Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Theme Park DS Review

If you are as old as I am, which is not saying a lot ( I am 23 btw ) you will most probably be familiar with this few title, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Sim City, Sim Tower and of course Theme Park. This few Sim title have spawned various incredibly time consuming game which threatens to make your mind blow away in frustration when you thought you have gotten the formula right to win the game. Of course, there is no winning in this game as the objective of the game is to earn as much money as possible. (No amount of money is too much)

Theme Park DS is a direct port from the computer version over 10 to 15 years ago. Everything that is right about Theme Park is now here, on the DS. Of course, it took some time for most developer to realize that the DS is all about the touch screen. This of course spawns quite a few games that utilizes the so called “brilliance” of the touch screen. One of the few titles is Elite Beat Agents, Heroes of Mana and of course Theme Park DS.

EA has done an incredibly good job in the inventory and menu section as with each jab at the screen up a new set of menu. The menus are spread out on the bottom bar and the rest on the top screen. The top screen displays all the things you need to see, a simplified version of your park map and also where your trusty advisor lurks and pop up to provide you with insights, advices, updates on your research and what not. Tapping on rides or guests will bring up detailed information in regard of it onto the top screen. From there, you can tap onto a special button to switch the top screen and the bottom screen, effectively giving you control over the top screen. To select item or buildings from the menu, you just need to put a check mark or circle the said building. This will clear up the screen and leaves you with the theme park and your selected building. Drag the building anywhere on the map and then tap ok to build it.

For those uninformed, Theme park is a Sim game. (You should have noticed by now), Theme park challenges your resource management and planning skill. The game demands your full constant attention to adjust a myriad of small things to keep the theme park running like a well oiled machine. Little things such as workers wages speed of a ride, constant tweaking of the ride’s price, and attention to the guests grumbling, providing a good planning for the roads to minimize walking (guests grumble a lot about the distance). As long as you manage to handle all that, it’s a simple matter of overcharging your ride and the admission ticket to clean out the guest’s pocket.

Of course, as fine as the game is, there are quite a few problems that are noticeable. One of them is the lack of panning; there is no way to pan the theme park left,right,up and down to organize it easier. You are left with one way to view the theme park and make do with it. Then there is also the annoying problem of having to manually adjust the numbers one figure at a time. This is some of the minor annoyance that will be encountered in Theme Park DS. Easily ignorable. But one thing that is not ignorable is the fact that Theme Park DS is an amazingly simple game which sucks up all your time. It took me 7 hour to write this very short and bad review because every time I turn to my Theme Park DS to refer to it, I will be hooked onto the game for 2 hours before I can drag my face back to facing the computer. Continue writing the review for 10 minutes, then refer back to Theme Park and have my face planted on it for the next 2 hour. So, heed this warning. It’s addictive


This game is gods send for those that are looking for something that is addictively engaging. Although if there are more support in terms of online or what not would have been a better thing, I would recommend this to anyone that loved sim game and for those that loved Theme Park PC version, This is a must get.

Theme Park DS can be purchased from HERE