Park Beyond is the newest entrant to the theme park creation genre, and from what I’ve seen during my latest hands-on, it’s a game worth keeping an eye on. This is my second time going hands-on with the game since my last preview in August, so I was eager to see how it has progressed since then.
To start with, the roller coaster creator in Park Beyond is leagues ahead of other games in the genre. While I found the system a bit finicky, the addition of ‘hooks’ for each coaster is an awesome addition. These hooks suggest what goals a coaster can achieve and what demographic it will appeal to as well as giving you a prospective outcome for the ride. For example, to make a coaster more family-friendly, the hook will recommend avoiding inversions, whilst for thrill-seeking teenagers, the goal is to reach a speed of 140km/h. It’s a little touch that adds a lot of personalisation. I love that I can predict the stats of a rollercoaster by sticking to these hooks instead of having to wait until I have completed the coaster and the trial run to finish.
To add to the roller coaster love, Park Beyond give you the option to plan out a coaster and not spend anything until it’s fully complete. It’s a complete game-changer, and you won’t have to worry about wasting resources on incomplete coasters. You can also have a ghost train continuously testing your tracks to ensure that no crashes will happen and that you have enough speed to actually climb those heights without chain tracks! This alone might actually assist me in building more coasters as in the past I have become too frustrated wasting time and money on coasters that never work. I wonder if there will be a sharing functionality so we can download and share our coaster designs?
“…it’s wholesome to see an inclusive main character playing a gender non-conforming role.”
The pitch meetings before each map are another exciting addition. These meetings give players a sense of personal agency and set specific targets for what the theme park should aim for. I found this as a great way to give me a direction I needed to follow right out the gate. Each new park has the option of a different demographic and theme, like space, western, or candy land. It’s a helpful in terms of keeping you on track to ensure your park caters to its target audience.
One of the most significant advantages Park Beyond has over other theme park creator games lies in the diversity of its characters. The game features a vast selection of diverse characters in terms of ability, race, and gender. It is refreshing to see such inclusivity in the gaming world, and it adds an extra layer of immersion to the game. As an advocate for neurodiversity it was really wholesome to see an inclusive main character playing a gender non-conforming role. Great job to the developers at Limbic Entertainment!
The ‘impossification’ mechanic is another area where Park Beyond sets itself apart. Last preview we had a sneak peek at this feature, but this time around we got to see a lot more into how it actually works. This feature allows players to bend the laws of physics to create insane and impossible roller coasters. From tentacles to yeti’s, they have certainly added some absolute weird and wonderful ways to spice up the traditional offerings of theme parks. There are 3 main key points to monitor whilst creating your theme park: money, happiness and amazement. Maxing your amazement bar is how you can impossify your park. Speaking of, impossification isn’t limited to just rides either; you can also upgrade staff and shops with the impossible! It’s a fun, wild, and chaotic way to shake up traditional theme park games.
Overall, Park Beyond is a promising game with a lot of exciting new features. The Closed Beta, which is open between May 9th and May 19th on PC, is a great opportunity for players to experience the game and get a feel for its mechanics.
I highly recommend pre-registering for the Closed Beta here, because I can confidently say that Park Beyond is a game that is going to be worth exploring.