Planet Coaster Review

Planet Coaster is the kind of game that is a dream come true for all Simulation fans. It’s not an easy game to just jump into, though. To really enjoy it, you will have to put in a good amount time and effort into it. In this Planet Coaster review, I hope to help you do just that.

Planet Coaster Review
Planet Coaster Review – Planet Coaster is a fantastic simulation game and deserves to be checked out by everyone that’s looking for a simulator of this kind.

If you’ve ever played a game from the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise, then you know that it’s hard to get tired of building rollercoasters. If not, you will definitely want to do so after playing this latest release of one of the most successful simulation games in history.

Planet Coaster delivers more than what has been promised because it offers players a great soundtrack, impressive lighting effects and a simple yet intuitive user interface. The game offers players the ability to customize their own maps and buildings which makes things even better for those looking for a new creation tool.

Planet Coaster, by Frontier Developments and released on Steam on November 17, 2016 is a theme park simulator video game that allows you to build a rollercoaster-featuring theme park like no other. Theme parks were always about two things: rides and food. But Planet Coaster focuses on rides alone, so all of your visitors will be packing pounds. This has consequences if you don’t cater to the visitor’s tastes.

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The game, in short, is absolutely amazing ; Barring the fact that I could not spend more time than I already do playing it (I’d be broke), I’d play this game every day, at least until they opened their doors and let me work their rides myself. Of course there are a few bugs here and there; For example, once my car rolled out of the park gates, was incinerated and turned into scrap at the junkyard by the time I had reached my first meeting; And yet another time a single wood coaster got stuck on itself for no apparent reason.

However, these are only small bumps in an otherwise amazing construction experience; And with frequent updates adding new rides and features to the game, we should have plenty to look forward to in Planet Coaster’s future.

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Planet Coaster, the latest game in an almost twenty year old series of theme park sims is finally with us. The first game that this series has seen since Frontier Development’s last major update of Planet Coaster in 2016, this new iteration brings with it a bevy of information related to the simulation we know and love. 

It’s been years since we’ve even seen a release from the most famous developer of theme park management simulations in the world, which means that Planet Coaster was destined to have some very large shoes to fill. 

What fate has befallen Planet Coaster on its way here? Has it become one of Frontier Developments’ best games yet? Is it successful as a modernized sequel? Or does it fail on a huge level? That’s what this review is here to answer, so take a seat and strap yourself in for the least-ambitious hyperbolic setup I’ve ever written up.

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Gameplay

Planet Coaster is a game that sets out to make you feel like a theme park owner (not ride operator). It gives you the tools to design and construct your own parks, maintain them, host guests to visit and come back often, as well as market your park and improve its profitability.

Planet Coaster is just about everything I could have asked for in a modern resurrection of the theme park sim genre – and then some. Frontier Developments had a tall task when it came to making this game, not just due to the sheer size of their last project but also because of the reputation of the genre overall. This game is just bursting with content and contains enough features to satisfy even the most discerning player.

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Planet Coaster’s core building mechanic, familiar to fans of old-school rollercoasters and amusement parks alike, is a landscape editor that functions as both a blank palette and an unexpected swiss army knife. You can paint the curved roofs of gift shops in gentle roof shadows or fill the gaping mouths of hungry dinosaurs with roaring rides—all with a few brush strokes on a 2D surface. 

The basic routine of building and running a park manages to be more straightforward and intuitive than its extreme versatility would suggest.

Planet Coaster offers you a choice of creative tools that allow you to build a theme park from scratch and shape it by adding rides, coasters, shops, decorations and more. If you are too much into making things look cool or replacing everything with other colors, there is also the option to use premade items like shops or coasters.

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Planet Coaster is without a doubt the most versatile coaster builder I can remember playing and is a bit overwhelming for beginners. For example, it took me quite some time to figure out how to adjust the height of the paths leading up to stations.

Planet Coaster’s coaster builder is the clear showpiece, allowing players to freely build out their own wild creations with a huge variety of pieces and structures. When you sit down to design your first coaster, you are greeted with the main tools menu. 

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The editor lets you select rails, scenery pieces, and prefabs (more on those in a bit) and place them wherever you want. You can rotate, resize, and switch between six different rail types (straight, banked/banked reverse, lift hill/lift hill reverse) at any point as well.

While it kept me busy trying to park guests when I reviewed Planet Coaster early access , last week marked the worldwide release of the finished game—and that meant it was time to revisit my project and see what sort of reception it got. 

I was happy with how things had fared overall: while I’d overestimated the appeal of a dozen or so rides (a monorail simulator, a haunted house kiddie coaster, a log flume ride), most of my more popular attractions were doing rather well.

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Planet Coaster satisfies me because, as both a theme park enthusiast and a ride designer, it hits the sweet spot of my interests. Park management is no more complicated than placing a gate in front of a ticket counter and then splashing some paint around to keep your guests from noticing how barren your empty park truly is, but the game’s depth becomes apparent as you build larger numbers of attractions and spend more time connecting them with paths, shops, and scenery.

While the game does offer unlimited funds for most objectives, I found that steady cash flow wasn’t always necessary to score well on objectives or rank up on your career path.

As someone who actively enjoys the different themes of rollercoasters, from wooden giants to twisting steel behemoths, when I first heard about Planet Coaster’s theme park management system, I jumped at the opportunity to get a chance to step into this one-of-a-kind Management tycoon game. Planet Coaster has been out for over half a year now and has seen many updates and fixes based on community feedback.

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However, the long awaited release of full mod support means that players will have access to an endless variety of additions and changes to spice up their experience.

