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By , on June 16, 2011

Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • ZOO KEEPER (almost) as you remember it.
  • Alternative 'Tokoton' mode; casual gameplay for endless matching.
  • Cute, bright artwork and sounds.


  • Almost bare-bones three-match gameplay; match set amounts to a time limit, rinse-repeat.
  • Current version (1.0.0) features a game-breaking visual bug; almost entirely cuts off the far-left column.


While ZOOKEEPER may have been a charming and fun stocking-filler for DS owners in 2005, the 'DX Touch Edition' for 2011 feels like it's stuck in a horrible time-warp.

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Lets use the 'way back when' machine to jump to the far-off land of 2005. To set the scene: You have your chunky Nintendo DS and while Super Mario 64 is fun, you need something else besides your aging Gameboy Advance games to justify playing on it. Insert Zoo Keeper and the introduction of three-match gameplay on a touch device - it's like Bejeweled but with a slightly new dimension to it and that's enough to keep you hooked, at least for a while. Fast-forward to 2011 and now you have your iDevice; three-match games are so common that they're used in other genres much like RPG mechanics and ZOOKEEPER DX Touch Edition by KITERETSU isn't looking so well-positioned any more.

Your goal is to match colored animals in vertical or horizontal groups of three or more, moving on to the next level once you've 'captured' the preset goal. Higher levels bring higher goals and shorter time-limits to achieve them in, but if you're up against the wall you can activate a power-up to highlight all the available matches for a short period of time.

The pixel-art style is cute and matched perfectly by the cheerful background tunes, but after six years of swapping gems the joy can only last for so-long. Visual bugs also crop the play-area, making it hard to efficiently match the animals, especially when you've exhausted almost all of the available combinations.

Even with an update to fix this issue, the game is limited to those who feel nostalgic for the original game - very little of ZOOKEEPER has changed and for some this is a boon, but with so many creative three-match games already available it's a shame to see a game like this left with bare-bones gameplay.


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