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Adventure Park

By Fr33Lanc3r.00730-12-2013
MrJenssen (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)
Adventure Park

The Defence

bitComposer Games
Simulator, Strategy
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core2 Duo 3.0 GHz
AMD Phenom X3 2.4 GHz
Nvidia GeForce 280
AMD Radeon HD 4870
4 GB
1.5 GB

The Case

Ahh, Rollercoaster Tycoon. Many were the hours I whiled away setting up elaborate theme parks and being hilariously cruel to the simulated people that came to visit. But that was back in the early 2000s, and Adventure Park is the new kid on the block attempting to recapture our imagination and have us building roller coasters all over again. But does it measure up, or will it fall off the rails before the first drop?

The Trial

Adventure Park, like most tycoon games, has you taking on the role of a manager of a business. The standard options for construction, employee hiring, decorations, and (for the really brave) landscaping are all there, allowing you to design a theme park in pretty much the same way that every theme park game has since the late 90’s. You start with access to a single theme - Pirates - and a small selection of rides. More are made available as your park gains popularity and star ratings. What isn't broken doesn't need to be fixed, and Adventure Park does the basics well enough, but it just seems as though the developers were playing it safe when the game could have been something more, something different and unique.

Adventure park entertainment at its finest.

Adventure park entertainment at its finest.

The one new system that Adventure Park tries to implement is the construction of roller coasters. It is a refreshing change, removing any form of grid based construction for a slightly more organic building system that doesn’t take long to master. It isn't without flaws, however. There are no pre-made tracks, and you’re limited only to using climbs and drops to make the track exciting for those riding it - no loops, sharp turns or anything else. The campaign missions make the lack of good variety in roller coaster elements worse by insisting that you manage to construct a coaster with a set G-Force, which nearly made me break the screen in frustration a number of times.

Speaking of a lack of variety, the total number of rides available to the player comes in at a disappointing 21, over a total of 5 potential themes. It completely derailed my plans to create a number of differently themed parks once I got to freeplay mode. It’s hard to make a park themed completely around pirates when all you have under that theme are a ferris wheel, a horizontal spinning ride, and a tower ride. So you’re forced to take on a Disneyland-esque style. It doesn’t completely ruin the experience, and the park sizes are relatively small. Maybe the developers thought that a large selection of rides may completely overwhelm players, but I still wish that ‘Piratetopia’ could have been something that saw fruition within the game.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Adventure Park, however, is the almost total lack of cruelty potential. You can’t arbitrarily select a group of guests to unleash your godlike sociopathy upon - perhaps one of my favourite things to do in simulation games of all kinds. Gone are the days where you could speed up a roller coaster until the carts launched out of the park, or set a Space Shot ride to launch the passengers almost literally into space. Nowadays, despite the fact that you can upgrade rides to double and even quadruple of their original speed, at the most extreme, you’ll have passengers walking away with some nausea or whiplash only. I even went so far as dismantling a rollercoaster while people were riding it, and all that happened was that they teleported to the ground underneath, then scurried back to the path.

Just imagine what could be done here. Now forget it all as you can’t do it.

Just imagine what could be done here. Now forget it all as you can’t do it.

This is a shame, since on the technical side of things Adventure Park doesn’t do too badly. The graphics are pretty, even if they don’t seem to be pushing any technical boundaries, and it’s a lot more colourful than most of the games that get released today, which is always a refreshing break. The music is decidedly dull. It’s by no means bad, it certainly seems well crafted enough, it’s just not something that stands out or remains stuck in your head after a session. The lack of sound effects was also noticeable, with a complete lack of sounds coming from the rides, and the people riding them. Even stock sounds of people enjoying a rollercoaster would have been preferable to zooming in far enough to click individual people and see if they’re having a good time.

The Verdict

Adventure Park is a game that is functionally similar as Rollercoaster Tycoon, just without a lot of the features that made the original so much fun to play. The low variety in coaster rides, combined with the inability to set up a number of classic rollercoaster tricks, disappoints and leaves the player feeling cheated. When combined with a forgettable soundtrack, and a complete lack of authentic sound effects, it makes me wonder if we’d all be better off installing Chris Sawyer’s original games instead.

