Planet Coaster

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a solid theme park sim, and I’m thankful to the developers of Planet Coaster for filling that void. Visually appealing and with enough detailed models to satisfy any devoted sim enthusiast, this is guaranteed to keep you entertained for hours.

When you first begin, you must create an avatar for yourself. This is pretty limited in the Alpha, and I’m unsure what bearing it will have on the full game. Once on the main menu, you can select from a range of play styles such as Sandbox or Challenge Mode, or you can even check out what other players have been building.

I spent the bulk of my time in the alpha derping around in the sandbox mode. There’s a large variety of coasters, scenery and other rides you can construct. Even with a limited (and by limited, I mean hundreds) of different components, you’re unlikely to get bored.

Most of the fun in sandbox mode is learning how to kick back and relax. If you’re the type of player who prefers to be challenged, then the aptly named Challenge Mode will be for you. After selecting a locale such as a tropical or desert region, you’re given a limited amount of funds to build your dream park.

While you can build most any ride that’s available in the Challenge Mode Alpha, it’ll set you back some in-game cash. To keep money coming in and guests happy, you’ll need to manage staff, line queues and add additional facilities to compensate for a growing audience.

I can’t say that I’m particularly GOOD at Challenge Mode, but I did have some fun. I could easily see myself losing an afternoon on this game, particularly when it comes down to decorating. As you can see from my screenshot in the article, my park looked like hot garbage until I started adding some more things to it.

The UI can be taxing to a casual gamer. It’s incredibly complex, and there are more sliders, dials and details than you’ll know what to do with. It can be very overwhelming, especially without much of a tutorial to go on, but if you are patient you’ll eventually figure things out.

Planet Coaster is absolutely catered toward a crowd that enjoys a good, relaxing sim, so don’t go in expecting numbers to fly across your screen. Kick back, relax, and let your imagination do some work. Planet Coaster is currently in Alpha, and is slated for release in early November.