Planet Coaster is a new game – I have to say this because whenever I play the game I need to repeat it back to myself or else I feel like a game I’ve been playing for ten years. That’s not to say the game is easy – at times it can be frustrating and difficult but that’s not a bad thing, it requires thought, precision and skill to create the perfect park, and that really is what makes this game.
Simulation games have always been something I’m drawn to, they are fun with that bit of challenge that makes them entertaining and Planet Coaster is no exception. The game is completely open from the start, you’re asked to chose between sandbox, challenge and career, but after that it’s all down to you.
The game has been out almost two months now and I think that it’s the perfect time to express exactly what I think of the game, it’s not perfect, but it comes close.
I’m not new to this genre of game, I’ve played all of the Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise as well as a few of the alternatives and I don’t hesitate at all when I say that this is the best game in the mix. It’s got the perfect combination of fantastic graphics, deep and rich gameplay, hours of fun and that hint of nostalgia, it’s what makes a brilliant game and I find that when I’m not playing, I crave it.
So I’ve said it’s a fantastic game, but where’s the fun in sitting here saying it’s the best thing in the world with no faults, because it isn’t and it does have its problems. The challenge modes within the game lack the, well, challenge – while playing them they can get very dull and repetitive, the aspect of money is good and all but once you’re 45 minutes in and the money isn’t a problem anymore the challenge is gone. The introduction of ‘harder’ mode in a patch did help, one of the many examples of proof the development team are truly dedicated to the fans of this game.
The game has so much to offer, I can’t recommend it enough, but if you’re still not convinced I’ll cover some of my favourite aspects of the game.
Before the game was out of Alpha the development team talked a lot about the ‘guest brain’ – the sophisticated minds of the people that visit your park, it’s not hard to see why they were so proud of it. After two months of seeing the guests zoom around my parks it’s not difficult to overlook them as just another empty shell mindlessly spending money, how wrong this is.
The guests have so much depth and are truly fantastic, they have thoughts and feelings which is something we’ve seen before but they act upon their surroundings in a much more realistic manner. It’s amazing how much adding a few scenery items to a ride or next to a path can change the mood of a guest – they suddenly come alive jumping around and getting excited over a animatronic dragon or a marching knight, it’s really fun to see. The guests really are amazing, the dev team did such amazing work and they can only get better.
I’ve left this quite open because the creation of rides is so open, you’ve got placement of flat rides, building of rollercoasters, queue scenery, ride scenery and triggers. Flat rides aren’t complex, it’s two clicks, but the customisation is great, you can change the colour of everything, add custom music and top it off with fun and exciting queue scenery to keep the guests entertained while they wait. All the customisation goes with rollercoasters too, you can do all of that and more, because you get to build any kind of rollercoaster you want to – realistic or not.
Triggers are honestly one of the most amazing features this game has, I’m going to be honest here, when they announced them I wasn’t interested at all, they were a bonus as I didn’t feel I needed or wanted them, I was wrong. A week ago I decided to jump into building a very detailed and intricate park, now at first I didn’t even think of adding triggers but the more I thought about it the more excited I got, explosions, falling water, flickering lights and so much more can enable you to make brilliant and realistic rollercoasters. I’m getting excited just writing this.
The terrain tools in Planet Coaster are beyond words, think of any game with terrain tools and you’ve got, pull, push and flatten, well the development team took this to the next level, I’ve had to include a video for anyone who’s never seen them in action, you can literally make anything and people have. I’ll say that one thing that lets this game down within the terrain tools is the water, there’s absolutely no physics with the water, but it does look pretty and there’s a variety of different types, so there’s that.
So that’s all I’m going to cover at the moment, it’s probably not the most in depth review but it’s what I think after playing the game for almost two months. Buy it. Support this amazing developer because they care and it’s not often you can say that, don’t believe me? Check out the thousands of videos and the hundreds of positive reviews online.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the game as much as I do.