A new Planet Zoo update adds animal memorials and burrows alongside the Europe Pack


Restaurants are another big addition in update 1.8

It warms my heart to see Frontier Developments come out with consistent free updates for Planet Zoo alongside the paid DLC packs. Next up on December 14, the management sim is getting a little of Column A, a little of Column B — update 1.8 is adding animal memorials, burrows, and full-on restaurants to Planet Zoo, while the Europe Pack is bringing in new species like the Eurasian lynx, European badger, and Alpine ibex.

Between the update and DLC, there’s something to latch onto for different player types, whether they care more about animals and their behaviors, the wider guest experience, or meticulous building. The $10 pack has 250+ scenery items “inspired by some of Europe’s most idyllic destinations, including France, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.”

The new species coming to Planet Zoo with the Europe Pack are the Eurasian lynx, Alpine ibex, European badger, European fallow deer, and the fire salamander — the latter of which is a more confined and static “exhibit animal.” There’s an alpine zoo scenario, too.

Really though, I’m more interested in update 1.8 — there’s a lot of potential with customization. Indoor and outdoor restaurants, with the ability to “link up to 20 tables to create a functional venue” as the grand zoo overseer, sounds promising. And for a smaller footprint, there are shop counters: “counter-only version for an assortment of shops.”

Animal memorials are exactly what you might expect: a way to pay tribute to your beloved animals. That said, the tracked list of deceased animals caps out at 200, so you may need to mark some “favorites” so certain entries aren’t overwritten. (What kind of zoo are you running?) According to the developers, “guests in your zoos will interact with your memorials by viewing them if they are close by, stopping to read the dedication, and then receiving a small mood boost due to appreciation of fond memories with the animal.”

As for burrows, you’ll be able to manually place them where you want in a habitat. They’re basically an extra bit of immersion to soak up — select species can use burrows to “seek shelter, sleep, adjust to the correct temperature, or even give birth.” There’s an internal camera, so you can see what’s going on, and you can link it up to screens for your guests.

Definitely snatch this game up the next time it’s on sale. It’s in a great spot.