Product Type: Nintendo Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... entrance gates. This is your theme park - grass, grass and more grass. So you fill it with 'attractions', so that you can make money fro... more
Theme Park (DS)
Member Name: DavyMichelle
Theme Park (DS)
Advantages: Amusing, Retro, Quaint, Simple Enough
Disadvantages: Very Old Graphics and Format, Some Glitches, Limited Game Play
I got Theme Park for the DS just as a bit of fun if I'm honest. I used to have a go on this years ago when the kids had it on the PC, and I thought it would be fun to see what the game is like now it's been re-released for the DS. I paid about £7 for a copy off ebay, but you can get this brand new for between £10 and £15 from all the usual game sellers. Search around to get the best price as promotions are always changing with things like this.
Getting started with this game was easy, though I was initially a bit thrown at being asked to choose an advisor. There doesn't seem to be much difference between which advisor you choose, other than how they appear on screen and the vocabulary they use to give you advice. I'm not entirely sure what the point of this option is if I'm honest!
Playing the game is easy and I was amazed to find that the game is almost exactly the same as it was when I first played it over fifteen years ago!! They haven't even bothered to update the graphics! The idea of the game is that you build and run a successful theme park. You do this by building rides and stalls, employing staff, adding facilities and scenery, and by dealing with research and financial issues (depending on whether you play the full game or in sim or sandbox mode).
Actually playing the game is nice and easy, though there are a few annoying quirks that exist from when this game was first released - and it's a shame that no-one bothered to remove them before releasing this as a DS game! On the original game, I often found that visitors to my park got stuck behind the clown show ride, and this still happens on the DS version. There's no reason why this should happen to be honest, it's a glitch in the game in my opinion.
I also hate being interrupted when I'm trying to build or sort out a financial issue to go and negotiate a new staff or stock deal. These are really hard to deal with as they rely on you being extremely precise with the stylus to get a decent deal. One slip of the hand and you've upped your stock prices or staff wages by 30%.
One thing they've taken away, which I loved the option of on the original version, is the opportunity to sell the park at the end of each financial year. You do this so that you can go onto building your next theme park, usually under progressively more difficult circumstances. But this game just tells you when it's time to sell up and change, taking away that choice from you. To complete the whole game you have to build and sell a successful theme park in each worldwide location, as shown on the game main menu map. Having to wait for the computer to decide that I can sell each park means that this takes an awfully long time!
This is a fun little game that youngish kids may enjoy, but it definitely has a lot of limitations and annoying glitches that should have been ironed out before it was released. Very young kids will enjoy the cute graphics and fun music, but not really understand the rules of the game well enough to get very far. Older kids and teenagers will understand the rules but eventually start to question their logic, or rather the lack of it. Worth £5 off ebay I think but I'd feel cheated if I paid more than a tenner for this.
Summary: Recommended Cheap
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