The true RCT successor.
Planet Coaster on PC
Welcome back to the ’90s and early 2000s when the games that allowed you to become a business mogul came in droves. Those were the days for fans of feeling like a billionaire, but they haven’t been in since then. Unfortunately, people craving the joy they felt with RollerCoaster Tycoon have had to wait over 12 years for another instance of it. But it’s finally here in Planet Coaster.
Planet Coaster, fun fact, was made by the same developers that worked on RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. It’s very evident, even if you didn’t know this, because once you boot up Planet Coaster, it genuinely feels like RCT. It has that same attitude and heart that the series used to have. This time around, though, it’s a gorgeous Steam game that allows you so much customization, anyone can be a fancy modder.
You’ll face challenges, a career mode of sorts, researching new rides and shops, marketing to specific age groups, loans and their repayment, and all the pricing options for everything in the park that you can imagine. Oh, $0.10 per bathroom use, how I’ve missed your greedy earnings. The staff management is easy, yet in-depth, too. You can hire from janitors, mechanics, and entertainers (which are all very cute and fun, by the way), and train them or give them raises to keep them happy. So while you can easily replace them all, you’ll want to keep working up the staff you have and training them to make them masters over time.
What matters most in a theme park management game, though, is how it all comes together with what you can actually put in the park. Coasters for the thrill-seeking attendees, rides for the cheap fun, shops to keep the hungry and thirsty satiated, benches for nausea, trash bins to keep it all clean, scenery items to improve the park’s beauty, and paths to make sure everyone can go where they wanna go are all a part of your arsenal. It’s all incredibly easy to place down, and the instant feedback that many give are a great measure for how much you’ll need. See a ton of vomit? Might be time to place some benches there. Also, hire some janitors, you mess. See that a ride’s queue has a low scenery rating? Place some animatronics and trees around that path you placed! Now the people waiting won’t have such a dull time standing around.
Oh, and while we’re on queues, I think it’s awesome that Planet Coaster allows you to build Priority Pass lanes. Extra money rolls in, impatient people will stay happy, and it’s just plain ol’ a cool addition to make things realistic.
The rides are plentiful but if there’s one thing I’d like to nitpick – as a person with zero creativity in games – is that there should be even more custom rides to choose from. However, for players that enjoy making their own roller coasters, the process is extremely easy and offers a ton of options to make whatever thrilling or terrifying ride you wish to. This comes complete with stats that show you how fast, terrifying, exciting, and more the rollercoaster you build is. You’ll get instant feedback on everything once its open through the thought bubbles that park attendees will have, and through this you can better your park. Or, you know, make your attendees miserable and raise the land at the beginning of the park to lock them into an eternal torment. You know, whatever.
Planet Coaster truly is the spiritual successor to the king of tycoon games. You’ll have as much of a blast playing it as your park attendees will (hopefully) have riding your rides. PC’s best attribute, I’d like to think, is that it provides a lot of depth while not really asking way too much out of you. The game is beautiful, yet minimal in its art direction. It provides so much, yet it’s all so easy to work. The rides can be as intricate or as simple as you’d like. You can create custom monstrous coasters and buildings, or you can use pre-built ones. You can hire staff and keep supplementing the turnover, or you can train them and keep them happy for the long haul. It’s all just done so well that this is a must have for any management, RollerCoaster Tycoon, or generally good PC game fan.
Score: 4.5/5 – Great