How to build the best zoo in Animal Park Tycoon - hints, tips, and tricks

The complete strategy guide to get your perfect park

How to build the best zoo in Animal Park Tycoon - hints, tips, and tricks

You'll no doubt have already read my review of Animal Park Tycoon. If so, congratulations. If not, do so. Now.

If you are in the former camp, you'll be well aware of how stiff a challenge it is to successfully run a zoo. In fact, 'stiff' doesn't even cover it.

So, you'll need help. My help. And I'm more than happy to give that help to you, dear reader.

What you'll find below, then, is a walkthrough that'll guide you from the very beginning of Animal Park Tycoon right through to the end game and to getting every animal available.

I've even included a few strategies and exploits for grinding out money with little to no effort whatsoever. Thus, without further ado...

Starting out

The early stages of Animal Park Tycoon are by far the hardest, and certainly the most labour intensive.

First things first, follow the tutorial right through to the end - by doing so, you should gain a couple of enclosures, decorations, and animals. Then, focus on improving your popularity and steadily building a profitable zoo.

To do this, keep an eye out for notifications from your female assistant. These alerts pop up on the left-hand side of the screen. Your assistant will notify you when customers are displeased at the price of entry, when they want different types of concession stands, or when you simply don't have enough animals for the number of visitors.

Keep the general public satisfied and they'll flock to your zoo, helping you to build a reputation (indicated in the top right of the screen). A higher reputation equals more visitors, and affords you the chance to charge more money at the gates. Feel free to tweak the entrance price, though as a rule of thumb leave it at a level where the reputation meter is still gradually rising.

Build every type of enclosure as it becomes available, for you need to be able to cater to all types of animal. Besides, whenever you include more species, you're rewarded with a bonus for diversity. Furthermore, purchase decorations in bulk (three of four at a time is best), and ensure there are plenty of places to eat in.

Animal rights

In the early part of the game, you won't have access to staff, which makes your working life harder. When you're waiting for each day to end - and receiving a nice chunk of change as reward for this - sweep around the park and feed each animal that has a food bowl icon above it.

Failure to do so will result in an animal falling sick. Bad news on two counts. One: illness is more expensive for you to deal with than hunger. Two: sick animals make the exhibits and - in turn - the visitors very unhappy.

You'll also need to keep the decorations of your park looking spiffy. This requires you to select them individually, then tap the droplet icon so they're at their best and pleasing the attendees.

It's a time-consuming process, but it needs to be done, so put the effort in now to reap the rewards later. To alleviate the boredom of this process a little, make sure you visit friends you've added via the in-game social features and see their parks; play the animal racing mini-game to try and win a free unicorn; and earn ZooCash by visiting the cinema to watch trailers for other games.

The good news is that you can eventually hire staff to take care of both decorations and animal welfare. To unlock these staff members, you need at least 15 decorations or ten animals. It's much easier to obtain the former, by the way.

Members of staff are expensive, but worth every penny. They can all look after a significant number of decorations or animals each, which means the zoo can run much more smoothly. That gives you time to plan where you want that next habitat or how much to hike the entrance cost up by... without suffering from becoming unpopular.

One or two words of warning with staff, though: always ensure you have enough money to pay them at the end of the day, or else they'll walk. Re-hiring is much more expensive, so build a healthy balance as a buffer before splashing out on large purchases.

Helpful hints

Once you've got staff in the park, you're on easy street and can start maximising profits and acquiring all the animals you desire for your dream zoo.

One way of doing this is by taking advantage of all of the small bonuses you get from completing challenges. Depending on the challenge, you may have to collect a certain amount of money, visit a friend, have a specific combination of animals in the same enclosure, or obtain a new type of animal.

You'll receive an extra 5000 coins, for example, for dipping low in your funds, so spend everything you have, grab the cash, and then swear that you'll never be penniless again. This is really easy money. And without the headache of having to care for the animals in your park, you've plenty of time to grab it.

One other - very cheeky - little tip that you'll love requires zero effort on your part. Here it is. Ready?

Leave. The game. Running. By itself.

That's right. You can get to the point where you have enough staff looking after your animals and decorations, and can keep the entry fee low enough, that you'll have engendered enough goodwill to leave the game running for 20 minutes at a time, then come back and find you've made a bunch of money without any negative consequences whatsoever.

It's a brilliant way of building up your funds, but it doesn't do much for your reputation, as it's unlikely that yours will build significantly while you're away. The upside to this, of course, though, is that you'll have so much moolah sploshing around in your virtual pockets that you can buy a load more enclosures and animals immediately, thus giving your popularity a much-needed injection.

Got any more tips to share? Let us and the rest of the PG community know by leaving them in the comments section below.
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.