Zookeeper FB Messenger Game Review
Quick question: How many Match-3 games have you tried playing in your lifetime?
You’ve probably played countless different titles (each of us in our team has tried maybe at least a dozen). But we bet only about 2 or 3 titles stand out in your memory, right? And if you’ve ever played Zookeeper, it’s probably one of them.
Developed by Japanese game company Kiteretsu, Zookeeper first appeared as a web game in 2002 and later ported to game consoles like Gameboy and Nintendo DS. Its various incarnations are loved by millions of fans. In this review, we will focus only on the Facebook Messenger version of the game.
Graphics and Sound
Zookeeper features cube-head style artwork. The various animal characters kinda match their colors in real life (e.g. giraffe is yellow, crocodile is green, etc.). They may look unexceptional at first, but they grow on you the more you play. Like who wouldn’t be endeared by those crazy facial expressions they get whenever you tap on them?
The chiptune background music is catchy and may cause not a few players to experience a stuck song syndrome. It has that cartoons/carnival atmosphere that might evoke some nostalgia in people who grew up in the 90’s.
You start at Level 1 every time you play, and try to get past as many levels as you can before the game ends. You can only move to the next level if you match the required number of tiles for each of the characters.
What makes Zookeeper challenging is the time limit.
Similar to Bejeweled, there is a countdown bar at the bottom of the screen that shows how long you have before the game is over. Every match you make adds a little time to the bar. The higher the level, the faster the bar runs out.
There are two main things that are useful when you get into tight situations. One of them are the binoculars, which when used highlight the tiles that have matches.
The other thing is the special tile which when clicked randomly chooses an animal, all of whose tiles will be wiped out automatically.
You also meet the Zoo’s boss, the guy who employs the zookeeper. His physical appearance and office can be upgraded by paying with stars, the in-game currency. Stars are rewarded at the end of each game.
Match-3 type games are a dime a dozen nowadays, and it takes something extra for a game in this genre to captivate fans. In the case of Candy Crush Saga, it was getting special candies with different effects as well as the variations in each level that made it tick. (Obviously there were more things that made Candy Crush successful, but we can talk about that in a different post).
In the case of Zookeeper, what may get players hooked is the challenge of getting to a level higher than you reached in your previous game. Players may also be enticed to come back for the Boss upgrades. These combined with nicely animated characters and memorable music make this game one for the “keeper pile”.
This game could have a longer staying power if it had more features, such as level variations. But all in all, it’s a very likeable game, and we give it a 7.5/10.