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Theme Park was one of the first games I played on the PC and is still one of the games that I think of as a classic. The game has a very simple gameplan...build your own theme park through placing rides, paths, toilets, shops, scenery, etc and through the hiring of staff including workmen, cleaners, security and entertainers and try hard to make as much money as you can. The money you make will be controlled pretty fully by you as you start out with a small bus of passengers arriving, basic shops, basic rides, etc and to improve what you have available you need to invest in development (the development is broken down into seperate sectors including improved rides, improved shops and increased bus capacity). You also need to ensure that you continue to bring in stock for your shops like ice creams, french fries, cola, etc as running out of stock will both lower your sales and also annoy your customers. The game is a simple game yet thanks to the game developers having spent time on this it has a depth that makes it a truly loveable game that is addictive and fun.
Theme Park is a game released for the personal computer in 1994. It is similar to the other "Theme" games released by the Bullfrog developer in the same era. It is a simulation title and in it players purchase a plot of land in the United Kingdom, and it is their objective to build a profitable amusement park with their remaining funds while competing against other computer-operated entrepreneurs in the same task. At the time it was described as requiring a system of at least Pentium 1 having 32 MB RAM, 300 MB free hard disk space and a DirectX 6.1 compatible sound and video card. For modern gameplay, the user must use a DOS emulation environment such as "DOSBox" to make use of all of the game's features. It received an age rating of "3+" by the ELSPA in the United Kingdom making it suitable for all ages. Theme Park is a single player game and does not feature any multiplayer modes. The game is presented from an overhead view, a pointing arrow which is guided by the player either by the keyboard or mouse to select and control various functions. There are varying levels of difficulty, and in easy mode the player begins with $300,000 in which to begin their enterprise. The game is a simple "point and click" game wherein the user selects various rides, concession stands and employees (ride mechanics, cleaners, entertainers etc) to add to his or her amusement park with the sole intention of becoming profitable. As the in-game years progress, the player will be able to add new rides and amusements which eventually leads up to the roller coaster with fully customizable track directions, heights, twists and turns. Gameplay itself is very simple and almost repetitive. It is somewhat joyful to watch the various new rides which can be "unlocked" appear, but after 20-30 minutes the game is a bore and offers little by the way of replay value. The easy mode is indeed quite easy and features constant help from "The Advisor" who hints and prompts the user to perform certain administrative tasks like lowering ticket prices, increasing the sugar in colas and other items of interest on behalf of the in-world patrons. The easy mode is definitely "easy" in the sense that there is little challenge due to The Advisor's presence and workers willingly accept tyranny and poor wages, whereas harder difficulties will prompt wage meetings and dealings with suppliers which can greatly impact on the financial status of the player's amusement park; it was not uncommon during my testing to be bankrupt within one year on hard mode. Graphics are bright, colourful and would likely appeal to a younger audience. There are numerous accompanying effects to each ride in the form of flashing lights and other items of interest. It is a more pseudo three dimensional object which the players look at for the majority of the game but there are cutscenes and other fragments of truly three dimensional items which was not widely utilized in this stage of computer gaming. The sound is a definite letdown in this title. During the amusement park's increase in popularity there will be a growing number of individuals entering the park, leading to more people being sick and featuring the same constant gagging sound after each ride. Many players, including myself, would opt to play this game in silence. I don't feel that there is much replay value to be had in this title. After the rides are "unlocked" the game is simply a matter of remaining financially viable which offers little by the way of continual interest. It may be something which a player could remain occupied with for one afternoon but would likely only be played in sporadic bursts. For construction related simulations, I much prefer the depth that such titles as "Sim City 2000" can provide. Theme Park isn't a game I would widely recommend, especially under today's standards. It's initial "cuteness" wears off quickly and becomes more of a bore than a thrill. This game may appeal to a younger audience interested in this genre of video game but unable to cope with the higher mental demands of more advanced titles.
