Zoo Keeper - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL60      

Zoo Keeper

The Story

You are Zeke, zoo keeper extraordinaire in charge of the local zoo. Unfortunately, your girlfriend Zelda has been kidnapped by the malicious monkey Marcel! To distract Zeke, Marcel has unlocked the cages in the zoo and the animals are running amok!

It’s up to Zeke to run and jump his way around the perimeter of the zoo to rebuild the walls and recapture the animals before finally climbing the platforms while avoiding coconuts to save Zelda.


Zoo Keeper

How to Play

There are three distinct stages in Zoo Keeper, each with their own challenges and scoring opportunities. In each stage you use the joystick controller to move Zeke around the screen and press the button to jump. Can you help Zeke complete all 100 rounds?

  • The Zoo Stage: The object of the Zoo Stage is to keep Zeke alive until the timer on top runs out and the round ends while avoiding any collisions with the escaped animals. In this stage, you navigate Zeke around the perimeter and build up the walls of the zoo by pressing the joystick in the direction you want to move.
  • The Platform Stage: After a couple rounds of the Zoo Stage, Zeke must contend with the Platform Stage. Zeke’s objective on this stage is to jump on the moving platforms and make his way to the top and free Zelda, while avoiding the coconuts being thrown by Marcel the Monkey!
  • The Bonus Stage: After the second and any subsequent Platform Stages are completed, Zeke will have an opportunity to reunite with Zelda and earn an extra life in the Bonus Stage. In this stage, Zeke must jump over animals escaping from cages and ride the escalators up to the top level where Zelda is waiting.

Gameplay Video


Zoo Keeper Screenshot Zoo Keeper Screenshot Zoo Keeper Screenshot Zoo Keeper Screenshot Zoo Keeper Screenshot Zoo Keeper Screenshot

Game Options

  • Novice, Standard, and Advanced Skill Levels
  • One and two-player game modes
  • Left Difficulty: Controls placement of bonus items on the Zoo Stage
  • Right Difficulty: Controls the look of the brick pattern on Zoo and Bonus Stages
  • Built-in Pause Feature using COLOR/BW Switch (2600) or PAUSE (7800)
  • Supports QuadTari Adapter for two-player and AtariVox support
  • High-Score Tables stored in AtariVox or SaveKey (if present)

Zoo Keeper Poster

We're including a free 10" x 14" poster in the box, featuring Nathan Strum's original Zoo Keeper artwork that graces the box, manual and label.

Zoo Keeper Poster

AtariVox Support

If you have an AtariVox or SaveKey plugged into joystick port 2, up to five high scores are saved for each skill level. The current skill level, game mode, and number of players are also saved. To reset all scores on the AtariVox/Savekey for Zoo Keeper, press and hold RESET while powering on the game.

MelodyAdditional Information

Zoo Keeper is a Melody-enhanced game that takes full advantage of the CDF mode in the Melody. Included with Zoo Keeper is the game cartridge, full-color 16-page manual, professionally printed box, and 10" x 14" poster featuring Nathan Strum's Zoo Keeper artwork (see above).

Zoo Keeper is available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats. Please specify above when ordering or you will receive an NTSC cartridge by default.

Number of Players 1 - 2
Controller Joystick Controllers
Cartridge Size 32K Melody
Code and Design John W. Champeau
Graphics Nathan Strum
Music and Sound Effects Robert Vieira
Music and Sound Effects Code Thomas Jentzsch
Additional Music and Testing Lee “Keebz” Kebler
Packaging Illustration and Design Nathan Strum
Sprout on 08/23/2021 11:15pm
Excellent translation! I had a bit of a scare initially; was attempting to play on my Colecovision with the 2600 expansion module, and it simply wouldn't work (which my Harmony cart works on without issue, btw), so thought it was a DOA cart. I'd occasionally get the AtariAge logo very, very briefly, but then it'd go to a black screen.
Eventually figured out it works fine on a "real" 2600, but would have loved to just use the Colecovision instead. So - knocking off 1 point for compatibility issues, but very much recommended for anybody who enjoyed this in the arcade!
Lee Kebler on 07/16/2021 04:44pm
I feel weird writing a review for this since I have a music credit in the booklet, but I didn't program this game and I grew up playing zoo keeper in the arcade. This port is about as perfect and true to the Arcade as you can ever get on the 2600. I'm playing this game and still think it's impossible.

The controls are super tight, the sprite work is unreal, everything about the arcade is in there. every sprite, every level, every jingle and sound effect. This is basically the arcade game crammed into an Atari 2600. I'm wildly impressed.
Utilikey on 07/11/2021 03:39pm
Just received this cart yesterday and it was well worth the wait. Packaging colors just jump out at you, and everything inside is first class. Game play is excellent with my new Aladdin controller and very intuitive. Very challenging game that mimics the original's feel. Lots of fresh audio within the game which adds to the value. Looking forward to getting on the high score board with this one!

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