Theme Park World
There are plenty of action-packed games for the extreme emotion seekers out there, but Theme Park World certainly isn't one of those. Theme parks are a huge market all over the world, after all, who doesn't love them? These are magical places full of emotions and games to bring joy. They are the very definition of having fun, but there's a lot behind those parks, and it's not easy to keep them going.
But is Theme Park World as exciting as a rollercoaster ride? Electronic Arts bring yet another simulation experience here, we're here to talk about it.
About the game
This is a simulation game about theme parks, but we're not going to be attending different parks or anything like that. Theme Park World is more of a SimCity taken into Theme Park-scale instead of cities. A simulation game where we'll be the manager in charge of keeping the park running.
We start the game with only the Lost World Prehistoric theme park, and as we progress we'll earn more points, money, and we'll be able to expand. As you get more visitors you earn more money and unlock new attractions. Design your park carefully to keep the visitors happy and everything running like a clockwork.
Managing the parks
The game works a lot like the Zoo Tycoon titles, where we have to take care of even the planning of the park. Setting up the locations for the attractions, keeping an eye on the outcome/income comparison of the park, customer satisfaction, and even keeping it clean.
You'll have to pick the best attractions to keep your visitors happy in Theme Park World, but keeping them happy is not just about the attractions. Your park must offer bathrooms and cleaning services, even gift shops. It's an excellent managing simulation experience, and it would be the beginning of many other similar titles that were heavily inspired by this.
This game is a little odd, you'd expect it to be first released on the PC, but the original PSOne version isn't that great. Mostly because of the controls and the graphic capabilities of the original PlayStation. Making decisions feels great, and it's super important to make the right ones to get your visitors happy and make your park more successful.
Being in a theme park is not all fun and games, but this game is pretty addictive and nice, especially for those looking for a relaxing and comfy title.
Graphic and visuals: The limited graphic capabilities of the original PlayStation aren't all that great. That's the reason why this game looks the way it does. But even with that, it still has a pretty solid visual style that makes it enjoyable.
Gameplay: Getting more points and upgrading your park is highly addictive, and it feels rewarding. The controls aren't too great, but they are alright. As you progress enough to get 4 golden tickets, you can get a video camera. This camera will allow you to interact with the park from a first-person point-of-view. This adds more fun since now you can finally play in all the games you've kept running for so long.
Sound: There's a decent soundtrack throughout the whole game. The basic theme park music is pretty much always playing in the background but it's not annoying. There are cool sound effects for the different rides, and all the attractions in the park sound completely different and unique. There's also some voice acting from our assistant, and the sound of kids' laughter makes the game feel much more alive.
Download Theme Park World
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Unlike Theme Hospital, this was made when most of the talent had left Bullfrog, making a mockery of the original Theme Park with garish, blocky graphics, a very console feel and none of the charm that made the first game such a joy. Sure, you've got a 3D engine so you can inspect your rides and even get a first-person view of a rollercoaster user, but it's poorly executed. It doesn't help that even the wildest rides are so slow you could take your granny on them without fear of her chucking her breakfast all over you.
That doesn't mean it doesn't hold your attention for a few hours, since the Theme Park mechanics are still all there. You research new rides, play about with the salt content of the fries and the ice content of the colas, compete with local rivals for customers... But it doesn't take long before you're reduced to a maintenance person rather than enjoying the thrill of discovering new rides and seeing lots of little brats hand over their money before turning green. The original game's idea of opening parks all over the world - despite this one's title - is gone. Instead you have a couple of kiddie Theme choices to begin with (Halloween and Lost Kingdom) and have to unlock the other two (Fantasy and Space). I doubt anyone will bother though.
What we thought
"Even the rides with the highest 'excitement' levels are tamer than a sedated penguin and about as graceful."
What you think
- "I think your review of Theme Park World was spot on. What was Bullfrog thinking? The graphics are awful. Why didn't they just use an isometric view as in Rollercoaster Tycoorft OK, RCTcompletely ripped off Theme Park, but at least Chris Sawyer did an excellent job of it. The only thing Theme Park World rips off is the consumer."
- "What was Mark Hill thinking when he reviewed Theme Park World It's rubbish. The gameplay's boring and the graphics are bad and jerky. I can't see how this could get 40% let alone 70%. If you want my advice buy Rollercoaster Tycoon instead."
- "This is without doubt the second best game available (second only to CM3). The graphics are excellent, there are loads of new features and the addictiveness is spot on. A score of 70% is an insult, it should at least be in the low 90s - surely you realise how wrong you were?"