The most fun you’ll ever have being your own boss. You own a theme park where your success depends on how much sugar you put in your ice cream, how much salt you sprinkle in your French fries, and how much fat you pack into the burgers. The people at Bullfrog has worked its universal game play once again with this remake of the playstation 2 and PC theme park roller coaster game. Also known as Sims Roller coaster theme park on playstation 2 and PC, Sim Theme Park Roller Coaster is the newly redone version. It is fun in a sense of working with a new gadget, compelling you to experiment and modify your theme park to your specifications. It’s a lesson in non-violent, micro management at its best. A brilliant redoing of the PC version, it is highly addictive and a lot of fun to play.
Those of you who are not familiar with all the theme park games, the idea is to create a successful, thriving, theme park such as a Great Adventure, or Bush Gardens. The game provides you with customers, seed money and equipment to begin your park. It guides you in the right direction in developing your theme park any way you like. This game is not easy. It is fast and simple yet a complicated lesson in multi- tasking. It also has a moderate learning curve. Players should not expect to do well on their first or second park. There is a lot to pay attention to striking performers and mechanics, rising employee costs, litter bugs, broken down rides, and fickle customers. It can take hours to set up your park just right.
Players of the PC version will argue that the keyboard is better for this type of game. But the people at Bullfrog came up with something better, a laptop interface that is quick and easy to navigate. You can instantly check on every inch of your park, with no load times to worry about. The four Playstation 2, buttons are all mapped out to meet every specific function, depending on where the analog button is directed. The buttons enable general controls, laptop, build, path, and hire. The analog button enables you to maneuver through your field of view across paths, which then shows an outline around the item you select. Navigating through the menu screens and the response time are immediate. The one downside of this otherwise immaculate version is the voice mail system. The player has an adviser who tells you immediately what needs to be done. So the voice mail is useless. It is slow and can’t be pinned down to any specific time, so you never know if it is relevant now or already has been done.
Designing the park is not the first and only thing to make your park work. Reconsidering every aspect of the park is the real work. To make money you must balance large, small rides, sideshows and food stands. You must find out what the customers buys. What they won’t buy, and where they are buying it. For example: Balloons sell in Halloween park, but don’t try to sell ice cream.
The game is very full. You can open up to eight theme parks, each different from the first. Wonder Land, Halloween Land, Lost Kingdom, Space Zone, Land of dreams, Enchanted Island, Prehistoric World and Ghost World. Earning secret goals and gold tickets will open a new theme park for you to manage. Secret goals consist of keeping your park clean, design, and how popular your roller coaster is with the customers.
The graphics compared with the PC version looks smoother and much more detailed, from the roller coasters, to the visitors animated features. There is a first person perspective where you can actually ride the rides. Each park has it’s own theme. Prehistoric World has a primitive drumbeat while Halloween World is more spooky and scary.
Sims theme park roller coaster is good clean, addictive fun, which is intelligent and very funny. At times complicated, the fast paced, easy to use interface, and the need to be involved in everything and anything makes it still a blast to play. Rated E for everyone it and has comic mischief.