Theme Park Review

Theme Park Featured

Theme Park Boxart

Developer: Bullfrog Productions
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PC – Amiga, Amiga CD32, DOS, GOG*

Many 90s children grew up with a little game called Roller Coaster Tycoon. However, it was not the first great theme park-related tycoon out there. That honor should be attributed to Bullfrog’s wonderful Theme Park. This title gets overlooked at times due to Theme Hospital, which they developed a few years later. In any case, let’s take a look back at this classic simulation game.

Theme Park, as the name implies, has the player take on the role of a theme park entrepreneur. Starting from scratch, it is your duty to design the layout, hire staff, pay attention to visitors, and keep track of new park technology. Basically anything that you might expect to have to do when managing a theme park is in this game.

It’s a bit tough to comprehend at first. Laying out park attractions, restaurants, bathrooms, and foliage is fun – until you realize you must think ahead. Spend all your money creating a massive park and staff get left out in the cold. Similarly, if you make your park cramped by design it will be harder to expand later without demolishing buildings. Your staff also happens to be ridiculously incompetent. Janitors in particular like to run laps in the cleanest corners of a park, leaving visitors to experience a yucky walkway. Be absolutely sure to institute patrols for each of them!

Theme Park Featured

Even after roughing out the park, there is more to do. Restaurants require food supplies which don’t replenish on their own. Sometimes, union workers try to increase their wages. On other occasions, one poor visitor may become sick and cause a chain reaction of vomiting. You simply must be prepared for anything. Unfortunately, the map’s default zoom is quite close making it hard to know exactly what is happening at all times.

Although Theme Park is over twenty years old it has an art style that still holds up. The pixelated landscape has a really nice style to it. Buildings are also depicted in fun ways, such as burger stands being shaped like gigantic cartoon hamburgers. Everything looks wonderfully charming and inviting. Of course, it’s actually a pretty tough title, but at least it looks cute!

Theme Park is the kind of game that never ages. Even though many new tycoon games have come and gone, there’s something innately special about this one. It grants the player complete control but balances it with strategic elements. Making your park the best around is tough, but very much worth it.

Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas

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