If you've spent any amount of time with 2004's RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, you'll feel comfortable with Planet Coaster – another theme park construction and management game discharged a week ago – worked by similar individuals, Frontier Developments. The amusement shares quite a bit of Roller Coaster Tycoon 3's DNA, which is not astounding considering that diversion has sold more than 10 million duplicates since dispatch. Lamentably that additionally implies adhering to some outline choices around micromanagement that began over 10 years prior, and appear to be strange today.
Planet Coaster is a sprightly amusement – with cartoony activitys, splendid hues, and a pop instrumental soundtrack that is a decent blend of ecstatic and moving. The principal thing you do in the diversion includes making a symbol, and putting them anyplace on the globe. You can then take a gander at parks and universes made by other individuals in the Steam Workshop people group, and they can take a gander at what you're making. This has been accessible since the diversion's beta days, and thus gives far more substance than Planet Coaster itself ships with.
There are three approaches to play in Planet Coaster – Career, Sandbox, and Challenge. Profession includes a pre-decided arrangement of existing parks that open as your in-amusement level ascents – the most readily accessible subject is Pirate, and after that moves onto Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and "Planet Coaster" in further bolted levels. In all the Career mode situations, you're given a half-completed stop and three arrangements of destinations of shifting trouble. These incorporate developing the recreation center's group of onlookers to a specific level, raking in a particular benefit, or building more rides.
The more targets you can tick off, the speedier you access propelled crusades. You can keep extending any of the parks once your destinations are finished. Profession levels serve as a decent instructional exercise to the diversion, however very little else. The requests have a tendency to be entirely essential, and with the recreation center half-worked, there's never enough flexibility for you to investigate all alone. There is a genuine instructional exercise area also, however whatever it does is open a program window in-amusement and indicate Planet Coaster's YouTube channel. On the off chance that anything, it's the best case of how not to plan instructional exercises.
Sandbox, the second of the three available options, offers exactly what its name suggests – a completely free open-world for the payer to explore, with an unlimited budget to boot, and no limitation on what you can build, or when you can build it. If you’re looking to be challenged, Sandbox can feel sluggish and confusing, more so for newcomers. Despite its allure and freedom, it’s also not the best way to come to grips with the game, as being handed the keys to the entire kingdom can be daunting when you’ve no idea how to proceed.
That leaves Challenge, which strikes the right balance in providing a genuine sense of control while being realistic with the bottom line, i.e. the budget. When you begin a new game in Challenge mode, you’ll be given some objectives – or challenges – to hit. These might involve building a coaster that reaches a certain speed, or a ride that hits a specific value on the Excitement scale (all rides are judged on three metrics: Excitement, Fear, and Nausea).
Once you complete a challenge, you can claim a monetary reward. New challenges will pop up as your park expands, and your success is completely dependent on maintaining a good cash flow that allows you to add more rides. A frequent complaint from visitors in the beginning will be the lack of things to do in the park. But manage that well, and you’ll be raking cash in. It’s nowhere near as simple as that sounds, though.
Planet Coaster has many dozens of things to do and manage, and you’ll have to juggle them all to ensure success. The profitability of any coaster depends on how you decorate it, what the game calls Queue Scenery Rating. Any new ride starts with a single-digit value, and it’s up to you to dress it the way you like. You can choose from hundreds of props – be it just a barrel planter for $4, or something as elaborate as a sleeping dragon for $260. The more expensive, huge and sophisticated the “object”, the more it adds to your Scenery rating – in turn, keeping customers happy while they wait in queues.
Your park visitors have a rundown of necessities as well. These incorporate satisfaction, vitality, hunger, thirst, can, and sickness. Happiness is influenced by the cost of the rides, and the length of the line, which thusly is influenced by the term of a napkin. Yearning and thirst can be overseen by setting up nourishment and drink slows down, while can needs latrine slows down, as you may anticipate. The remainder of these – queasiness – is connected to the previously mentioned ride metric, and individuals will become ill if your stop tilts towards a daredevil soul, versus a family amicable vibe.
Different concerns incorporate Research, and Marketing. While Sandbox gives you a chance to construct any liner from day 1, you'll need to "research" in the two other diversion modes to open not simply rides (napkin, track, family, or excite) but rather shops (nourishment, drink or stock) emergency treatment offices, ATMs, and data corners – the remainder of which permits you to empower Priority Pass, and gain from stop guests who wish to skip lines. Showcasing does precisely what it sounds, helping you get more guests which is urgent to development. There are three sorts of it in Planet Coaster, from print advertisements, TV plugs, and online battles.
That leaves Staff, and Attractions and Shops. Any supportable stop needs staff to oversee it, be it keeping it sans litter, keeping up and settling rides, merchants at sustenance and drink slows down, and even performers to keep spirits high around the recreation center. You've alternatives for the greater part of that under staff, from enlisting new ones to keeping a beware of their bliss levels. Attractions and Shops records all that you build in your stop, in three distinct sheets checked Attractions, Shops, and Facilities. Every thing in these rundowns demonstrates to you the status – whether it's open, trying or separated – the quantity of month to month clients, when that particular thing opened to general society, and the most recent month's benefit. That way, you can rapidly make sense of which of your rides and shops merit keeping, or should be disposed of.
Planet Coaster has a wide range of detail even past this – you can tap on any single visitor, and see what they are doing, consider your stop, their necessities are, and how much money they have spent since entering your stop. Beyond any doubt it can feel somewhat meddling, similar to a propelled widely inclusive reconnaissance framework, however it's soothing to see upbeat green smileys on their data cards, and know they're having fun.
Even your rides share this extensive detailing and customisation. While you’re free to choose from existing blueprints for coasters, you can then dig in and set up “triggers” for the length of a ride. This could mean a water jet or a pyrotechnics display going off as a car rolls by, which contributes to the ride metric in some manner. You can also go in and build a ride from scratch if you like, which is what enamours veteran coaster gamers. The controls and tools therein are intuitive and self-explanatory, and so even if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, you can construct a basic ride in a couple of minutes. Moreover, Frontier has provided a Steam Workshop module at the game’s opening screen, so you can browse through other people’s collection and download ones that you like. It’s sort of like having DLC for a game without any waiting on the developer.
Planet Coaster’s problems aren’t with its creation side, but on the management front. When queues get too long, visitors will complain – and these tend to be the most prominent ones in the “Top Guest Thoughts” column. You can add to the Scenery, and bring in Entertainers to help solve that, but even though we had 70+ per cent values, and multiple entertainers, people still remained unhappy and the game never made it clear how we could be doing better.
With things like Staff, and Attractions & Shops, it seems Frontier didn’t put much thinking into designing it, as you’re forced to micro-manage every single individual and item. Wish to change everyone’s salaries? Choose Park Management, head to Staff, click on the location marker,
head to the Employment tab on the pop-up card, and then tweak the value. Want to change the price of a certain food item across the park? Run through more of the same, and visit every food stall you’ve in the park. It’s one-two clicks too many for something so menial, and shows how poorly designed the entire management system is.
If that’s the side of theme park simulation you’re interested in, you’ll be left frustrated and disappointed. But if what you want is to plonk down a bunch of rides, be creative with your layouts and create a happy mini-universe for guests and yourself (you can go on the rides too, in first-person view), which brings out and caters to your imagineering side, then Planet Coaster is the game for you.
Everything is customisable – rides, props, and buildings
Building your own coaster is intuitive, and quick
Cartoony visuals and pop soundtrack is inviting
Management side can be frustrating
Hitboxes for rides tend to get in the way
Rating (out of 10): 8