Wonder Zoo is a simulation about managing a wildlife reserve. The basic gameplay is similar to the JAVA/Blackberry version Wonder Zoo, but it is done by a different developer, it has a different premise with animated cut-scenes, much more detailed graphics, and many gameplay elements are unique. This version also had a different development path, at one time using peanuts as a premium currency. That currency was eventually removed entirely. At a later time dinosaurs were also introduced to the game, tied to a concept of switching between different time periods. The game starts with an almost empty reserve because a poacher attempted to steal a lot of animals. The operation went haywire and now the animals run wild and need to be caught.
A part of the game is spent designing the reserve using attractions and decorations. There is some freedom to design the park and buildings can still be edited, moved or removed afterwards. Some animals can be bought, but most of them are caught in different locations that are unlocked gradually tied to the player's level. Capturing an animal is done as a mini-game driving a jeep. It can be moved in any direction and needs to chase after animals. They can be captured and transported to the park, and that chance of rescue can be increased by spending coins on good food. Animals receive their location in the park and they can then be bred in the nursery. Animals can also be crossbred to create new species.
Progress is achieved by catering to the visitors' wishes and completing quests, for instance by capturing a specific animal. Coins, the main currency, are typically generated using the different attractions and animals, by tapping them every now and then. Animals can also be released. Additional coins are earned by watching video advertisements. Additional items or animals can be earned through a helicopter transporting crates. A limited amount of energy is available every now and then to visit the parks of friends and help them out with hearts for rewards. These hearts can then be used to skip some waiting times. To prevent a player from constantly capturing animals, the jeep consumes fuel and additional fuel is bought with coins. There is a time machine to switch between periods in history, with different animals. Next to springboks, lions, elephants and eagles, some of the more uncommon animals include a basilisk, bigfoot, giant anaconda, gryphon, loch ness monster, manta ray, pegasus, triceratops, werewolf, walrus and yeti.