Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo is one of the earlier Putt-Putt adventures, but it still holds up even when compared against his later games. The usual Humongous staples are there: the bouncy music, the engaging characters, and the sillly hot spots. Like other Junior Adventures, this one combines the problem-solving of the main activity with a few fun mini-games and some learning along the way.
Baldini the Italian baker car sends Putt-Putt to the zoo to deliver some food to Outback Al, who is getting the place ready for its grand opening. Outback Al is an Australian jeep (all the characters are talking cars or talking animals) who doesn't sound as blatantly stereotypical as Baldini does. He sends Putt-Putt off to find six missing baby animals, and along the way the player must use problem-solving skills to complete the mission. A key to this is exploring every nook and cranny of each screen and picking up every item available since you don't know when you'll need it. For example, Putt-Putt comes across Kenya the missing lion cub while he's at the bottom of a waterfall and she's stuck on a rock halfway up. When he goes to the top of the waterfall, he realizes that his antenna is too short to reach her, so he'll need something longer to dangle over the edge. And to get to the waterfall, he needs to fix the broken raft so that he can sail down the river. But first he needs to find something to fix the raft with. All of the Humongous games are great at teaching and reinforcing problem-solving skills, and this one is no different.
Along the way Putt-Putt can also pick up a camera which he uses to take photos of the animals. The pictures can then be printed out and saved by the player. There are also a couple mini-games, including a tag the animal game and a hockey one. The hockey game is the most fun, while the tag the animal game is a bit too easy. There are also speakers located near the parents of each of the msising animals. Clicking on them gives the child some information about that particular animal. It's a token educational component, but some learning is always better than none.
Finally, there's also some fun little bits in the game. Besides the hot spots, which cause, for example, an animal to parachute out of an umbrella or a rubber ducky to drift down the rapids, there are also some animals along the way which are really amusing. When Putt-Putt first enters Jungle Land, there are three beatnik monkeys who make up rhymes and pound out staccato jazz beats, and over by the waterfall are a pair of toucans who tell jokes.
This game is a lot of fun and highly recommended to any kids between the ages of five and ten.
Graphics: Great, as always. Plenty of hot spots to click, and the characters are lively and engaging.
Sound: The music is nice, although it's funny how the theme when you enter the main part of the zoo is two or three notes off from the theme to the film Jurassic Park.
Enjoyment: Lots of fun. These games are great for kids to play with their parents.
Replay Value: Plenty of puzzles to keep kids going for quite a while. Think of it as their own version of Myst.
Putt-Putt and his faithful dog Pep have to help Outback Al find six missing baby animals before the new Cartown Zoo can open. Putt-Putt must search through Arctic Land, Jungle Land and Grasslands for the missing little ones. Once he finds them, he must use tools he finds along the way to help them get home to their parents
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo have also downloaded:
Putt-Putt Travels Through Time, Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Putt-Putt Enters the Race, Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse, Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell, Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside
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