From making G-force racking roller coasters, to setting obscene prices just to use the bathroom, nothing can be more addicting for making and managing your own theme park. Adventure Park, for the PC, sets to do this all in an easy and intuitive system. And while I was playing through this game, reminiscing about games that really solidified the theme park genre, I’ve slowly become more and more aware about the lack of polish. Adventure Park is missing some crucial aspects that were found even in the early days of Roller Coaster Tycoon. It personally feels as if the game just wasn’t completed in time.
You have only a couple of options when you boot up the game. From the main menu, there is the campaign mode, which is a tutorial of sorts with a bunch of scenarios to play in.Free play allows you pick and choose between a number of available maps. You can customize the amount of credits you start out with, like whether you have an infinite supply of money right off the bat.
The campaign mode only consists of a small number of areas to build upon. Adventure Park does a decent job of slowly introducing new ideas as you play on, such as showing how to satisfy the impatient needs of the people in the park, or how to set prices for the various attractions, including washroom stalls. I do find it strange how customers are perfectly okay for paying a buck to use the porta potty. I feel that there just isn’t enough attractions. Adventure Park is mainly about adventure type themes to build upon, like the Space Park or the Pirate Park, but compared to other games in the same genre, it feels more like a basic set of options rather than a robust set of extensive tools.
Building roller coasters is not as fun as I’d thought it would be. You cannot make bank curves or loops at all. Because of this, each custom roller coaster built feels just the same as the others, except there being steeper turns for a steel coaster, than from ones made out of wood.
Even a custom built roller coaster you worked so hard to make cannot be saved, if you would wish to move it to a new theme park. You cannot move the attractions you place on the park. If, for instance, you accidentally place your free-fall tower at the edge of a cliff, your only option to relocate the tower is to sell and buy a new one. There goes all your upgrades. It's even worse if you want to relocate your roller coaster.
One thing I did enjoy is the star system that rewards you for your good progress. Over time, as you complete missions like building specific buildings, or getting your park rating to a good and friendly percentage, you’re rewarded with new buildings and upgrades to experiment with. An upgraded porta potty, for example, will have premium double layered toilet paper to clean even the most dirtiest of butts.
With every new star, each visitor will be more demanding, putting you on the edge to satisfy their increasing needs. One might complain about there not being enough decorations around, or another may find that the current rides are too boring, and that they need a new adrenaline rush. Staying on top of success is fun and rewarding.
There are hardly any sound effects whatsoever, except for the chirping of birds and the very silent grumbling of a cart traversing on a roller coaster. Again, it feels like the developers forgot to add more immersive sound effects. There are only a few songs that are constantly looped over again, and if you’re like me, soon enough you’re going to put that track on mute. For a large, thriving theme park, it sounds more like your local city park on a work day.
Adventure Parks still brings the fun in managing a park, but there are too many things missing that hinders the experience. There is just not enough of everything to satisfy the theme park genre gurus. Still, it is fun enough to see one’s theme park designs come to life, and fortunately, Adventure is at least good enough to make that true.