I got the big box CD Rom version of this game a long time ago after falling for the original theme park on the mega drive. The game installed great at the time on windows 98 and again installed with no problems on my windows vista machine, despite being such an old disc of the game, BUT…the intro movies on my vista machine don’t really work anymore, the disc can be heard spinning in the drive but the movie is just choppy and doesn’t work, it may be due to multiple processors but no matter what I’ve tried I can’t fix the problem…But this doesn’t affect the gameplay at all. Just a shame as everday a new video will play, until about 8 different videos have played out then they loop.
The game itself starts with the advisor introducing themselves and asking who you are. You put your name in and then are greeted with four different parks and one key. You only have access to the dino park or the Halloween park at first and have to earn keys to unlock the other parks. There is also an option to start a quick game where you start with a small pre-built park but for me this option is limiting and I’d stick to the normal mode.
The graphics are a vast improvement on the old theme park, with the ability to see your park from other sides and you can zoom in. Plus everything has been given a real 3D feel for the first time. The music for me is a nice improvement too. The advisor talks rather than making you read things and you really don’t need the manual to understand how to play as the advisor keeps explaining such things to you which is a really great improvement on the original.
The game works very much the same, build rides, shops and amenities, hire staff and then watch your profits soar as the visitors come in. Just like the old game you can click on visitors to find out more, have to manage your staff and rides and for the first time can set a work zone for your staff, especially helpful to make sure cleaners really do stick to cleaning the areas you want.
The new BIG feature in this game for me is the ability to walk around your park and ride some of the fides as if you are a visitor. I love this new feature as it really gives you the chance to enjoy what you have spent hours creating. The game also gives new options for connecting online and sending pictures of your park to friends or apparently publishing the park online, although I’ve never tried the online features so can’t comment and am really not sure if they still exist all these years later.
There are four main parks to enjoy, the Lost Kingdom (like a dinosaur theme), Halloween, Wonderland (like being a mini person in a garden) and Space. You can work up to these parks by earning keys. There are golden tickets to be earned too which can unlock extra special bonus rides.
I’ve told you all the good and now here is the bad: This game has no clear reason for playing, no definite end. In the original theme park the point of the game was to build a theme park empire around the world, in theme park inc there is a clear goal in the game, but for theme park world there is no goal. The goal is simply to build and observe until you get bored.
This game is still a lot of fun to play, but for me without a clear end goal, once you have unlocked everything in every world you really do feel like ‘what was the point!’ It’s a great shame as this game is so good but just misses out on the crucial end.
If you are looking for a game with a clear end, but with the graphical and play quality of theme park world then I’d advise Theme Park Inc. But that’s not to say that this game is still not fun, especially when you can fide the rides and wander around your park (Rollercoaster tycoon only lets you ride rides, not walk around). I’d still recommend this game to anyone. It’s quite easy to play and kids will really love it, but as an adult I do still play🙂 A great game but just beware of the lack of an ending.