The best part about going to the zoo is seeing the meerkats. Sometimes you get to watch them play and hunt for food, plus both the babies and adults are exceptionally cute - there's always a gran making comments like "ooh I could take one home in my purse". But stop, gran! You can now have your own virtual meerkats in Planet Zoo, because they're included in the Africa Pack which came out today. You can also look after fennec foxes, African penguins, Southern white rhinos and sacred scarab beetles. What a delight.
As well as all those lovely creatures, the Africa Pack adds loads of new African-themed scenery pieces with which to deck out your zoo. In the trailer below you can spot fab meerkat and fennec fox statues (as well as the fab animals themselves), cool water features, and pretty mosaics.
While the Africa Pack is paid DLC, it arrives alongside the 1.6, which is free for everyone who owns Planet Zoo. It comes with Bear Updates to let those beasts do some deep swimming, and it lets you build better habitats for them. There's a new Timed Scenario too, which challenges you to take charge of an animal sanctuary in Central America. Check out the full 1.6 patch notes for more.
In his Planet Zoo review, Nate said it was his "undisputed" game of the year in 2019, because: "It’s a game where you can build your own zoo. And by thunder, it delivers on that promise."
With each update the game receives, I grow more and more curious as to what Nate will get up to with his zoo next. He's already discovered an ostrich as tall as the Statue Of Liberty, and made some rather upsetting high-concept exhibits for his animals.
The game's new meerkats have made me think of 1) Meerkat Manor, a great old docu-series that followed a family of meerkats going about their lives, and 2) this song from the third Lion King film that I wish I could forget.