[Update: Carried on playing the game after the initial review and added some stuff i didn’t know before]
Disco Zoo is a casual android game by Nimblebit where you run a disco zoo getting as many animals via simple puzzles and making them party (It sounds so weird…).
It has a title screen but it goes straight to gameplay after that and the tutorial. I noticed very quickly there was a store although they at least seemed to add a very badly done toddler mode (clicking store with it on gives you the instructions on how to turn it off). I ended up turning it off to avoid the annoying free to play stuff. You start off in the empty zoo like place and then are told to rescue animals so i did it straight away.
After a single try i couldn’t help but feel trying to find animals was similar to finding Battleships except in this case its obviously easier with nothing in the way. There are even mythical animal like a unicorn which i got in the farm. You never felt like you had enough attempts though and maybe the gameplay was done a little wrong. I personally think it should reduce the amount of attempts but not take any away when you actually find an animal. It can’t get too easy because they could just make the grid bigger too.
However it didn’t take long to notice a gameplay feature that made you feel like you were forced to play the game. Basically animals earn you money per second as you’d expect but they also fall asleep after a while and you have to click on their enclosure to wake them up. This means you’d have to check the game frequently to get any progress and i can’t call that casual, its absolutely crazy. In fact the titular disco is actually a pay to win option that keeps them awake them more premium currency you use. Although waking them up is easy plus the guests do drop coins alot too and sometimes you get big 1000 coins. The little minigame for clicking the bus on the left was slightly amusing though (i guess you could compare it to flappy bird). You can also give animals hats (which was amusing even if they’re tiny).
However once you get used to it you find out there’s much more to the game including after you’ve saved 25 of each animal. For example the above screenshot shows a freedom garden which you get for maxing out an animal, you don’t get anything that great for freeing an animal compared to adding to the zoo but every 10 gives you a statue and upgrades it. There are even unlockable shops if you play long enough but sadly like the hats it feels really expensive and is more of an endgame thing.
Overall the game seems quite good but the way it feels like it drags on at first despite also being a bit enjoyable makes it hard to recommend. I kept playing and it did improve after a while.