I adore Zoo Tycoon games. With Ultimate Collection - Zoo Tycoon 2 - you get the base game plus all the expansions, in one neat package.
First, the basics. You are trying to create a zoo that has happy animals, happy guests, and happy staff. You lay out the park, arranging the exhibits, setting up food stands and decorations. The game ramps up very nicely so you learn as you go how to arrange things to keep everyone happy.
There is a real sense of pleasure as you get the giraffes wandering merrily around in their area, the monkeys swinging from their bars, and happy children laughing as they run from exhibit to exhibit. You can get your personal touch shown in the way you decorate and arrange your zoo.
With the expansions included, there's tons of variety too. You get Extinct Animals, Marine Mania, African Adventure, and Endangered Species. They're all right there. Want to help rescue animals that are in trouble? You can do it! Want to have fun with watery creatures? Yup!
There is so much information in here to help you enjoy the process. You really do learn about the animals you're caring for. You realize how small change in paths and layouts can have a huge impact on the way people enjoy parks. You actually start to pay attention to these sorts of things in the real world.
I think it's fair to say that there's a certain audience for this type of game. If you're a gamer who likes running around with a gun shooting things, this is probably not the game for you! Your aim here is to save and protect the animals, not to turn them into bloody pulps. So that should definitely be said. This is a game that involves patience. You are crafting a long term home for your animals - not racing furiously to escape an alien monster.
But that being said, I adore these games immensely. They are suitable for all ages. They are immensely fun for all ages! You get a real sense of satisfaction and reward when you create a zoo that all adore.
Buy Ultimate Collection - Zoo Tycoon 2 from Amazon.com