Welcome to another edition of the Thursday Throwdown here on Frisky Mongoose. This week, we jump back into the world of Facebook gaming by taking a look at two zoo games, CrowdStar’s Zoo Paradise, and RockYou!’s Zoo World.
Before we do that, though, let’s take a second to recap last week’s events. Last week, we pitted two third party Twitter clients, TweetDeck and HootSuite in a battle for supremacy, and you guys made your voice heard as to which client is the better choice. As of this writing, HootSuite walked away with the victory, taking 60% of the vote to TweetDeck’s 40%.
Now to the task at hand. According to the latest AppData figures, RockYou!’s Zoo World now sits at around 10.5 million monthly active users, making it number 19 on the overall app leaderboard, while CrowdStar’s Zoo Paradise has a very respectively 5 million players.
Both games can be described in much the same way: You’ll be able to add zoo animals to your land, feed and otherwise take care of them. Guests will enter your zoo to not only admire the animals but also to purchase items at stalls, allowing you to earn a profit and continue expanding you zoo with new animal captivity areas and new animals proper.
Perhaps not since we took a look at Tiki Resort and Happy Island have we seen two games that were so similar. This leaves the differences that remain to be incredibly important in determining which app is a better game.
For the similarities, both animals can be fed and must be collected from after a certain amount of time for the profits or experience points to count. Both games contain community building objects that require you to gain help from your game-playing friends in order to complete them, and both allow you to set up entirely themed areas within your zoo, simply by placing like-animal habitats next to one another.
Where the games differ is in their overall presentation. Zoo World is the more “cartoon-ish” title, while Zoo Paradise’s graphics look to aim for a more realistic feel. However, this flips when it comes to the animals themselves, as CrowdStar has no problem releasing imaginary animals in Zoo Paradise (perhaps the biggest example being the “Soccer Ball Animal” released around the time of the World Cup), while Zoo World contains more animals that are real than imaginary (gremlins and carnival animals notwithstanding).
Another difference between the two games comes in the organization of the parks. Zoo World contains built-in paths that you must place your habitats and stalls around. If a stall doesn’t fit in a hole between paths, you can’t move the paths to rectify that situation. In Zoo Paradise, however, there are no paths, and you are only limited in your placement of habitats by the zoo’s outer border of fence.
For a final large difference, we see CrowdStar implementing a few of the same features found in games like Happy Island here in Zoo Paradise, in that there are trash and coin items scattered randomly about your zoo that must be picked up. You’ll of course earn rewards for doing so, while Zoo World contains no such system.
As with all Throwdowns, we’d be amiss if we didn’t speak of some of the smaller differences between both games, especially as these two games are so similar from the outset. Here are a few to consider:
- Zoo Paradise contains puzzle games that can be found at random while surveying your park, like a match-three game that allows you to play a Bejeweled clone to earn coins.
- Zoo World allows you to upgrade your park’s gate and attractions (a Birds of Prey show, for instance) simply by collecting from them repeatedly. In Zoo Paradise, however, upgrades to your gate and attractions are done either with coins (you wait a certain amount of time for the renovations to be complete) or Facebook Credits.
- Speaking of Facebook Credits, CrowdStar implements them throughout Zoo Paradise as the premium currency of choice, while Zoo World uses a combination of Wildlife Points and real American dollars. That is, the general Premium attraction would cost Wildlife Points to purchase, while special animals are priced at 99 cents, $1.99 and so on.
- Zoo World contains a lightly structured quest system, rewarding you with Wildlife Points, while Zoo Paradise does not.
- Zoo Paradise allows you to have four different zoos, while Zoo World currently allows you to have five.
- Zoo World has a daily quiz that appears in your mailbox. This functions as a multiple choice quiz that asks you an animal trivia question. Answer correctly and you earn cash.
- Zoo Paradise has an iPhone app, while Zoo World does not.
As with any two Facebook games, we could take a lifetime to examine all of the differences and comparisons that could be made between these two games, but when it comes to determining which game is the better one, we’ll leave that up to you to decide.
So which game is better? Do you spend your time raising animals in Zoo Paradise? Or do you prefer Zoo World instead? Let us know in the handy poll located at the bottom of this post, and remember to tell us why you vote the way you do in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your opinion on these two great games!