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Planet Zoo is “coming soon” and, at first glance, looks absolutely brilliant.

Frontier Developments are strategy specialists. They’ve also adept at taking older ideas – like Elite – then renovating and adapting them for modern audiences.

For starters, there’s Planet Coaster. The theme park management sim is a new franchise, but can be directly attributed to Frontier’s experience working on games like Rollercoaster Tycoon, Thrillville, and Screamride. They’ve built on these foundations to put together the definitive game where you are a tycoon of rollercoasters (even though it doesn’t carry the name).

Then there are the adaptations. Take last year’s Jurassic World Evolution, which takes Planet Coaster’s brilliant formula and smashes it together with the massive dino movie franchise. That big movie studio tie-in builds on Frontier’s work with Disney in 2011, on the Kinect-enabled exploration game, Disneyland Adventures.

What we haven’t seen, yet, is a follow-up to Frontier’s Zoo Tycoon and Kinectimals. Until now.

Announced today, Planet Zoo is “coming soon” according to the game’s Steam page, and promises to bring Planet Coaster’s detailed simulation, balanced management, and thorough sense of fun to running a wildlife park.

Meet a world of incredible animals. From playful lion cubs to mighty elephants, every animal in Planet Zoo is a thinking, feeling individual with a distinctive look and personality of their own. Craft detailed habitats to bring your animals’ natural environments home, research and manage each species to allow them to thrive, and help your animals raise families to pass their genes onto future generations.

What’s nice is that the habitats shown in Planet Zoo are very much in the mould of a modern wildlife park, not a traditional zoo. There are no cages or fences; just big open paddocks with natural environments, that make your park a nice place to be for both animals and guests alike.

We look forward to hearing more about this one in the coming months.

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