unnamed (6)

With a name like "Disco Zoo," you can probably tell that Tiny Tower developer NimbleBit isn't taking its latest game entirely seriously. And indeed, this really isn't a Zoo Tycoon-style game, and it isn't trying to be. In Disco Zoo, you "rescue" animals under questionable circumstances, then display them in marginally unsafe conditions to farm money out of gawking patrons. And then you throw a disco party.

Disco Zoo is a mix of Kairosoft-style pixelated property management (slightly modified to fit the free-to-play model), and, strangely, minesweeper. Your sojourns to the wild via hot air balloon are played out on a grid with a limited number of moves available. Find all the "parts" to an animal (kind of like Battleship) before your moves run out, and you can add it to your zoo, earning more money for more excursions. Get enough animals and you can throw a disco party, temporarily upping your earnings in a sort of lightning round.

unnamed (2) unnamed (4) unnamed (3)

The game is sort of cathartic - the animal hunts themselves are slow-paced and frustrating thanks to the artificial limits put in place by the coin system, and your zoo doesn't only earn money automatically like most management games. You'll also need to manually tap on coins as they appear on-screen to add them to your coffers. Combine this with the usual dual currency level grind of the in-app purchase world, and it becomes a slow drag (at least for me). Still, iOS gamers seem to like it: Disco Zoo has racked up nearly 10,000 rating with a score of 4.5/5 on iTunes.

If this kind of casual management game is your jam, I'd suggest checking out Kairosoft's titles, which tend to come with a free demos. If not, Disco Zoo is a free download for Android 2.3.3 and higher.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Cheeseball

    It's good NimbleBit stopped relying on Mobage for their apps. Needing a constant internet connection just to play a single-player game is stupid.

    • Philippe Morin

      I was wondering... When did they make that decision? What is the first game not ported by Mobage? Thanks!

      • Cheeseball

        I believe it was either Pocket Trains or NimbleQuest. Both of those games are free, but don't require you to purchase the IAPs or need a constant connection.

  • Shibby

    It's about time they released it on android

  • http://www.allankintz.com ack154

    I've been playing DZ on my work iPhone for a while now - have not spent a single cent. It's not an amazing game or anything but helps me kill a few minutes when I'm waiting on customers or something at work. I've rescued all of the animals so far and am working on getting my diamond level trophies for the statue gardens.

    • Cheeseball

      Admit it, you like watching the pixelated animals and people go crazy when you disco. LOL.

  • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php Apple is a patent troll

    Hopefully it gets hacked soon to remove those stupid in app purchases.

    • Tulio Natale

      you can never go wrong with "freedom".

      • duck hairs

        Except when it doesn't work

    • atlouiedog

      I find in these pay or wait games that a lot of the time when you get access to enough in-game currency where you no longer have to wait you discover that beneath whatever charming or nostalgic coat of paint they put on it is a game that isn't very much fun to actually play now that you're free to.

  • Matthew Fry

    The Kairosoft ones don't only have demos, they're balanced correctly.

  • namesib

    These games are complete crap. Where is the fun in a game that is based on a model where you must wait an increasing amount of time to do each action?

    Shame on anyone who actually spends money on this garbage and games like it.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Weird, it hangs on the title screen on N7 with ART and 4.4.2

    • culby

      I brought it up to one of the Nimblebit devs, but apparently it's a problem with Unity.

  • primalxconvoy

    "...the animal hunts themselves are slow-paced and frustrating thanks to the artificial limits put in place by the coin system..."


  • teddy

    I was part of the original beta iOS--this game DOES have timers but if you check it 2-3 times a day you can actually pretty much beat it in a week or two without IAP. It's not that punishing.

  • janelle

    Does anyone know how to move one game to a new phone? I'm pretty far along and would hate to lose it. Thanks!