HomeReviews4/5 ReviewPlanet Zoo: Aquatic & Twilight Bundle Review

Planet Zoo: Aquatic & Twilight Bundle Review

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Having already established itself as the best zoo simulation game on Xbox, more Planet Zoo can only be a good thing. And that is the case with the latest DLC pack – the Planet Zoo: Aquatic & Twilight Bundle, the first since the game released onto consoles.

So let’s pack some sandwiches, take some pocket money for an ice cream and see what new wonders await us at the zoo this time.

The bundle contains both the Aquatic pack and Twilight pack, that can be purchased separately if one is more enticing than the other. Honestly, what is included in each is a bit lacking for us to review them individually but we will help differentiate what animals and features belong in which pack.

Planet Zoo Aquatic Pack review 1
Otters in your Planet Zoo? Of course!

First up is the Aquatic pack which contains five new animals: King Penguin, Giant Otter, Grey Seal, Dwarf Caiman and the Diamondback Terrapin. The latter being an exhibit only animal, similar to the various insects in Planet Zoo that delight and terrify in equal measure.

The Twilight bundle also contains five new animals: Raccoon, Red Fox, Common Wombat, Striped Skunk and Egyptian Fruit Bat. None of the animals in either packs are simply reskinned versions of existing animals in Planet Zoo either, meaning these are brand new to add to any zoo that you wish.

Of course, ten new animals means ten new habitats to build and meticulously plan out, but this attention to detail is really where Planet Zoo comes into its own. By now, you should be a dab hand at creating a habitat and tailoring it for the animal in question, providing at least you have gotten over the frustrating controls on console. Something this DLC reminded me, was that those controls are still a bit of a pain.

But take the Egyptian Fruit Bat for example. This nocturnal flyer also comes with some all new walkthrough exhibits that allow guests to wander through the habitat with the bats flying overhead. Anyone who has been to a zoo will testify that this is always a highlight, so being able to build it in your own zoo and then experience it in first-person is a joy.

Watching both the otters and the penguins go about their day-to-day life is great too. As I mentioned in my initial review of the game, watching the animals is arguably where I get the most enjoyment out of Planet Zoo, and several of these new additions are going into my personal zoo.

Planet Zoo Aquatic Pack review 2
Hello little Grey Seal

But not the red fox though. No disrespect to them but we have several roaming our streets at night in real-life, and more than a few times have their screams woken me up.

Both expansions come with a new scenario for you to tackle. The Twilight Pack is complete with a suitably spooky new zoo based in Transylvania. Castle Myers was once highly regarded as a zoo, but the previous owner left it to deteriorate. Now you are on hand to revitalise this unique looking zoo.

Most of the zoo infrastructure is in place for you to make a solid start, providing you wrangle up the escaped animals first. But the real showpiece of Castle Myers is the castle itself, set upon the top of an imposing hill it really does show off the creativity of the developers, and inspires me to want to try something like that myself. One day. Eventually.

For the Aquatic Pack, we are actually given a new timed scenario. Set in Oregon USA, Red Barn River Zoo has just received a massive donation and called upon you to expand the zoo in time for the next tourist season.

Both these scenarios do a fantastic job of showcasing the new animals respective to their packs but also allowing you to explore them in your own way as well. For example, the Aquatic Pack scenario has a wonderful penguin exhibit ready to go and the Twilight one has an objective for you to introduce some fruit bats to the zoo.

Planet Zoo Twilight Pack review 3
Planet Zoo has bats!

And if you like how these new scenarios look, the DLC packs include over 350 new scenery items. There is everything included, from new scenic waterfalls, atmospheric foliage, new sculptures, spider webs, cauldrons to even some new rubber duck enrichment items. But just who are the enrichment items for exactly? The otters or the visitors? Why not both?

More animals, more scenarios and more scenery items. There are no surprises in the Planet Zoo: Aquatic & Twilight Bundle; just more of the same goodness we’ve come to expect. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the fact that some of the animals included here – like the King Penguins and Egyptian Fruit Bats – are the first of their species to be included in the game. But that’s testament to the base game that with the amount of animals originally included, we never really noticed either being missing. 

But now that they are in, expect them to pop up in as many Franchise zoos as I can physically fit them in. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Completely new animals included
  • Two brand-new scenarios
  • Enough content to build a small zoo just in the DLC
Cons:
  • Standard additions, nothing really new
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Frontier
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5
  • Release date and price - 28 May 2024 | £11.99
Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Completely new animals included</li> <li>Two brand-new scenarios</li> <li>Enough content to build a small zoo just in the DLC</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Standard additions, nothing really new</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Frontier</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5 <li>Release date and price - 28 May 2024 | £11.99</li> </ul>Planet Zoo: Aquatic & Twilight Bundle Review
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