Planet Zoo is developer Frontier’s animal-focused sequel to its hugely-successful Planet Coaster – and to a lesser extent, Jurassic World Evolution – and it currently has a release date of November 5 this year. However, fans of the series looking forward to the game might not have to wait as long as that, as Frontier has announced that there will be a Planet Zoo beta launching next month.
The beta will kick off on September 24, and will run for two weeks until October 8. According to Frontier, it will consist of the first scenario from the Planet Zoo story-based Career mode, and a biome from the more sandbox-based Franchise mode.
It may only be a taste, but it’s certainly very good news for any fans of Frontier’s games – or just anyone looking for a new zoo management game – looking to try the game out early. However, there is one piece of bad news – the beta is currently only available to people who pre-order the Deluxe Edition of Planet Zoo.
Career mode is Planet Zoo’s story mode – featuring various advisor characters similar to Ian Malcolm and Claire Dearing in Jurassic World Evolution – and players will be tasked with building and maintaining zoos across the world. The beta scenario is an introduction to this – and while Frontier doesn’t say what animals will be included, it does mention some of them are “as-yet unrevealed”.
Simulation runs wild in Planet Zoo – pre-order the Deluxe Edition now for exclusive access to our Beta starting on 24 September 2019! pic.twitter.com/Qd1mtbHMAM
— Planet Zoo (@PlanetZooGame) August 20, 2019
Franchise mode is more of a sandbox, and the beta gives a taste of this – including the game’s online functionality. While there doesn’t sound like there will be any actual multiplayer – certainly not in the beta, anyway – players can participate in an “animal exchange” program with other players. This increases the genetic diversity and general wellbeing of a zoo’s animals.
The final game will also have Daily Challenges, Community Goals, and presumably other online features that haven’t yet been revealed.
The Planet Zoo beta is just a taste of all this, but as mentioned it’s only available for Deluxe Edition pre-order customers. Apart from the beta, the Planet Zoo Deluxe Edition also includes a soundtrack, wallpapers, and three exclusive animals: Komodo Dragon, Pygmy Hippopotamus, and Thomson’s Gazelle. We’ve been impressed by what we’ve seen of the game so far, so hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.