A fine and fancy ramble: Zoo Story hints, tips, and tricks

Hints and tips to set you on your way

A fine and fancy ramble: Zoo Story hints, tips, and tricks
| Zoo Story

Apple's App Store can be a wonderful place.

With a few clicks and a simple download it can allow you to take on almost any role imaginable - from zombie killer to racing car driver to LEGO wizard.

Thanks to TeamLava's latest entry in the 'Story' series - Zoo Story – you can realise your dream of running your very own zoo.

Unfortunately, with numerous animals to buy, breed, and feed, attractions to build and maintain, and customers to keep happy, your dream can soon turn into a slog.

This guide aims teach you the basics of Zoo Story, set you on the right path, and prepare you for continued success.

The stuff you need to know

Running your own zoo can be a tiring business, even if it's virtual.

Jobs and tasks in Zoo Story cost a single point of energy to complete, which is displayed as a yellow bar at the top of your screen.

Your energy is refilled by one point every three minutes, even when you aren't playing. You'll also receive a full refill upon levelling-up.

Like all freemium games, Zoo Story contains two types of currency - coins and gems.

Coins are used to buy everyday attractions and services, such as food stands and gift shops, as well as animals and crops. They're earned frequently throughout the game.

Gems, on the other hand, are the game's premium currency, bought through in-app purchase and used to buy otherwise unobtainable animals and attractions, or to speed up processes such as breeding.

Packs of gems start at £2.99/$4.99 for 24, finishing at £59.99/$99.99 for 580.

If you don't plan on spending any real money in Zoo Story, use the ten free gems you begin with to buy animals or attractions that you can't get your hands on in any other way. They reap far more rewards in the long run.

The final thing to keep your eye on is stars, Zoo Story's replacement for experience points.

Stars are earned throughout by completing menial tasks such as planting and harvesting crops, building new enclosures, and collecting money from exhibits, and are used to level-up your zoo - granting access to new content.

The animals went in two by two

Being a zoo, your main focus is the variety of animals you have at your disposal.

Animals can be purchased by clicking on the market icon in the bottom-right of the screen and navigating to the animal tab. Building an animal's enclosure rewards you with stars.

After completing Zoo Story's brief tutorial you'll be the proud owner of a big purple elephant and a grizzly bear.

Although it's tempting to rush out and purchase further animals, don't - at least for the time being. You'll quickly run out of both food - as an animal has to be fed regularly - and valuable space (stay tuned for more on both).

Your animals produce coins and stars at varying regular intervals - the greater the interval, the greater the reward. Collecting these coins costs energy.

Your zoo can only hold one enclosure for each variety of animal, however. Each enclosure can hold up to four of that animal - two of which can be purchased from the market.

Placing multiple animals in the same enclosure doubles the revenue you receive - for example, if the bear generates 60 coins every minute, two bears will generate 120 every minute - though they'll also require more food.

Adding new animals to an existing enclosure can be more beneficial than purchasing an entirely new species, especially in the early stages of the game.

For instance, two bears produce more revenue and require less food than a single zebra. Experiment with your choices.

Simba is born

As you can only purchase two of each animal, breeding is an essential process.

To begin, tap the 'breed' icon in the bottom-right of the screen, select one of the available nests, and select the animal you wish to breed - providing you have at least two of them.

Wait just 24 hours and shazam, a brand new baby animal.

You begin with just one nest, with additional nests being unlocked as you progress, or on payment of 25 gems.

Take into account that a new baby animal is a new mouth to feed. Only breed your animals if you think you can cope with the demand.

It's not just about the animals

If you've ever visited a zoo before, you'll have noticed the abundance of other attractions and money-makers.

Like animal enclosures, attractions and services are built in stages with simple clicks, each stage gifting stars.

Attractions such as ice cream stands generate coins and stars regularly, with services increasing the number of animal exhibits you're allowed to own.

The construction of a service differs slightly from that of an attraction as the final stage requires the collection of several supplies, such as bricks and wooden planks.

These can be purchased with Zoo Story's premium currency, or gathered from friends who can gift them once a day.

Make sure to strike a balance between the number of animal enclosures, attractions, and services you build in your zoo. Remember, save some 'valuable space' or you'll back yourself into a corner.

Poke the hungry tiger, I dare ya

A hungry animal doesn't generate any revenue, so it's important that you have enough farm land in your zoo to accommodate their munchies.

The amount of food an animal requires is in direct correlation to the amount of revenue it creates, so more revenue equals a hungrier animal.

Crops produce varying amounts of food, dependent on the time they take to grow. Choose wisely and take your lifestyle into account - planting two 12 hour crops is worth more than one 24 hour crop, but you have to be around to harvest them. Crops wither at the same rate that they grow.

At level five you gain access to extensions, which allow you to expand your zoo. Spend the 5,000 coins - providing you've been sensible with your piggy bank - and create a reasonably sized patch dedicated to food growth - 12 to 14 plots should suffice during the early stages.

Remember to increase your dedicated growth land as your zoo and the number of animals you have grows.

Ideally, you'll want an abundance of food at your disposal, so it's beneficial to create a reserve. Do this before you purchase large numbers of animals and you should never run out.

Giraffe is man's best friend

Zoo Story wouldn't be a social game if it didn't involve bringing your friends along for the ride, visiting their zoo, and sending and receiving gifts.

To add a friend as a neighbour, simply tap on the 'social' icon in the bottom-right of the screen, navigate to the 'invite friends' tab, and enter their Storm8 ID.

If, however, you're like me and you don't have any friends (who are playing the game), you can visit and add players from the 'community' tab, or visit our Zoo Story specific forum and share your ID.

Once a friend is added, you'll have the ability to tour their attractions and leave them a message. Enclosures and attractions covered by a sparkling effect have already been visited, so visit again in 24 hours.

You can tour five attractions in a stranger's zoo, or ten in a neighbour's, in a 24 hour period. Each visit provides a social rating point.

A high social rating makes you appear at the the top of the 'community list', exposing you to a lot more people.

If you have some hints and tips of your own feel free to leave them below, or head over to the Pocket Gamer forum and share them with your fellow readers.
Anthony Usher
Anthony Usher
Anthony is a Liverpool, UK-based writer who fell in love with gaming while playing Super Mario World on his SNES back in the early '90s. When he isn't busy grooming his beard, you can find him replaying Resident Evil or Final Fantasy VII for the umpteenth time. Aside from gaming, Anthony likes hiking, MMA, and pretending he’s a Viking.