Released in November 2016, Frontier Developments Brought out their best theme park simulator yet. To be honest, we were wondering if we should even write a review of this on Simplay Transport due to the fact that Planet Coaster isn’t heavily based around transport (roller coasters are sort of transport we guess?) but simply because it’s a very enjoyable and a creative simulator, we couldn’t resist giving it a nod on this website! Read on to understand what this simulator is all about and why we enjoy it so much.
What is this simulator all about?
Planet Coaster allows you to build your dream theme park and learn how to make this possible. There are three main ways of playing planet coaster. Firstly, there is career mode which gives you a struggling half built park that you have to save from calamity and debt. This will help you develop your financial and building skills.
Secondly, there is the campaign mode is basically a set of tutorials to help you use all of the different features of the game. For example, one tutorial is how to use the terrain editor (so you can change the texture of the ground and also how hilly you want the park to be).
Finally, there is also a Sandbox mode (our personal favourite!) where you create your dream theme park. On this mode, you’ll be able to customise nearly anything you want and you can make your own custom roller coasters as well as your own buildings and pathways. On this mode, there is just so much possibility involved because of the vast creativity of the simulator; you can really let your imagination run wild!
As well as being able to build your personal theme park, you have the choice of adding some realism by managing the financial side of the park and running the park like a business. If you are not getting enough customers entering the park, on the coasters and buying the food, you’ll be getting into debt which means you will not be able to develop your park further. However, you can also use unlimited money mode if you don’t want any financial barriers to your imagination – with this you can also give your staff ridiculously high wages to keep them happy!
The Roller Coasters and Attractions
To expand your park, you are going to need some big money making attractions and this can be achieved by designing your own rollercoasters. Before being able to create your own layout, you will have to choose the coaster design. Here, you select what type of roller coaster you wish to build, for example you could choose a hyper coaster or a kids coaster. Each design is best used for certain types of coaster; some of the models cannot invert and some cannot accelerate as quickly as others, while some are designed for much more intense roller coasters. After choosing the coaster and placing the station in the place you want it to be, you can start building around it.
There are vast editing options to make the coaster as specific as you want it to be. You will have to build your own lift hills/launches and you will also have to change the tilt angles of the track to make the track as steep as you want it to be. It can be quite challenging at the start but after getting used to it, having your own roller coasters certainly feels very rewarding. Your ride will be given a score out of 10 dependent on factors such as excitement, fear factor and nauseousness. The higher the score is, the more likely people will want to ride your coaster meaning the more business you will get.
If you don’t feel like making your own roller coaster there are pre built coasters with average scores as well. Lastly, you can also ride your coaster in first person, third person and cinema mode to feel what you’re putting your customers through!
There are also a variety of prebuilt attractions you can use for the visitors to ride, such as a tea cup ride or a sky flyer. These add a little more business to the park so they are worth while investing in, although it’d be nice to be able to design your own versions of these rides. Not everyone is comfortable with roller coasters!
Scenery and Items
Before building your park, you will be given an option to choose what type of landscape you wish to build upon. For example, you could use a desert landscape or even an arctic landscape. The texture quality of the terrain is actually rather good and looks even better with a big theme park plonked right on top of it!
When building your theme park, there are lots of different items you can add to really make your world look like a theme park. For example, there is a variety of different park lights, bins and benches that you can add which will help your customers feel more satisfied (nobody wants rubbish lying around or nowhere to sit and customers will moan about issues like these!).
Also, in order to spruce up the environment, you can place scenery (e.g. trees and rocks) and even animatronics (e.g. pirates and dragons). You can also place different facilities around your theme park such as food/drink stools and also first aid centres. You can get prebuilt themed buildings or you can build them from scratch to make it a bit more personal to you.
DLC’s and the Online Community
There are some really cool DLC’s that you can download to expand the variety of rides and items. For example there is a vintage pack that includes 5 rides, 2 coasters, animated characters and lots of different other items. The online community is vast on the steam workshop. You can download peoples’ buildings, attractions and rollercoasters to put in your own world. This means that if you aren’t particularly imaginative and still want an exciting theme park, you still have other options to choose from. As well as being able to download individual things, you can also download people whole maps to roam around on.
Planet Coaster is one of the most creative and detailed creation games out there at the moment. If you want to manage your own theme park and be able to design your own roller coasters, then look no further than Planet Coaster. It can be challenging at the start (Rome wasn’t built in a day) but after the learning phase, this game should provide hours of creativity and great fun.