When I was younger I loved simulation type games before I even understood what they were. Starting with Theme Park and Theme Hospital, my love for them only grew from there. Then I got into Rollercoaster Tycoon, which in my eyes was the epitome of simulation games. I owned all three of them, DLC if it was available. I loved building and creating parks, starting over when I had a new idea or if I wanted to try an idea for a rollercoaster I came up with. Then…they kind of disappeared. It was basically a drought of theme park like simulators. I mean there was Zoo Tycoon among a couple of others…but it left an empty desire for something better. With the launch of Rollercoaster Tycoon World was announced! Could it be?! A new Rollercoaster Tycoon?! What a let down that was. Damn was this the end of Rollercoaster Simulators? Here comes Planet Coaster.
I was damn skeptical of a new comer in the theme park simulations. I wasn’t sure what to expect really, would it be another knockoff? A crappy rehash of the same old formula? In short, it is….but it most definitely isn’t.
Planet Coaster starts off very friendly and welcoming. You create an avatar and plop yourself down on the map. This map will allow people to find your custom creations much easier as they can search by area. Also if you decide to register you will gain a little gold hat as a thanks from the devs.
Now everything is up to you. What do you want to do, mess around in the sandbox with unlimited money and see how different things affect whats going on in the park? Do you want to dive into the career mode? Maybe watch some tutorial videos? Whatever you want to do you can. I jumped right into the career mode, I couldn’t handle I needed to see what this game was about. I was instantly awestruck. It looked gorgeous. It was pirate themed and had a bad ass lake where a major coaster ran along its track. Damn it looked amazing. Career mode is you basically taking over an existing park and you have some requirements to meet before you can get all three stars on that level. These stars usually require a certain amount of money to be made, people attending the park, ETC. I decided to ride the coaster, I just needed to see how it worked and looked. Holy hell…it was amazing. during the run I realized that you can queue up special effects during the ride so it triggers as the cars reach a certain point. Damn I was impressed. It instantly started generating a ton of ideas of what I could do with the editor.
The park management is every simple yet extreme for those that want to fully customize the experience. Like you’re probably used to, you place food, drink and souvenir booths, bathrooms, decorations, all kinds of different items to try to make the guests park experience memorable, or better yet an expensive one. You can also place janitors, maintenance workers, and entertainers around your park as well. Seems simple enough right? You can get quite detailed with the employees. You can create work paths and areas they will stay in, meaning if you create a food court and those little bastards are littering everywhere? Make a janitor stay in that area to keep it clean. You can also dial in each employee with a specialty such as just cleaning litter and such. Then if you want to make them more efficient? You can train each one individually and they will become better, happier employees…they will cost more to keep on your staff. AND THIS IS JUST THE STAFF! You can invest in marketing and research as well to boost your park even further!
Now the editor. This is bonkers. So once you have a theme unlocked such as a space theme. You can completely build any theme park building using these parts. You don’t have to use the pre-built ones. If you think your hot-dog stand needs more broken down space ship parts and a soundtrack…do it. Its not just the coasters that are completely customizable. I was messing around a made the most dilapidated looking building that had a pirate theme…but damnit it was mine. Some amazing people take major time in building some epic pieces and upload them to the Steam Workshop for you to download and us in your own parks!!
This game completely blew away my expectations. Any one that is a fan of Rollercoaster Tycoon or just simulators in general should take a look at this game. The graphics rock the gameplay is smooth and the menus work great. It didn’t take much to catch on to what was needed, but it did take some investment getting deep and dirty with custom rides or buildings.
Amazing theme park sim
Doesn't take much to pick up and go
Too a big to load on certain things (could be my PC)
No major story so don't look for one.