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
Create Your Own Theme Park...Wooohoo!
Theme Park (DS)
Member Name: loopy-lou33
Theme Park (DS)
Advantages: Teaches creativity and money management skills.
My son, who is 11, really enjoys management-style sim games, such as Zoo Tycoon or Jurassic Park Operation Genesis. These games require you to build a park from scratch and then manage various aspects of the park, any thing from enclosure sizes, to admission prices or even the type of refreshments to serve at the kiosks. The aim of these games is to create a successful attraction that makes money and continues to grow and improve.
When I saw this Theme park game for DS, I knew that he would love it, as it is a great example of the type of game that he enjoys playing. We actually owned the same game on PC about 10 years ago, but unfortunately, when we updated to a new computer, the game wouldn't work, so I had to get rid of it. It was a really popular game for PC when it came out and I was very interested to see how the game would translate to the DS format and whether it would have changed much over the years.
I was pleased to find that the game was virtually identical to its predecessor, and the gameplay and graphics style had not changed at all.
You start the game with a blank plot of land and a modest amount of money, which you must use wisely to create a good theme park. There are many different objects that you can place in your theme park, all costing different amounts of money. Each object you place in the park has a direct bearing on the popularity of the park. Big thrill rides, such as rollercoasters, are expensive initially, but will make your park popular, smaller rides are cheaper to buy, but tend to break down a lot and won't draw a lot of customers. You can build the bigger attractions yourself by laying pieces of track down to make as big or as small a ride as you wish. If you get the rollercoaster angles wrong, the cars will fall off the track, which is actually quite funny, but not really advised!
As well as the rides, there are many more considerations to take into account. You park will need facilities such as toilets, and you can go for the really basic type (yuk) or the super duper loos! Refreshment kiosks and shops will bring in extra money, but will only do well if you choose popular items to sell and make your prices reasonable. You can also control your gate price for entry.
Another thing that you will need to find money for are your staff. A park with no cleaners will soon get dirty and your customers will leave. When a ride breaks down, you will need a technician to mend it quickly. Each member of staff must be paid out of your available funds so it is really important to balance the books.
You will also need to place your paths and queues around the park in order to make the best use of the available space.
You can see how your park visitors are feeling by means of small emoticons by each visitor. Various factors can make the visitors happy or unhappy and it is very important to try and keep them as happy as possible at all times, as this will make your park more popluar.
If your park does well, you are able to build another park in a different country and thus grow your theme park business into a successful empire.
Theme park is a clever game which has aged well and the DS format seems to suit it even better than the original PC format as the stylus gives better control to the player and better ability to look around the park, dispatch staff and build attractions. The game would appeal to anyone aged 10 and over and I think it is a very useful game for older children as it teaches them basic principles of money management, and the idea that you can't always have what you want if you don't have the funds to hand! It is a really useful tool for teaching children about how business works and how you can start small and grow as you succeed.
Above all though, it is a fun game, an if you like these sort of games, Theme Park for DS should definitely deserve a place in your collection. The graphics are colourful and cartoony, the animations and characters are fun, and the gameplay is creative and intuitive. Theme park is a game that will have you tapping away on your DS for hours and wondering where the time went! A new copy of the game is not cheap, they sell for about £25 on Amazon, which I think is a good reflection of the quality of the game. It has good longevity, so in my opinion is worth the money, although another option is buying a used copy, which can be as cheap as £1.99.
Theme park is a lovely game and one that gets played a lot in our house. Maybe if my son plays it enough times he might grow up to be the manager of a real theme park one day!
Summary: A classic game that has aged well.