“Do You Remember” is a segment of where we remind you guys of classic games you may have forgotten, and games we wish could either have a remake, be brought back to life with a HD upgrade, or be given a sequel, or quite possibly something else. At the end of the article, I will tell you guys what I believe should be done with the game.
Last week’s “Do You Remember?” was about “Theme Hospital“. This week, it’s about the sequel to the popular game “Theme Park”, known as “Theme Park World”. Now this game took the “Theme” games to the next level, where it incorporated isometric gameplay with 3D gameplay. It was not only a better game than it’s predecessor, but it was probably the best game out of the entire “Theme” series, perhaps on par with Theme Hospital.
Much like the concept of Theme Hospital, the game allowed you to run your very own Theme Park. You’d first be greeted by a black thing (I don’t know what it is myself) who calls himself your “adviser” who annoys helps you throughout the game. You’d start with the first type of theme park, known as the “LOST Kingdom”. When starting a theme park, the thing you’d want to do first was to create pathways. If you have no paths, there’s nothing the ride line can link to. Once you’ve built a path, the time wold come where you would add all the features to attract attention, including food bars, drink bars, toilets and what else? Of course… the rides!
The rides you could include (if we were still talking about the ‘LOST Kingdom’) were those such as ‘Crazy Ape’ where the ride involved a monkey with a banana in each of it’s hands. These bananas were like those little boat rides where the boats would swing backwards and forwards, getting steeper and steeper. Another ride you could include was called “Rocky Racers” which believe it or not was a dull ride. You’d sit in one of the four cars, and the ride would just spin clockwise for a few minutes before halting. The real fun of this game was building the actual roller coasters (yes. You could do that). Building roller coasters was fun, because you could add so many twists and turns and make them really long, really short, really high or even add loops. But making them tended to be rough, as you had to make sure they linked back to where the roller coaster starts. Once you had everything prepared, it was time to open.
But like Theme Hospital, your fun comes at a price. You’d need to make sure your customers were happy, usually by adding all of these cool rides, or by adding some cool totem that might amaze them, or just by adding a simple burger bar. For the first year, things might run pretty smoothly, but then more and more people would start to visit your theme park, ultimately causing you problems, where people might leave early because they got bored too easily, or perhaps somebody throws up on the ride, or perhaps they might find ticket prices just too expensive; these were only a few of the many problems that would occur.
Sometimes you could get away with some really cheap tricks in order to get money for the theme park. You could make the entrance fee really expensive, but make the fee to jump on a ride really cheap, or perhaps you might make the burgers cheap, but really salty and make the drinks quite expensive. As well as keeping your customers happy[ish], you’d need to hire a good staff, such as mechanics, cleaners and researchers (they would research new rides and attractions for you).
But I think what really made this game interesting was the 3D view mode. In this mode, you could not only explore the very park you built, but you could even go on some of the rides, including your very cool roller coaster. OK, sure. Somethings didn’t make a lot of sense back in 1999 (the year of the games release) where you would sit in a stack of seats in front of a screen so pixelated that you wouldn’t see anything on the screen in front of you. And sure, all the people of the park always looked like they were walking diagonally, and sure, you’d see a whole bunch of floating heads when on some of the rides close up, but when you’re a 7 year old playing this game, it’s god damn exciting.
For EA to remake this game would be a dream come true, because it seems like over the years we’ve lost touch with these simulator games. With what we could do today with video games including 3D gaming (the one where you wear the glasses), a game such as Theme Park Would could look absolutely thrilling.
Theme Park World was released on Microsoft Windows in 1999, the Macintosh, Playstation and Playstation 2 in 2000 and on the Playstation Network in 2009.
Next Week: One of the best ever Need for Speed games is revisited: Underground 2.