The Second Game in the Keep It or Delete It Series
Family Zoo: The Story is the second game in the Keep it or Delete it series. I downloaded this game because I was interested in finding more fun match three games to play.
Read this review to see what my thoughts are on the game and to find if I deleted or kept the game.
About Family Zoo: The Story
I downloaded the game last year. I play the game on my Android smartphone, and I played the game on Facebook sometimes as well. There are two types of levels you can play.
I am on level 109 when playing ticket levels and level 67 when playing rock levels. I also played some of the training levels.
This is a match three puzzle game. You beat levels to collect items to progress in the story. You need to beat each level with a limited number of moves.
I Love Match Three Puzzle Games
I have played many match three games. When I first started to play Android games, I played a lot of these puzzle games. So I know by now what I like and don’t like.
This Game Feels Great
Family Zoo: The Story feels nice to play. This game has a powerup system that requires you to move powerups to use them. This system requires a somewhat different strategy.
The Levels Change at a Good Pace
The game so far seems varied enough that I still enjoy playing it. I can not think of anything major to complain about.
Like all puzzles games, there are going to be difficult levels, but with the right resources, I have been able to beat all levels.
The Story in the Game Is Boring
So with a name like Family Zoo: The Story, I expect a strong emphasis on story. So far, the story has been pretty uninteresting to me. Maybe I don’t care much about zoos.
All I can say is there has been nothing compelling in this story. Nothing keeps me wanting to come back to find out more. I play more levels because the game is fun, not because I want to learn more about the story.
I Mostly Ignore the Story
I horde the story progression items until I have a lot, and then I make the story progress. I suppose the game does give you rewards for beating some story segments, so that makes it worthwhile.
The Story Is to Slow
One of my main issues is the story progresses too slowly. I know why the developers do this. If they progress in the story too fast, then they probably will run out of ideas before level 3000 or whatever.
But as a player, this feels annoying (I am going to put even more emphasis on this later in the annoyance factor section).
There Needs to Be Less Tasks and More Interesting Tasks
If you are going to have players beat levels to complete tasks, then the tasks need to be meaningful. I think this issue can be solved by merging some of the very small tasks into one or not having them, to begin with.
This will course mean the developers will need to spend more time creating good and interesting tasks. This will be a challenge. But I think developers can do better than a list of chores.
I Like the in Game Events
I like the events in this game. They feel worthwhile, and it feels a lot more fun to play during them. There are multiple event types, and I like this as well.
I am noticing puzzle games are starting to include ranked leaderboards more often. I like these types of events, but I tend to play many games at once instead of focus only on one game.
So I won’t be able to beat the top players.
I Don’t Like the 3D Models
I am not a fan of 3D models in mobile games. A lot of the times they end be looking very simple and lack the details of 2D graphics.
Family Zoo: The Story looks OK. The models are not too bad, but they don’t look amazing. I imagine this is because of needing to program for many devices and needing the game to look good on them all.
The Play Area Looks Good
The game area looks great. I like fruit pieces and puzzle elements, and the matching animations and powerups also look nice.
How I Will Rate Game Audio Going Forward
I have decided on a new test for game audio and music. If the game feels no worse off if the game is muted, then the audio is just OK at best.
The Audio Is This Game Does Not Excite
Family Zoo: The Story feels the same with sounds or without them. The sounds are OK, but they don’t add much to the experience. The music is OK, I guess. I don’t have too strong of an opinion about it.
I Love Great Video Game Soundtracks
I am very picky about video game sounds. It is one of the things I care about the most, and I want sounds and music that excites.
Some examples of my favorite video game soundtracks are Crypt of the Necrodancer, The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, Rogue Legacy, and Super Meat Boy.
Spending Factor Review
Most in Game Purchases Are About the Same
So many games have the same game stores that I am running out of things to say about them. There are the usual bundles and in game currency here. This time there are coins.
Sometimes there are gems (purple gems in particular I noticed). Sometimes there are diamonds.
But they all are used for about the same things. Refill your lives, buy boosters, buy powerups, or to continue in levels when you run out of moves.
This Game Is Fair
As long as the game doesn’t feel like you need to spend money to beat levels, I tend to be forgiving towards these types of purchases.
I guess you could buy $100 worth of coins to beat like 100 levels a day or something, but I make progress with what I get for free.
You do not need to spend money on this game. Even if you are very stuck on a level, you should have enough free coins or powerups to beat the level eventually.
Family Zoo: The Story is pretty fair about giving you free coins, boosters, and powerups. I mostly only use these resources on the hardest of levels, and things are going well.
Annoyance Level Review
The Story Is Slower Than Snails
Like I mentioned in the Gameplay Review section, the story progresses far too slowly. The game teases you with being able to see lions and other zoo animals, but you first need to beat tens of levels to see them.
If I did care about seeing and taking care of the critters in the game, I would be disappointed at how often you get new ones.
The Game Takes a While to Load for the First Time
One thing I noticed as well is that the game takes a while to load for the first time. I imagine this is because of the 3D elements. It is possible the game loads faster on newer and better phones, and mine is slow.
The Game Spams Notifications
This game also borders on being spammy with the notifications. I don’t mind being told about in-game events, but I don’t want to be reminded to play a game.
Waiting for Lives Is Boring
I know I say this for most game reviews, but I am tired of the life system most games have. I want to choose how long to play a game. This game does give you periods of unlimited lives, and that is nice.
I suppose you get enough coins to buy extra lives as well.
Overall Thoughts on Family Zoo: The Story
Family Zoo: The Story is a very fun game to play. I am not a fan of the story, but the game does a lot of things right that other match three games don’t.
The game does the actual gameplay well enough that I can be more forgiving towards the other game elements.
Will I Keep on Playing This Game?
No. I was on the fence about this game but I decided I no longer wanted to play it anymore. Deleted.
Do I Recommend Family Zoo: The Story?
If you like match three games, you probably will like this game. But if you want a game with a more active story, look for other mobile games. The story progresses very slowly.