Zoo Patrol

Zoo Patrol is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Cheap Shot: Zoo Patrol

Baby animals: They’re adorable, small, and usually defenseless. Kind of like this game. It’s small and defenseless in its lack of features. And adorable, because it has a plethora of baby animals. Look at that, we just made a circle, and speaking of the circle of life, it has some relevance here…

This game has a very simple premise: rescue all of the baby animals that escaped from the zoo. How or why these animals escaped the grasps of both zookeepers and their own parents is not explained, because you have rescuing to do!

Of course, the implementation of the game is even simpler than the concept behind it. Are you ready? There’s a truck on the screen, surrounded by baby animals scattered randomly. Okay, here’s where it gets complicated: pull back the truck, and let it go…. Whew. We here at STP had to take a break after all that intensity (Steve still hasn’t recovered).

Baby panda is so tough to clean out of your grill.

Once pulled back, the truck is propelled much like a wind-up toy, bouncing off the edges of the screen and collecting the baby animals until it runs out of momentum, at which point you… pull it back again. It is actually impossible to die or lose in this game, which is great for kids, and possibly drunk adults, but we’re not making any suggestions.

Now, collecting the animals is… ambiguous, since it looks like you’re running them over, and they each make noises which could be interpreted as pain or joy, so we’ll leave that part up to you. Oh, and the backgrounds change every now and again, ranging from grass to streets (luckily devoid of traffic and rioters) to one that just looks like the back of a huge hairy monster. That one scared us.

You know what you could do with a dollar these days? Well, not much. But you could spend it on a different app, and we think you probably should.

Editor’s Note: Cheap Shot is a new review feature where we pick a game that costs $.99 or $1.99 and give it the quick review treatment. While you won’t find a 1-4 score or our usual pros and cons, you will get a direct assessment of the game based on a one-hour playthrough. You’ll still find our full-length, regular reviews for other games.