One of the first simulation games I played Theme Park was made by Bullfrog and released for the PC in 1994. The game spawned many similar titles and the game was released for a number of different consoles as well over the years. The game itself is fun to play and pretty addictive. Game play You play as a owner of a theme park, and the game starts with an empty park and you have to build, design rides, hire and fire staff and build refreshments. You control ever aspect of the park setting prices for entry, refreshments and you have to balance the books whilst spending money to improve your park to increase the visitors and the happiness of your guests so they spend more money. The game is based on levels where you have to buy and then build a park, when you are happy and made lots of money you can sell up and move on to a harder area restarting from a empty park again in a different country and rebuild you theme park. Each park has different factors that effect how you play the game like the weather, economy and the terrain. There is a decent selection of rides to develop and build and a large selection of employees to choose from, including security, handymen and entertainers. Controls/Graphics The graphics are basic but as it is an old game it is not surprising, but you do not play for the graphics, the controls are easy to learn most of it with the mouse so not much problems there. Difficulty It is a easy game to play and learn and the first few levels are easy to play but as you expect it gets harder as you go along and you have to spend your money more carefully and locate rides in better places. Value for Money As a old game you will be able to buy for cheap, so for very little you can get a hugely enjoyable game with plenty of game play and you can replay the levels again without getting bored easy. You also can't beat building a roller coaster around the entire theme park.
Theme Park marked a turning point in Sim game design. It combined the detail and complexity of other titles (however it mercifully allowed you to scale down the depth of the simulation ) with cute and colourful graphics, humerous animations and a slightly bizzare Barclays Bank sponsership to creat one of the most enduring and sucessful Simulation brands ever. Your goal is to conquer the world of theme park management by building fantastic parks in locations all over the globe. To do so you must provide rides and attractions for your paying customers, setting ticket prices and entrance fees for everything within the garish walls of your park. A shrewd businessman will load the coffee shops in his park with caffine, making your visitors run around at speed without tiring, coat the fries in just enough salt to make people thirsty enough to buy a drink without making them sick. You can build your own rollercoasters and customise the performance of almmost every aspect of your park, a great, fun and groundbreaking game. It will however take you weeks to complete the game as to do so you must construct a highly sucessful park in every availible location on earth (and building that one in Antarctica which has a tiny population and horrible weather was certainally a pain) but you cant fault it for that, just keep you coming back for more... However, trying to play it on a modern PC (if you get it working) will likely present you with an unplayably fast challenge unless you limit your clock speeds etc with a 3rd party program.
I am sure most of you are familiar with this game. This game was the first of its kind to appear on the market - and very quickly got a great reaction and reputation from its customers. I first played this game on the MegaDrive, and I thoroughly loved it. I had never really seen anything like it before, and it was refreshing to find a game different to Sonic, Mario, etc. and in my opinion gave birth to future games such as Theme Hospital and Rollercoaster Tycoon. The aim of Theme Park, is basically to conquer the world and become the greatest Theme Park Manager in the world. This is no mean feat however, and also will take a long time. You manage one park after another from countries all around the world - and the amount of money you make determines where you can build them, as different places cost more to build on. In the first park, you have limited resources, and limited money, and you need to build a Theme Park around that. The aim of success is to keep the customers happy. You can build several things in the park in order to boost the happiness of the customers etc. You can build rides fairly obviously - from Bouncy Castles to Rollercoasters, if you can afford if you can have it. The amount and the quality of rides progressively gets better as you progress through the game, but so does the price. You can also have shops built. These can be food/drink shops like the Burger Bar, gambling parlours, balloon shops, etc. These are the main things to build along with the rides, at it won't be long until you see everybody in a park with a balloon in their hands. There are several staff you can employ, such as police officers, handymen, cleaners, mascots, etc - all to help run the park. The handymen's job is to fix rides. After time, your ride may become broken through overuse and you need to call the handyman to fix it. Mascots are there to boost morale and make everyone happy, and the cleaners are there to sweep up the mess that everyone makes (litter). After every year, you get a report, telling you if you where you have become in categories like "Biggest Park" and several other categories like that. You can also sell your park after a while if you want to - and with the money accumulated from an auction you place your park into. Finance is incredibly important here, and you can customise the prices of the shops, the prices of the entry fee, and the probability of winning the gambling games. You must balance your prices effectively otherwise you will not reach the maximum potential of the park. There is plenty of space to build all of your park. As a help, there is a scroll bar along the bottom spoken by the face of the game, a Willy Wonka lookalike that gives you tips on whether your prices are too high, etc. I really love the animation even though the graphics aren't brilliant - you can see each person and see their faces when they have riden a ride etc, it is great. The sounds are basically background music to the game. This game is excellent. A bit old now and probably doesn't compare to newer games, but still play-worthy. Enjoy the ride.