Zoo Keeper DX Touch Edition had appeared in many different guises before receiving its current moniker when it was released on the Nintendo DS back in 2005.
This latest incarnation of the artist formerly known as Zoo Puzzle and Zooo brings the series’s cute and colourful animal-themed game to the iPhone, but no amount of vibrancy can distract players from Zoo Keeper DX Touch Edition’s stagnant gameplay.
The game adheres to the tried and tested match-three formula, meaning that three or more of the same animal type need to be positioned in a row to remove them from the screen.
These elephant, monkey, and hippo panels can be arranged vertically or horizontally, and are moved into position by dragging your finger over the touchscreen.
In Zoo Keeper DX Touch Edition, there are two modes of play, both of which challenge you to score as many points as possible to keep your job.
You progress in normal mode by clearing a set target of each species before the time limit expires. The clock is extended by successfully matching animals, while special panels will appear occasionally to help, removing all instances of a random animal.
The second mode, Tokoton, doesn't deviate too far from these guiding principles, except that you must collect 100 animals to advance.
Zoo Keeper DX Touch Edition exhibits a colourful charm, with its bright visuals and cute, cartoonish animals. The controls are intuitive and the core game manages to sustain interest, but the package feels a little threadbare. With just two largely similar modes, there is nothing to vary the experience, and as a result the gameplay feels a bit tired. Tired and broken, in fact, at one stage, though a recent update rectified the critical visual flaw that meant the far-left column was obscured. Zoo Keeper DX Touch Edition is by no means a bad game, yet it fails to distinguish itself from its many, many match-three competitors in the App Store jungle.