Planet Coaster’s main mode consists of three different scenarios, which you can play in any order before moving onto the next. In Challenge mode, you are given a space to build your park with very little money, and must make do with what pre-built attractions that you can afford until you unlock new rides through research. 

In Career mode, you get an already-built space and fill in gaps with pre-made buildings and scenery. Sandbox simply turns off the budget restrictions on both of these modes, allowing you to build coasters any way you want and (at least when I played this post-launch) paying all of your janitors $1 million a year.

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Planet Coaster’s greatest strength is, hands down, the level of control and customization it gives players over their parks’ designs. I started with a sample park as my starter project just to get a feel for the game, and while it was nice, it was also pretty cookie-cutter, functional but not especially interesting. But once I started experimenting and deviating from the pre-built template, I found all sorts of creative potential in Planet Coaster.

It is easy to get started on and control but with a lot of flexibility, allowing players to have fun without getting bogged down by micromanagement. The scenery and building tools are intuitive and easy to use, as is everything else in the game. This game has been in early access for over a year and much of that time was spent listening to feedback from the community. This shows in Planet Coaster’s feature set, which feels complete and is full of content created by Frontier Developments themselves and the community through Steam Workshop. This will definitely be one of those games that I keep installing on new computers for years to come.

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Planet Coaster is a remarkably solid and enjoyable simulation/tycoon game that will keep you busy for a long while. The sheer number of joys you can discover while playing it is overwhelming, and I felt like there was always something new to discover in the game.

Storyline

Planet Coaster is a massive management game. It’s all about building the attractions and rides that’ll draw your guests in, but it doesn’t end at constructing a giant wooden coaster to throw them through loops. 

There’s also a park entrance, food stalls, bathrooms, souvenirs, security guards, a mini golf course, a carousel, benches and palm trees—and that’s only naming some of the basic objects you can place on your land. 

When you throw in the more advanced you get with shops and flat rides and their tracks and support beams and ticket booths, it can be daunting keeping an eye on everything. The easy solution is to enter the cheat mode (shhhh!) and play in paused mode for the duration of development. But then the whole game would be like watching paint dry!

Planet Coaster is at its best when you’re just fooling around. Trying to score an outstanding rating on every single coaster quickly becomes frustrating as your rides have ridiculously low throughput even after you add extra trains and increase the ride time to 20 minutes. 

Planet Coaster’s approach to this is to give the player a series of tools which can be used to examine their coaster in fine detail and adjust accordingly. Adjustments are easy – if your coaster isn’t thrilling people enough in a certain section, you can raise the bank on the track or just raise the tracks themselves so that riders are higher up when this part of the ride comes up. 

This makes it easier for them to see what’s coming next and generally makes for more exciting rides – at the tradeoff of some practicality in pre-planning and cost effectiveness (the game does not love steep drops).

Planet Coaster is a lot to wrap your head around. This is partly because it’s an exhaustive game with a wealth of features and tools, but also because the tools and features don’t always work as you’d expect them to. 

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; even the most popular rides in the world are a bit rough around the edges due to their sheer size and scope, which can make them difficult to handle. However, this ends up being frustrating when you spend hours of your time trying to make a park that people want to visit, only for them to never show up over and over again, even after you’ve tested each individual attraction multiple times.

Planet Coaster’s coaster-building system is where the game really shines. Aside from a few problems that I ran into while trying to make the ideal, perfect ride, its coaster-building system is one of the best. Resources are plentiful, individual track parts can be swapped in and out on the fly, and even if you find yourself making a horrifying mess in your park’s layout, it’s easy to turn everything on its side so you can clean up your edit job by scrolling through your building grid.

The Verdict

In Planet Coaster, Frontier Developments not only provides a game which makes a perfect complement to the most popular theme park simulation series of all time, but they also overcome many of the issues that have plagued that series for years.

It has a lot more flavor than those games due to its focus on creative building and presentation of your parks, it handles its various “crisis events” (negative happenings in the park) perfectly well and enjoyably, it gives you more freedom over how you feel about your parks content and ownership than other games in the genre ever could, and it’s so full of features it’s still finding ones to add even all these months after launch.

From the moment Planet Coaster released in November of last year, it captured the hearts and minds of coaster fans everywhere. Its visual style was immediately recognized as a breath of fresh air in an era where 3D-model design seems stagnant, and its level of interactivity with guests likewise made it stand apart from the competition.

Despite early hiccups, it has quickly grown into a vibrant community centered around sharing creations, collaborating on parks, propping up new additions with thoughtful suggestions, and modding the game itself to make expensive purchases obsolete. Planet Coaster is an excellent game that’s only getting better over time.

Planet Coaster is almost a perfect simulation of the construction, planning and management of a theme park. The only thing about it that I can complain about at all are the tutorials, which are only slightly lacking in beautiful textures, hands-on instruction and an anime Popeye as your teacher

In fact, I found myself wishing for more attention on that fact alone than on the learning itself, for once you’re done building some thrill rides and walkways and bathrooms, it’s a bit like giving an amateur chef all the ingredients to cure cancer but no idea how to use them. In many ways, this game is better suited to lovers of roller coasters themselves than armchair managers or tycoons – despite the name.

Planet Coaster Review
  • Storyline
  • Gameplay
  • Graphics
4.7

Summary

All in all, Planet Coaster is one of the most enjoyable simulation games to come out in quite some time. It offers a wide variety of attraction options, with building custom coasters being the primary focus. The game is also easy to learn and offers more than enough options to keep players entertained for hours (or even days) on end. The game shines on PC, but if you’re looking for a console experience, you can still have one—just be aware that it won’t be as robust as its PC counterpart.

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