Case Review

  • Pretty: It’s colourful, and easy on the eyes.
  • Music: Not bad, but not great either.
  • Roller Coasters!: Interesting track creation system, but a lack of good tricks to do with it.
  • Lackluster Cruelty Factor: Whiplash and nausea is pretty much the disappointing extent of the injuries you can inflict.
  • No Sound Effects: How am I supposed to know if people are having a good time if I can’t hear them scream in joy as they ride the roller coasters?
  • Low variety: A grand total of 21 rides in a game that looked as if it allowed you to make an entire park centered on one of a number of themes...there’s a lot missing!
Score: 2/5
Adventure Park adds nothing new from Rollercoaster Tycoon and lacks its best features.


Roll up, roll up, buy your tickets. Theme park simulators are always fun to play, as it allows for fun creating your fantasy park. Bullfrog released the revolutionary Theme Park back in 1994, which gave players many options and full control over the running of the themed world they created. Then in 1999 Infogrames brought us the Rollercoaster Tycoon series, which gave more realistic rides and added more features. So the simulation genre of theme parks is a strong field already, and to have any chance of being successful, a developer needs to have something special.

Adventure Park looks like a pretty decent game at first. You get choice of modes; campaign and free play, which is fun as you can either play and completes the tasks, or just have fun building your fairground and see what designs are possible. This is kind of where the game fails, and fails miserably. When playing the campaign, there are certain tasks you must complete in order to move on to the next park. This did not work, as you only have to design it to get the achievement, and then there is no need to come back to it. This is the campaign mode pretty much summed up, which made it feel like going to a theme park with only one ride.

Unlike other theme park simulators from the past, you have no real control over the rides, other than the price of tickets. In free play mode, you can build a park with various rides, but this gets boring quickly, as you do not seem to get much space to work with, to expand the park. There is just no replay value, or any real interest offered to continuing playing it. A simulator should be fun, lots of options to control the park and flexibility with the rides. Adventure Park does not have any of that.

Score: 1.5/5


Adventure Park, c'mon grab your mouse. Time to click and scroll about. And that's pretty much all you will be doing. If you came expecting anything else, you really don't know much about these kinds of games. That's about all they ever contain. Apart from those that allow you to go on your rides to test them out. But even then, it's still all about clicking and scrolling. So, with such a simple, well tested style of gameplay, it should be impossible to mess it up, right? So how on Earth did they manage to do exactly that?!

Whilst it's not fair to say the game is atrocious, it is certainly well worthy of the title of being...just flat out bad. It looks meh at best, yet kills your system with ludicrously low framerates even on fairly low graphics settings. Upping the settings in question do very little to actually improve the look of things beyond a little more shadow here and there. Worse still, everything looks so bland and...bland. There's almost no variety to speak of, even amongst the rides. Which really should be the key feature of this kind of game. Even worse, the AI of the park’s visitors is so utterly incompetent I found it almost impossible to get people to even use most of my rides. Particularly tours and roller coasters and the like. They'd just walk up to the door, think “sod this” and walk off again.

All in all, it's just a bad experience. It’s a real shame, because it showed a lot of potential in early screenshots. An almost complete lack of variety, originality and effort, ultimately makes Adventure Park forgettable. It doesn't have that saving grace of being so bad it's funny. It's just bland, dull, uninspired...meh! Even the price is just outside the range of being a redeeming feature. It's cheap, sure, but not cheap enough to be forgivable for the dullness it provides.

Score: 2/5
Comments (4)
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Posts: 207

I was hoping for something much better as well. I hate it when good potential is squandered in the final product.

Posts: 3290

@Stunt: Tell me about it. Those first screenshots we wrote up had me pretty hyped. I don't know how they messed it up so badly. Such a shame. A damn shame

Posts: 166

The game was quite disappointing. I was hoping to have a similar quality game as Theme Park or Rollercoaster Tycoon. Sadly it didn't.

Posts: 1548

Well that's a bummer. I really wanted it to be good as I love those kind of games...when I have enough time.