Ever wanted to be a theme park-ruling god? Well, now you can. More importantly, you can also do it comfortably on your own couch with the release of Planet Coaster: Console Edition. It’s been some time since I jumped into a sim like this one. The last I can remember really getting stuck into is Thrillville: Off the Rails, a 2007 game. After settling in, building some coasters and prettying up my park for the likelihood of influencer visits, it’s safe to say Planet Coaster fulfils a wonderful niche I’ve been dying to delve back into.
Planet Coaster: Console Edition is, as the name suggests, a version of the 2016 game that has found its way to the likes of Xbox and PlayStation. Like classics such as Rollercoaster Tycoon before it, its a game heavy on the sim side, seeing you run your own theme park, build coasters, care for workers, guests and more.
What I was most surprised to find is that even after spending years away from the genre, it’s quite a simple enough game to follow. An issued career mode helps you get into the swing of things, effectively serving as quite the tutorial before letting you go off and do your own thing. Working towards great rankings in here is fun, and if all else comes to fail there is a sandbox mode to mess around in or a Challenge mode which sees your managing your park with very limited money.
Planet Coaster is surprisingly fluid when it comes to console play
Even controlling the game with my PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller, it didn’t feel too monotonous navigating through the game, like sim games on consoles often can. Face buttons can help you quickly place, select and delete individual or multiple items. Bumper buttons help rifle through categories of facilities, scenery and the likes to place. The left analog stick tracks where your cursor is moving. The right (along with the triggers) controls the camera, be it panning it around, or zooming in and out. Sure it’s not the perfect means that a mouse and keyboard brings with these form of games, but it still works and it works quite well.
Get into the granular parts of Planet Coaster on console, and I can see certain players mastering it. I wasn’t the quickest when it came to flipping tabs, using hotkeys and the likes but I can see myself growing to be more efficient in it in the future. A lot of joy was found in experimenting with so much in this game. How much do I want to make a capitalist theme park that actually works? Is it possible for me to just train my staff up and up, only caring about them and not my guests? Just how bombastic can I make some of my coaster crashes? It’s all up to me and that potential is exciting. I can’t wait to get further stuck in.
Planet Coaster: Console Edition is available now for PlayStation 4 and 5, along with Xbox One and the Xbox Series X|S. If you’re looking for a good sim adventure played on the comfort of your couch, it’s up there in your best options.