The Prowler

Planet Coaster review

Samuel Just, Staff Writer

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Planet Coaster is a game about building the amusement park of endless fun and creativity, with no limits to what can be created.
The game is know as the “spiritual” successor to Frontier and Atari’s “Roller Coaster Tycoon 3” which was released in 2002. The game officially released on PC gaming platform Steam on Nov. 17, but several people got access to the early beta one week in advance.
The game runs off of the Cobra engine created by Frontier, which was also used for RCT3. The engine was heavily modified from the way it looked in 2002, and the results are stunning. On ultra-settings, the smallest details are noticed, from lens flares to the trees moving depending on how fast the wind moves. The first step in making a game is to make it enjoyable to look at, and Planet Coaster does that.
A very crucial element to this type of game is Steam workshop integration. Steam workshop allows users to post their creations online, so they can be downloaded and put right into the game. Planet Coaster does this better than any other theme park game out there. Taking any sort of creation and putting it into a park, is a great feature. Getting an inspiration to create is hard enough as it is, so putting pre made objects created by more experience players is a great way to make a good park. This is also because if players are new to the game, they can easily make a park with pre made objects and shops.
Theme parks wouldn’t be anything without some sort of scenic element to them. Planet Coaster lets users form mountains into whatever they want. The game also includes three types of water: clean, standing and dirty. Trees and rocks can be placed at ease and can be lowered into the ground to make them something entirely different.

Unlike past games where the focus was on themed sections to buildings, Planet Coaster lets players experiment with different types of materials to create different buildings. From wood to stone, players can create large scale buildings to low scale shacks. Combining materials allows for some unique and impressive buildings.
The flat rides feel a little bit too themed. If a steampunk themed flat ride is put into a tropical themed park, it leads to problems for park guests who look for scenic thrill.
The coaster building mechanic is flawless allowing for both angle snapping for perfect straight pieces, to free form warping of the track to create custom inversions to unique turns in the track. Planet Coaster has a wide selection of coasters to choose from, to traditional wooden coasters, to new and improved wing coasters, similar to X-Flight at Six Flags Great America.
A great theme park game requires a lot of effort and a lot of skill. Unlike most traditional theme park games, Planet Coaster focuses more on making the coaster and the theme park, and less on the tycoon side of it.
Frontier is taking strides to keep this game running into the future. Theme parks provide a lot of thrill to families all around the world, and a game about the creation of them lets people use the creative sides of their personalities.

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Planet Coaster review