Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo is a 2003 video game featuring Aardman Animations' popular characters Wallace & Gromit. The game was developed by Frontier Developments for the PC, PS2, Xbox and GameCube. The game also features the voice of Wallace, Peter Sallis.
The story sees the duo take on Feathers McGraw, the penguin villain from The Wrong Trousers, once more. Feathers has escaped from the penguin enclosure at West Wallaby Zoo, and taken over the entire zoo, kidnapping young animals and forcing their parents to work for him, helping him towards his ultimate goal - turning the zoo into a diamond mine.
Wallace and Gromit, meanwhile, have adopted one of the zoo's baby polar bears, named Archie. As they go to visit the zoo to celebrate his birthday, they find the zoo closed. A quick spot of inventing back at the house, and they prepare to embark on their latest adventure. Hiding inside a giant wooden penguin, a parody of the famous Trojan horse, they infiltrate the zoo, and set about rescuing the animals and undoing Feathers' work.
As Wallace and Gromit delve deeper into the zoo they discover ancient temple exhibits (complete with booby traps), drills, lava, loads of machinery, and even snow slides as they travel about the six levels; in each they must save three baby animals: elephants in the Jungle Exhibit, beavers in the mines, gorillas in the subterranean facility, pandas in the warehouse, polar bears in the Polar Exhibit, and zebras in the factories.
As Gromit, the player must use Wallace's bizarre inventions - including the Porridge Gun, Turnip Launcher, Springy Boots, Melt-o-matic and Techno Trousers - to battle Feathers McGraw's robotic minions and rescue the baby animals in typical platform game style. The game was praised by reviewers for keeping "the flavour of the original claymation". [ ]
Project Zoo received a favorable total score by critics. Gamespot ranked the game with a 6.5, claiming that the story of the adventure was very interesting, but the developers could not find a way to get it into a platformer game, pointing out that the game's biggest fault is its platform jumping style. IGN praised Project Zoo for the most part, but insisted that many levels and functions needed further polishing and testing. Generally, the game was described as a good one, though still missing vital elements for a platformer. Nevertheless, Project Zoo sold quite well, probably due to the large number of Wallace & Gromit fans, and the fact that it was the first major game based on the series.
Not as popular as the console versions, the PC port of the game was reported to have numerous glitches and bugs reducing the speed and quality of the graphics of Project Zoo, even making the game crash or rendering it unable to be launched by the user. Mainly due to this, the PC version of Project Zoo was abandoned by players as problematic, and as a result the number of copies sold for Windows was very low.
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