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Park Beyond Review

(Image from Steam Game Page)

The joy of operating a virtual amusement park has been approximately the same since 1993’s Theme Park. The change was not brought about by the architects of the recently debuted Park Beyond, which appears to be quite similar to the seven-year-old, but still popular Planet Coaster. A few novelties and enhancements, on the other hand, have the potential to make it a viable challenger to the success from years ago – sadly, the problem is a heap of faults and poorly constructed management mechanisms.

After Tropico 6, Limbic Entertainment’s next game is another attempt at the strategy genre. This time, we take on the position of an amusement park manager, whose responsibilities include everything from building roller coasters and purchasing merry-go-rounds to putting up souvenir stores or areas where tourists may eat and drink after a long day of excitement. The player must also take care of regular machine maintenance, path cleaning, and visitor health and contentment – of course, not alone, but with the assistance of personnel. 

Park Beyond has two game modes: a narrative campaign and a traditional sandbox. In the first, as an unnamed amusement park enthusiast, we work tirelessly to realise our ambition of opening our own park. Along the road, we meet a variety of fascinating personalities that will either support our goals or… undermine them! Each chapter transports us to a different, always wonderfully rendered and lovely location with an own identity and history. The story  begins with a particularly mad visionary (in this case us) and a manager attempting to pull a parkour off our head and into reality. The player’s objective is to persuade them of his merging park plan by picking dialogue choices. It is important to pay attention to this section since your selections here may impact the circumstances, objectives, and sometimes even the level of challenge – but this is not the same as the level of difficulty, which must be expressed individually in the game settings. 

(Image from Steam Game Page)

The sandbox option, on the other hand, allows you to virtually infinitely expand your dream park. Literally, since, unlike Planet Coaster, the number of items we may install is not predetermined – the only constraints are the size of the map and the capabilities of my laptop.Park Beyond also allows you to upgrade personnel and erected items. The enigmatic mechanism of “allowing” suits this goal. Despite the tough name, it works fairly simply: guests who have a good time get fun points, which may later be used to improve the park.

Another, less pleasant reason why our park may change over time is that if an attraction is not profitable, the only answer may be to demolish it and replace it with another attraction. Unfortunately, this is owing to a relatively simple economic system that consists of balancing three signs that objects have: profitability, joy, and fun. It is not feasible to modify them within the same attraction – certain carousels are profitable, while others are entertaining. To me, the solution is worthless since who would go to an amusement park to spend money and not receive more enjoyment out of it? The employee management system is equally limited in its capabilities. We employ them, determine their pay, and then watch the consequences of their behaviour. We can’t assign them to work on a certain carousel or clean up a particularly filthy section. This would not be an issue if we could always rely on artificial intelligence, but it is frequently untrustworthy. It would be preferable if process automation were simply a tool for speeding up the game.

It’s no better for the visitors. They frequently block roadways or entrances, most likely because they migrate in masses and cannot split. So it occurred to me multiple times that some carousels ceased bringing in money – no one utilised the attractions, even though they were not defective and the admission fee was exceedingly low. Finally, the great density of people hurrying around in front of the merry-go-round drew my attention; after zooming in, I saw that a family had blocked the entrance, preventing others from having fun. It also had a detrimental influence on my degree of happiness and enjoyment, stifling my future growth. And this isn’t the end of Park Beyond’s technological flaws. Less significant are the many malfunctions noticeable when we look closely at the town – individuals have a habit of duplicating themselves and piercing through things, creating ghostly hybrids. Serious mistakes, on the other hand, consist in the system frequently failing to finish tasks or only doing so with a delay. One of the objectives, for example, involved the placement of twelve creatures of a specific sort on an island. However, after entering the correct quantity, the counter indicated that there were only three. I just bought a few dozen of them.

(Image from Steam Game Page)

The ability to manage all items of the same type at the same time without having to click between them is my favourite feature of Park Beyond. The visual design, which combines actual landscapes with a little fairy-tale style of attractions, also leaves a favourable impression. Fortunately, the variety of hues is not overpowering, and it is simple to discern what is where. There are some issues with shadow physics, and when creating your own roller coasters, you may have to work a bit harder to grasp the appropriate button that happens to be hidden behind another – but this is usual in such complicated 3D construction systems. And the work is rewarded with extremely magnificent structures that we can ride ourselves.

It is also true that games of this sort only improve over time as a result of additions, updates, and, most importantly, a loyal community that contributes its own structures and decorations. So Park Beyond begins in a challenging position, but if the designers can correct their flaws and the game continues to improve and gain followers as a result of their dedication, it may one day be the number one game in its category.

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