontier Development has established a pretty regular cadence with their DLCs. Some – like the Oceania Pack – focus equally on new animals & new building pieces. Others, like the Arid Animal Pack, are much more creature-centric. That said, while the new Polynesian-themed building pieces in this DLC are great, I would absolutely say that the new animal additions are far and away the stars of this experience.
Continuing another pattern, Frontier has also released a brand spanking new (and free!) content update, 1.15, alongside the new pack. As always, continue (or skip) to the end of the review to get our take on this.
Tiki-tastic Polynesian Pacific Props
The Oceania Pack adds yet another strong, classic “theme-park” style theme to Planet Zoo. Yet another kind of thatched roof (the first two being the South American and African styles). Fake glowing lava – very cool (not literally). Finally, it adds some neat “Tiki” themed props & decorations for that classic Polynesian feel.
Overall, a really nice addition to the building options. However, if you already have the South America pack, I will say that these additions feel quite same-y.
Cute, Cuddly, Classic! Animals of the Planet Zoo: Oceania Pack
As previously mentioned, despite not being an “Animal Pack” in the traditional Planet Zoo sense, the new animals really are the stars of this show. Every new entry is really gorgeous and, frankly, adorable. The new animals are:
- Tasmanian devil
- Little Penguin
- Spectacled flying fox (this one is a walkthrough habitat animal!)
Frankly, unlike some of the previous packs, there’s not a dud among these. I particularly adore the Quokka and its utterly adorable grin. The animals are all brilliant, they fit in with the new plants & building pieces beautifully, and they fill out the catalogue of creatures admirably. Slam dunk from an animal perspective!
New Career Challenge: Goodwin Family Wildlife Park
Any avid GamEir readers who may have read my previous Planet Zoo pack reviews knows that I am sick and tired of scenarios involving Tiffany Summers, the clueless socialite. No shade on Tiffany – it’s just that a bit of variety would be nice!
Well, we’re in luck with this pack – Emma Goodwin makes her return in the “Goodwin Family Wildlife Park”. The challenge itself is nothing to write home about – not too easy not too hard. What it does bring, however, is yet another gorgeous canvas on which the player can build their dream zoo. A tropical Pacific island, covered in traditional buildings made of natural materials. In classic Frontier fashion, this map shows off the newly built pieces and plants introduced in the pack, hopefully inspiring the player to make use of them themselves.
Overall – fine career challenge, an excellent map!
The Planet Zoo: Oceania Pack – Delightful or dud?
At this point in Planet Zoo‘s development, the DLCs are falling into an unfortunately predictable pattern. Released regularly, each new DLC adds some excellent new content that stands alone. Frontier can’t assume that any given player owns any of the previous DLCs. As such, every one of them pretty much brings exactly the same new experience to the zookeeper fanbase.
There’s nothing wrong with that at all, of course. However, what this means is that my recommendation for this pack is the same as many of the previous ones. That is: if you’re dying to use either the animals or the new Oceania-themed build items in your zoo, go ahead and pick this up. If nothing jumps out at you, you’re not missing anything special.
Finally – the 1.15 Update!
Normally, Frontier add 3-4 very minor changes with each update. This time, however, they’re bringing something very special: viewing domes!
I can’t imagine any zoo I build from now on won’t include this. The ability to get your guests up close and personal with the animals without the hassle (and danger!) of a walkthrough habitat can’t be understated. I can’t wait to see what all the creative Planet Zoo players do with this brilliant new feature.
There are a few extra bits added along with these new domes, but nothing too exciting – check out the excellent summary here on the Planet Zoo Wiki.