- Developers: Frontier Developments
- Publisher: Frontier Developments
- Genre: Construction and Management Simulator
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows
- Release Date: 17th November 2016
- Microtransactions: No
Roller Coaster Of Love
Theme Park, we all know the game from back in 1994. It was developed by Bullfrog and had that legendary bullshitter Peter Molyneux as part of the team (Was the name based on him?). It was the start of the fairground sim and eventually the genre evolved into the legendary Rollercoaster Tycoon Series.
Rollercoaster tycoon, in case you didn’t know, has a massive fan base and provides you with a sandbox where you can create your own park or dream rollercoaster. You probably know someone who still plays one of the old games, hob nob in hand, with a love for tinkering with the price of sodas or reshaping that path so Sally can get to the ride without sulking.
Fast forward to now and we have Frontier Games, which has most of the original tycoon crew within it. They wanted to create the ultimate fairground sim, pay homage to the classics before it and ultimately surpass them all. Enter Rollercoas…. Sorry Planet Coaster.
From the beginning you have 3 modes. Career, challenge and freeplay. The latter of these lets you build a park from scratch. No need to worry about funding, just build to your hearts content. Career mode is where the bread and butter is. You start with limited funds and will have to really think about what you are doing if you are going to be raking in millions and donning a suit at the latest Prada event. Loans, happiness, staff will all test your resolve and make you work for that dream park. Challenge mode gives you a scenario, and you have some goals to achieve before you can progress. Obviously getting tougher the more you advance.
From the off this game really has been made with a lot of love and respect. The opening tune is one of the best I have ever heard and always gives me a smile when it comes on. It tells me “welcome back sir, whistle along with us gleefully while we load your next experience”.
Frontier games have left nothing unscathed here, menus, sfx, tutorials, music. Its all of a very high standard and you would be hard pressed to moan about much. The graphics are brilliant and surprised me in parts actually how good they are. Shadows bounce of the rides, trees sway in the wind, even the animations of the little annoying park goers are extensive and do not get tiresome.
You can follow someone round the park and watch them as they react to the gaming world you created. Little things you can do like get a customer’s view of a ride you have just built,It all feels like it has been created with the gamer in mind. You can even change the ride music to something from your own totally legitimate and payed for mp3 collection. Highlight of all this is placing a Chief Beef stand down and hearing the CHHHHHEEEEEEIIIFFFFFF BEEEEEEEEFFFF.
Biggest of Dippers
Building a roller coaster is a very fun affair, but doesn’t come without its problems. Many times I have spent around an hour creating a beast of a rail, only to find I cannot make it join up at the end or when I test it my rollercoaster decides it will not go up a certain dip.
But I am still getting to grips with this part of the game, and its very extensive in what you can do and what you can achieve. Just look up online what some gamers have created, its simply mind blowing and wets your appetite for another go at creating Never Never Land. The community on steam are constantly uploading custom made rides and buildings which really does keep it fresh when the standard rides become stale.
I really would of liked it if the game was a little more sim like on the handling of the staff. You prop up a shop, and over time your staff get a little fumed if they are not making sales or are situated in a quiet spot. But when they leave you can just hire another one in the same store with little or no penalty whatsoever, sometimes takes you away from the sim aspect as you have just payed off a loan, upped your park rating and turned over 600 new park goers with patience, time and cunningness. But I can just click a button to replace Boris, Stephen and Marvin because they are moaning little scruffs.
All the bells and whistles are here, price changing, colour schemes, speeds of rides and patterns. You cannot put more salt on your chips or ice in your coke though, that is one thing Theme Park does that PC doesn’t. The little blighters.
Merry-go Bye Bye
Frontier games really need to be proud of themselves with Planet coaster, niggles aside it is by far the most detailed, gorgeous and fun management sim out there. They really have hit the nail on the head with almost everything, and if you have a half decent PC I really recommend giving it a go.
At 30 quid on steam, you could really do a lot worse for your money. A lot of sims frustrate you, punish you or overwhelm you to get rewards. But Planet Coaster is just a joy to play all of the time. Even when it is all stacked up against you, you can look at the 1000s of things going on in your park and it will make you smile enough to want to carry on and better yourself.
With the constant updates to the game and the community love and uploads, I can see this game lasting a long time and its only getting better. If you enjoyed Theme park or RT you will really not want to miss this.
- Great graphics, AI and presentation
- Plenty of customisation options
- Loads to see and do
- The title music
- Management of staff is a little basic
- Profits can either increase or decrease massively for no apparent reason.