When you start the game you have only a small zoo and it is very rundown. You have to clear land, care for the few Pixamals (these are the animals) that remain, complete quests and earn money to expand the zoo and unlock more Pixamals.
This guide will cover off some basics from playing the game.
Getting Started – Tutorial
The zoo is run-down (has a lot of debris and junk around) and Billy tells you that the council will be shutting it down if you don’t help.
In the tutorial you:
- Learn how to prepare food for Pixamals and feed them (weigh out the right food into a bucket)
- Clean up the enclosures (like erasing in MS paint, hold down and wipe)
- Fix up the enclosures (click to hammer)
- Pick up debris (click or space to pick up)
You also get the first quest “Prepare for inspection”. This first quest requires you to:
- Pickup 250 debris
- Build 3 enclosures
- Purchase 4 animals
- Reach zoo level 3
The hardest thing in that list is reaching level 3 – you can only get this by purchasing Pixamals and there aren’t too many available at the start. You can buy Extra Rabbits, Racoons and Buffalo (as there can be more put in the enclosures you have), you also have a few more options. This will easily get you to level 2, and then you get some more impressive animals that should easily get you to level 3 after about 2-3 days.
After the first day, you also get a really simple quest to “Build Billy’s Bench” – where Billy asks you to get him a bench (costs 250 coins). Completing this will unlock “decorations” which make it even easier to get to level 3 and complete the first quest.
Finally, there is a short tutorial on animal escapes, and then you are pretty much done – the rest is really up to you to complete quests and care for the animals.
- You get income from keeping Pixamals happy – as you get more Pixamals this grows
- You get bonuses found when picking up debris and finding things in the bushes (always one sack in the bushes contains money – the rest are just junk)
- You get bonuses from preparing food “perfectly” – weigh out to get in the light green zone when preparing food in the kitchen
- You get income from visitors
At the end of the day (when money is earned – you get an income for each Pixamal that is happy. How much money you get depends on the Pixamal.
To be happy, Pixamals need to be fed and their enclosures cleaned and you can track hungry Pixamals and dirty enclosures in the HUD. You can also see this as bars in the tool tip for that Pixamal (on hover) – there is an indicator for if that Pixamal is happy or unhappy and a trend for this as well (in the below, it is happy, but trending down as it is hungry).
By far the best bonuses to get are from picking up debris at the start of the game (at least in terms of how much you can get), but these run out after you have picked up the debris (though as more areas unlock you do get more).
Perfect weight bonus is easy to get and you can get it every day, but doesn’t give you as much.
Finding “Timmy’s Stash” – the sack that contains the coin in the bushes – just requires you to look around, but can sometimes be tricky to find if you are not looking. It also gives you pretty decent income (about 300 coins for single player).
You get visitors after completing the “Open for business quest” – which unlocks after “Prepare for inspection” quest is completed. These seem to increase with the zoo level.
Map screen and purchasing
The map screen shows at the end of the day – after the zoo closes at 5 pm, or after you skip to “close the zoo early”. This is where you purchase Pixamals, decorations and later upgrades for enclosures and feeders (after completing “Prepare for Inspection” quest).
Go to the “Pixamals” button to see the Store. Below this is the store after I am quite advanced in the game (around level 8 zoo) – you start with about 5 animals but get a lot more from higher levels and mastering animals.
After you do the “Biilly’s Bench” quest, you can also buy decorations – there are about a dozen of these that all unlock at the same time. They are different sizes – you get many spots to place 1×1 decorations, but fewer for 2×1 and 2×2 (which are better for levelling up).
Purchase these from the map by clicking on the enclosure you want to build them in.
Reduce how fast an animal gets hungry by 50% – this means as you get more Pixamals and more feeders you will be feeding them every 4 days instead of 2.
Feeders also increase the number of mastery points you get when you do feed the Pixamals.
You can upgrade fences from the base one to wooden or stone fences. Each one reduces the chance you will have a fence to fix significantly. On average, base fences have 4 broken parts a day, wood ones 1-2 and stone 1 every second day (on average).
You require the correct resources to upgrade a fence and have to go base > wood > stone.
- Zoo level
- Pixamal Mastery
Zoo level is pretty simple and increases as you get more Pixamals and decorations. Every time you purchase one you can see a score (stars) that tells you how many points it will earn for the zoo level.
Zoo level unlocks some Pixamals and also is required to complete some quests.
Pixamal mastery increases as you interact – feed, clean, pet – the Pixamals. There are 4 levels C (start here), B, A and S. For levels B you get an income bonus for that Pixamal. For A you usually unlock another type of Pixamal. For Level S you get a trophy and achievement (Expert level).
There are also groupings for Pixamals (Woodland, Jungle, Savanah, Bushland, Big Cats, Arctic) – but the developer says these will do more in future releases and give more bonuses for levelling up animals of a certain group.
Prepare for inspection:
- Pick up 250 debris
- Build 3 enclosures
- Purchase 4 animals
- Reach zoo level 3
Unlocks: Fence upgrades (wood and stone) and feeders. Extra land for the zoo.
- Build Billy’s Bench (250 coins)
Open for Business
- Have 18 Pixamals
- Have 2 Pixamal Species at Rank A (mastery)
- Have 15 decorations
- Have 8 wood or stone fences
- Have 6 Pixamal feeders
Unlocks: Visitors to the zoo (and bonus income from them).
Impress Mayor Cutty
- Have 3 Tigers
- Reach Rank B for Tigers
- Have 35 decorations
- Have 20 animal feeders
- Reach level 6
Unlocks: Extra land for the zoo.
After this the early access quest progression ends, but the developer indicates there will be more quests and story after this