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Park Beyond Lets You Create the Ultimate Thrill Rides of Your Dreams (Hands-On Preview)

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Park Beyond Lets You Create the Ultimate Thrill Rides of Your Dreams (Hands-On Preview)

We got some hands-on time with Park Beyond. Here’s what we think so far.

While I’m not the biggest Planet Coaster or Thrillville fan around, I can certainly appreciate the concept of creating gravity-defying theme park rides and reveling in the freedom that a theme park management sim can give you. Park Beyond might not necessarily break any new ground that hasn’t already been explored by its competitors, but it sure as hell won’t disappoint fans who just want to sink their teeth into managing another virtual theme park.

After a somewhat cheesy and honestly bizarre intro, the game throws you straight into the thick of things. It wastes no time in teaching you how to create basic rollercoaster tracks, along with all the bells and whistles that come with it. Unlike in some other games in the genre, I was immediately pleased to see that creating and editing tracks was so much simpler than I was used to.

Creating a track is simply a matter of clicking on an icon, dragging your mouse to wherever you want it to end, then clicking again when you want to cut it off. Park Beyond lets you manage the height and curvature of the tracks pretty easily, and even in just the tutorial stage, I found I was already given the freedom to create an interesting rollercoaster ride through the game’s colorful city.

Image Source: Bandai Namco and Limbic

It’s easy to tunnel through cliffs and other surfaces as well, and it’s clear that Park Beyond wants to be as user-friendly as possible when it comes to the UI and other interface options. And beyond that, the types of modules that become available to you in the early game also help to give some unique flair to your rides. As you progress through the game, you’ll meet the park’s various NPCs who will ask guiding questions about your vision for the park. Your answers determine the kind of modules that you unlock first, which is nice. It gives you more agency in choosing what kinds of rides you want to build, and that’s always a plus.

Before long, you’ll be building cannons at the end of a track to launch your unwitting park goers to the other side of the park.

That’s not to say that Park Beyond just gives you unlimited power and control over all of your rides, however. The game still wants to be a proper park management sim, which means that there are all sorts of backend and financial things to worry about. You’ll need to be wary of how much resources you’re putting into any one aspect of the park, and let’s not forget that gravity and physics are still a thing in this game.

As you build your rides, a ghost test cart will ride back and forth on the track, giving you an idea of how fast the ride goes and if there are any speed hiccups along the way. The world of Park Beyond lets you create truly unique rides, but you’re ultimately still bound by the laws of gravity, which means that you can’t just create ridiculously steep tracks that the cart can’t even climb.

This isn’t a knock against the game, as I’ve often found that creativity usually blossoms when you’re under various constraints and restrictions. You’re forced to think outside of the box and try to come up with solutions to wrap a track around a building, or try to create loops around a giant doughnut hole.

While I wasn’t really a fan of the park NPCs and how overbearing the “story” could get at times, when Park Beyond lets you loose, the payoff is worth it. The game excels in making it extremely easy for players to build whatever comes to mind, and it’ll definitely be a worthy contender in the park management sim genre to look out for.

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