Friday, November 15, 2002

On an entertainment note, last night I purchased a double expansion pack for Zoo Tycoon that includes both the Marine Animals add-in as well as the Dinosaur Digs add-in. I haven't even had a chance to play Zoo Tycoon yet but look forward to having time to evaluate it over the Christmas break. I became a fan of strategy/simulation games a number of years ago when I purchased a game called "Eco-East Africa" published in 1995. This game let you manage all aspects of an African game preserve including writing letters to obtain additional government funding, trying to attract tourists, trying to encourage research, hunting down poachers, assisting local villagers with their economy and food supply so they didn't turn to poaching, etc. The AI was logical and very life-like which is the reason I was attracted to the game. I hate pointless "puzzles" that do nothing but delay game progress. The game used only 2-D graphics overlaid with animal animations produced from video clips of real animals in the wild (similar to Deer Hunter) but the graphics were quite effective in combination with appropriate background sounds and the "sunlight" manipulation to change the scene from daylight to evening to dark and back.