Review: Planet Coaster

To start off, I have never played another roller coaster park management game in the past, so I don’t have nostalgia goggles or anything like that. I just found that this game is well polished, intuitive and fun.
When it comes to making your park, you never really feel like something is getting in the way of making it how you really want it to be, which is quite important.

One example would be placing objects on the terrain. You can put anything you want in most places. I put a bathroom ontop of a giant tower in my video, that none of my visitors could reach. And if say, you can’t place a ride somewhere because it’s not flat or there isn’t space, you can simply lift the ride above ground and it will automatically generate pillars. Finally, you can also morph the ground to your liking. Dig holes, build hills, flatten ground, which gives you a lot of options when it comes to placing stuff down or simply making the environment look nice.

When it comes to building rollercoasters. You can choose the cart/train type, can switch between multiple railing types, each with different attributes. For example, you need a chain lift railing to lift the cart upwards if it doesn’t have enough speed at that point, or you can place a rail which will stop the cart in place, to allow another cart on the same track to move to safety if you wish to have more than one per track.

Directing the track is also very easy. You can extend each section, lift it up or down, move it side to side or twist it by simply dragging it the way you want it to go. Finally, when you’ve completed the main path you want for your rollercoaster, and don’t feel like building the rest back to the finish, you can click “autocomplete” which will just finish the rest of the track off for you. A great option to save time!

A small detail that I really love, is if you modify a ride’s movement sequence, or create a roller coaster track, you will have to test it before opening it to the public. Dummies will be placed in the seats, and you need to make sure it is safe for humans. If say your rollercoaster is missing a track somewhere, they will fall of the rails and crash. Or if it doesn’t have enough speed to go up a slope, the cart will lose momentum and slowly drift back. It’s all physics based, which is a lot of fun when it comes to watching where you messed up as opposed to the game just popping up a text box saying “Unsafe track, try again” or something like that.

Something that will be very useful for people that will build intricate coasters, will be the use of triggers. You can place triggers along your track, which as soon as your cart will pass by, will trigger whatever object you have attached to that point. An example would be “As soon as the cart passed point A, make this thing explode and have it play this note out of this speaker”. I have seen some really great examples from talented creators of some awesome looking coasters because of this.

Other rides allow you to customize things too. Stuff like carousels will give you the option to change certain colours, modify the music that plays within the ride or change the entry price of the ride.

One of my favourite features is you can choose to watch your coasters or rides from multiple cameras. A cinematic mode, a mode that looks at the expressions of people riding it (So you can see the fear in their eyes or their nausea), or a camera from the point of view of the people riding it. You can choose which specific cart and seat you sit in, and just enjoy your rides as if you were on them. It’s great!

Putting rides down is very simple and intuitive. When you place it down you will be given a clickable checklist that gets you ready to easily put down whatever the ride requires, wherever you want. One example being “Place the ride exit”.

Paths are great in this game. They are necessary for your visitors to be able to go to everything in the park, so you must have a main path going through the entire park, and that main path must also connect to each ride. The good news is you can make paths look nice. You have a wide array of choices when it comes to the textures, but are also free to make the paths twist however you want. They can be perfect straight, curve, or even become stairs and go up or down.

Those are the basics when it comes to customizing the park. Management is the other half of the game.

You will get feedback on what people think of your park. Obviously everything costs money, so you have the option to change the park entry fee, but if you choose to make it free, then more people will be willing to visit the park in the first place. Sometimes people puke after coming out of a ride, so you will need to hire janitors to keep the place clean, but of course you need to pay them too.

Rides will break down and need mechanics, you can hire costumed entertainers to keep people happy.
People will be waiting in queues a lot, so it’s you responsibility to keep them happy while doing so. You can try shorten queue times, or place nice decorations around the queue so people have nicer scenery to look at while waiting. All of these small details really make the world come to life.

You have tonnes of financial statistics if you want to see what exactly is causing you to lose money, and what is bringing in the most income to efficiently manage your park. You can choose to market your park to a specific demographic, eg. teens or adults, and choose the platform to do it with, eg. posters.

Finally, to unlock more rides or buildings, you’ll need to research that facility. So if you choose to research family rides, when it completes you might now unlock a teacup ride. You also can choose how much of your income per month to allocate into researching it.

I want to quickly mention that the game has a few modes you can choose from in the main menu. Career mode puts you in an already existing park, with certain objectives to complete. (Like attract 800 guests). The interesting part comes more with the actual park you’re given. They each have unique themes and stories behind the parks. For example, the 2nd scenario places you in a canyon where a mysterious monolith causes all of your rides to break down more often. So for that scenario you will be required to hire more mechanics than usual. It’s a nice option for players that want to be given direction when playing the game.

You also have the option to play sandbox mode, which gives you unlimited funds and a huge environment, with which you can build absolutely whatever you want.

Challenge mode is a bit of a mixture. It allows you to build whatever park you want, so you aren’t given a scenario or existing park, but are given small challenges to try to accomplish.

Overall, I think the game is super fun. It’s very important that the creation is intuitive and easy. You can build awesome looking stuff without worrying about annoying obstacles. I love the aesthetic of the game. All of the models are quite nicely detailed, and you can choose to zoom in right up to them if you choose to.
The soundtrack is absolutely amazing, and the main theme got stuck in my head for days!
Additionally, you can download stuff from the Steam workshop and just plop them into your parks, which is a great option, and I’m happy to see that the developers seem to be very involved with the community. They take feedback and update the game often, and hopefully that will continue as the game grows older.
If you like the look of the game, I would recommend you pick it up.

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