Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review - Planet Coaster

Planet Coaster is the RollerCoaster Tycoon successor we have all been waiting for. Created by Frontier, the guys who did many other Coaster Tycoon games even Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. Planet Coaster is by far their best work yet.

Since RollerCoaster Tycoon hit the market back in 1999, I have been a fan. I bought and played the first, second, and third for hours and hours. The RollerCoaster Tycoon games are some of the few games I still return to, to this day. So where does Planet Coaster stack up against the golden child that is RollerCoaster Tycoon? Let me just say that Frontier has created one hell of a coaster tycoon simulation game. The freedom of creation is amazing. If you can dream it, then you can build it. Frontier has given players some powerful tools to design, and create some epic parks. The detail in this game is amazing. You can zoom in so close you can see the inside of shops. Detail and creation is what the developers had in mind. You can come up with and create pretty much what ever you want. Take a shop for instance, you get the basic box building which you can then adjust its size. Then you can place all kinds of scenery around it, coming up with some epic ideas. Once you have designed a shop's look that you like you can save the whole thing as a blueprint and replicate it again and again and keep it for future use in another park. The freedom of creativity is epic in Planet Coaster.

Once you have installed the game and fired it up you get to create an avatar. I guess this is suppose to represent you because it shows you on the world map and anyone else who is playing the game or just your friends. At times these people's avatars will visit your park. Aside from that, I don't really know what else the avatar does, but once it is created you can then choose from the three main modes of the game. Career mode, Challenge mode, or Sandbox mode. The Career mode is kind of like the single player. You follow a set of missions, as you complete each mission the game unlocks more to play. This mode also kind of acts like the tutorial of the game. Sandbox mode is pretty much the free for all mode. You get unlimited money and just create to your hearts content. The Challenge mode is where more of the management part of the game comes alive. This is where you have a set amount of money and decide if you want to charge people as they enter the park or charge per ride. This mode also has challenges for you to complete as you play. There are no time limits on the challenges so you can complete them at any time. But you have to watch your spending, because you will run out of money quick if you don't manage your park correctly. For me I found that the Challenge Mode was more of my style of play. I enjoyed this part of the game a lot. My goal was to make the best park and loads of money.

I have praised Planet Coaster for its powerful tools for creating some epic parks. But the game isn't perfect, Planet Coaster has some faults. One of it's biggest faults is the lack of a proper tutorial. With all the powerful tools, it doesn't really explain much on how to use them. You pretty much have to figure out what everything does as you play. It would have been nice to have a good tutorial to teach you the game and maybe some advance tool videos online. Planet Coaster basically just throws you to the wolves and makes you figure mostly everything on your own besides a few basic tool tips. Another fault, and a good tutorial could fix this, are some of the alerts that keep popping up I didn't know much on how to fix them. For example, the percentage of peeps that say a line is to long. This hurts your rating, but I couldn't find or figure out how to fix this problem. Again the game relies on you figuring it out for your self with little to no help. Also, as you create a big enough park, the detailed graphics can start to slow down even the more powerful of PCs. The frame rate starts to drop the bigger your park gets. It's not a major issue, but could be a problem for people playing on older machines. Even turning down the graphics doesn't help much at very large park sizes.

In conclusion, Planet Coaster is the best Coaster Tycoon game that has been released in a long time. Frontier has improved on their formula from the RC3 days and even fixed a major bug from RC3. The damn looking for group bug with peeps. The powerful creation tools that they give you is amazing. I am no artist, but what others have created and put on Steam Workshop is pretty awesome. I didn't mention this but the coaster creation and path creation is a little cumbersome and takes a bit getting use. I have spent hours and hours again in a Coaster Tycoon Simulation game thanks to Planet Coaster. It is worth the $45 price tag, unlike the horrible RollerCoaster Tycoon World game that came out around the same time. If you love to create and manage a park, then Planet Coaster should be your go to game.

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Planet Coaster: 4 out of 5 - Great Game.

The lack of tutorials for all the tools and management of the game hurt the score on Planet Coaster. Also the performance issues with bigger parks. But that shouldn't really stop you from picking up easily what is the best Coaster Tycoon game of the year.

Planet Coaster is currently only available for PC on Steam.

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