Planet Zoo: Tropical Pack in Review (and the 1.13 update!)
For fans of Southeast Asian architecture or those itching for more exotic animals.
3.3Overall Score
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Planet Zoo‘s 13th expansion, Planet Zoo: Tropical Pack has landed! Along with the standard accompanying free update (1.13), the Tropical Pack adds 5 new animals, 200+ new scenery pieces and a new campaign scenario. At this point, pretty par for the course for a Planet Zoo DLC!

Whether you’re an Attenborough-worthy conservationist or an avid architect, this DLC has something for you. Let’s jump right in.

Foosa & Friends! The animals of the Planet Zoo: Tropical Pack

Alright, the meat-and-two-veg of any Planet Zoo DLC; the animals! What are we working with here? Frontier has brought us lucky zookeepers 5 brand spanking new creatures to care for. They are:

  • Fossa
  • Lar Gibbon
  • Red River Hog
  • Asian Water Monitor
  • Brown-throated Sloth

4 habitat animals and 1 exhibit animal – the sloth. The sloth is a bit special in this line-up, as it’s a new entry in the rare “walkthrough exhibit” category, joining bats and butterflies.

The Brown-throated Sloth’s walkthrough exhibit is gorgeous. It’s got a glut of climbing frames crisscrossing the habitat, allowing your sloths to slowly sling themselves around your hapless guests. They’re by far the largest walkthrough habitat animal to date – larger than many of the smaller regular habitat animals. As a result, I do somewhat question Frontier’s decision to include them as an exhibit animal at all. That said, I won’t say no to another ever-rare walkthrough exhibit entry.

The other animals are all standard habitat animals, and each one is as meticulously detailed and gorgeous as we’ve come to expect from Planet Zoo. The Lar Gibbon is a standout and is sure to brighten up any zoo.

Final note – did anyone else think they made up the Fossa for Madagascar? I sure did, before playing the Planet Zoo: Tropical Pack.

Temples, Tongkonan & Tiffany (again…)

Other than the animals, the Planet Zoo: Tropical Pack adds scenery pieces and a new campaign mission.

The scenery pieces are absolutely gorgeous. They capture the ancient beauty of Southeast Asian temples and traditional architecture beautifully. The influences here are largely Indonesian. One big standout is the “Tongkonan-style” structures. These crescent-topped buildings are so unique and bring enormous character to any tropical-themed zoo.

Besides the main temple and Tongkonan building pieces, there’s also a wide variety of props, architectural greebles and statuary. They’ve also introduced a few new plants. Of those, the Rafflesia is the standout – how iconic!

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The new campaign scenario of the Planet Zoo: Tropical Pack brings us to Bali, where we once again meet Tiffany Summers. She premiered in the Grasslands Animal Pack and is here to bring us her wildly incompetent ways yet again. The scenario itself is nothing to write home about – basic goals, no voice acting, and thematically pretty dull. That said, the map is designed beautifully and the topography presents some unique challenges.

Tropican or Tropican’t? Is the Planet Zoo: Tropical Pack worth it?

Like many of Planet Zoo‘s DLCs, the answer to this is: it depends!

If you’re a hardcore fan of Planet Zoo, then the Tropical Pack is not to be missed. Whether you’re building a lush and secluded Balian temple, or want to reenact the Fossa attack from Madagascar with some lemurs (not recommended), the quality in this DLC is flawless. That said, the architecture is very specific and there are no “wow” star animals.

If you play Planet Zoo for the campaign and its challenges, the Planet Zoo: Tropical Pack could be worth a miss. The map is fine, but there’s nothing too challenging about it other than the intense topography.

Overall, this DLC is a great entry in a long line of expansions. Get it if there’s anything you’re dying not to miss or if you’re an avid DLC collector. Overwise, avoid or wait for a sale.

The 1.13 Update: Socialites & QOL Changes

As always, Frontier has released a jam-packed feature update alongside the Tropical Pack. Free Update 1.13 includes the following:

  • Animal Sociality
  • Null Paths
  • Multi-Axis Advanced Movement
  • Climbable Asset Toggle

The most exciting feature here is Animal Sociality. Following this update, animals will form bonds with one another, especially with their direct family. They’ve also added more roles and depth to animal dynamics, meaning you’ll see more sensible interactions between established family groups and the new “Outsiders”.

Beyond that, Null Paths will allow truly custom walkable areas, Multi-Axis movement should make item placement a bit easier, and the Climable Asset Toggle will make stopping your animals from escaping that much easier.

Overall – not bad at all for free!

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About The Author

Darragh's earliest gaming memories are of playing Sonic, Golden Axe and Street Fighter on his parents' Sega Megadrive and has refused to put down the controller ever since. He thinks he's much funnier than he is.

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