Zoo Tycoon is, as the title implies, a simulation game that allows the player to build and manage a zoo. The new manager starts from nothing, being given just a grass field and an entrance sign for the future zoo. He will then have to purchase animals, place them in exhibits, care for their health, and not forget about the other kind of animals - the visitors. To keep them happy, the manager should make the zoo comfortable, open restaurants, gift stands, and pet houses for children.
The game features over forty animal species. It also provides background information about the animals - their classes, origins, habits, etc.