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Theme Park World attempts to bring an element of fun to the daunting experience of business management. We have already seen this type of game on PSX with the original Theme Park, Sim City, Theme Hospital and Transport Tycoon. But now it's time to create your definitive 3D Theme Park experienced in eight individual environments, spread across four different themes Lost Kingdom, Halloween World, Space Zone and Wonder Land.
The object of the game is that the player is placed in the position of both boss and employer with the task to build, design and run their very own theme park. This includes everything from researching and building the rides, to hiring and firing the staff. Most important of all you must turn out a profit, while making sure the customers remain safe and cheerful. As you progress through a level your success is rewarded by gaining Gold Tickets, which are the currency of the game.
All work and no play will surely make Jack a real dull son-of-a-bitch, therefore Theme Park World includes the ability to actually climb aboard your own rides and partake in a number of sideshows. So will Theme Park World turn in a profit or end up redundant in the second hand shops? Let's find out.
Sound and Vision:
Having seen many impressive fully rendered screenshots during the build up to this title I must admit to being very disappointed with the main intro. The colors seem so overpowering and blurred as if no one has taken the time to tune in the contrast. If you delay diving straight into the game a slightly improved CG movie showing a bunch of kids running wild in a haunted house intermediately clicks in.
Anyone familiar with past Theme titles will be amazed at the graphical improvement of the main game. The isometric, top-down view remains, but the 2D graphics and detailed sprites have been replaced by a fully 3D world. Now when you rotate the camera around a park the tiny polygon customers can be seen excitably weaving among the rides and sideshows. An almost complete Theme Park should be alive with activity (if correctly researched). Rollercoasters should snake up and down across the horizon, brightly colored air balloons float high above the ground, while sideshows and fairground rides rock and sway as if bursting with action.
All of the rides actually work and many can even be tried out in first person camcorder mode. Sadly wandering amongst the crowds on the ground can be awkward to control and slightly messy visually. However, on the positive side there is no better way to witness your creation than taking a trip in a hot air balloon.
It's possibly worth mentioning that the graphics now run in a much higher resolution and I hope not too many of you will be visually affected by the constantly moving animations. Personally I was fine and felt no ill effect, but a friend couldn't bare to look at the screen without feeling queezy. It maybe worth running the game prior to purchase.
The sound effects range between average and suicidal. An effort has been made to match the music with each theme, but repetative fairground tunes can soon become tortourous. Even more infuriating is the Advisor who regulary pops up on screen to offer 'helpful' advice and tips. If you don't detest this guy after an hours play then I am sorry to inform you that you've probably passed away. "Put up the price's!" "Build more rides!" "Your staff are going on strike!" "More features!" "More food!" "We've got trouble, Boss!" "Your price's are now too high!" "Too low!" "Too high!" "Too low!" I agree that occasionally he is helpful, but why is the little Scottish git always in your face. There's barely gaps of 15 seconds when he shut's his trap. The problem being he is essential to the game so you cannot switch him off, even when your brain's about to explode.
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