Good news everyone. One of my friends introduced me to an online service that allowed me to acquire old PC games. So I went looking around, and after making sure it was valid (cause I didn’t want to steal anything and review that) and he assured me that GOG (Good Old Games) was a legit service run by the people who made The Witcher games. Looking through it I found one of the first games I ever played on a pc, Theme Park.
Theme Park is a management and construction simulator where you make a somewhat cartoonish theme park… hence the name. It was created by Bullfrog which also made games like Populus and Dungeon Keeper (which I also got).
The game has quite a level of customization when it comes to difficulty and style, going from a simple style, to a more sandbox style and then a full on business simulator: choosing how many competing companies there are, their level of difficulty and the level of difficulty in pleasing customers. You can also select if this is your first game, doing so will give you much more helpful tips on how to play (which is very handy if like me in the 20 years since last playing it you forgot what to do). The game starts you out with a small number of rides and stalls available. The rides are what draws people through the gates but it’s the stalls that serve as additional income.
This is the main part of the game, making sure you make money by having a successful theme park, slowly growing and gaining access to more stalls and rides all with the amusing cartoonish style to them. Starting out with simple things like a bouncy castle and a haunted house, and leading up to what you’re looking forward to – insane rollercoasters that you can customize the layout of. Of course it takes time and effort to get to those, even more when you’re on the more business simulator modes where you also have to dictate what gets more research to develop and restocking stalls with food and drink.
The rides also need repaired or they will literally explode. So you also have to get staff, repair men and cleaners but also entertainers cause you need to keep your park goers happy, plus they hand out umbrellas but then you also need to negotiate wages to them or they go on strike (also security guards in case some ruffians show up but I’ve not encountered them).
It’s been great playing this game again though I admit it’s hard for me getting back into the mentality to do it, wanting to build something because I like it rather than because it’s what needs to be built. The style is fun though and it always puts a smile on my face seeing the rides in action.
Sad Bullfrog got eaten up by EA then closed though.
Rating: Theme Park on gog.com