Sim Theme Park
Windows - 1999
Description of Sim Theme Park Windows
I remember going to Alton Towers when I was five. The log-flume had just opened and we queued for hours to get on it. All the waiting and the excitement...and I hated it. Fast forward 18 years, and now I'm the first one in line for all the rollercoasters, complaining if they don't do enough loops, don't go fast enough...but I still hate that log flume. So naturally, in games like Theme Park World, the log flume is always the most daring and exciting ride in my park.
Theme Park World is the sequel to Theme Park (surprise) and is the latest game to be released by EA's Bullfrog. I couldn't help but compare the title to Hasbro's Rollercoaster Tycoon, and let me tell you, it measures up quite well. Whilst there are some problems / annoying little asides with the game, there are some great ideas too.
OK, basic premise is you have to create a theme park. You do this by building rides, sideshows, shops and features (plants, toilets, bins etc), some of which have already been designed and some of which can be researched by your scientists - should you employ any.
There are four theme parks that can be built, but you can only access two of them to start with. The others are dependent on you gaining a certain number of golden keys (which you earn by building impressive rides and attracting so many visitors to your park etc). Although the parks take a while to complete, I think that four is a rather small number for the game to ship with (compared with 21 in RollerCoaster Tycoon). EA are, however, planning add-ons to increase this number. Each park is set around a certain theme, Lost World, Haunted House, WonderLand and Space, and the rides and features all correspond to this theme. For example, there is a standard "bouncy castle" ride in each park; in the Lost World, it is a bouncy dinosaur and in the Haunted House, it is a bouncy brain.
There doesn't seem to be any real aim in building the parks. Whereas in RCT you had to attract so many visitors or earn so much money, here you are left without a specific purpose. Your overall aim is to earn golden tickets, which you can exchange for new rides (that wouldn't have been researched by your scientists) and golden keys. In turn, these golden keys allow you access to the two parks unavailable at the beginning of the game. However, there is no clear route to winning the tickets. Every so often, you'll be informed that you are close to winning one, if you can just squeeze in a few more visitors (a fire hazard, surely), but apart from that, the tickets appear sporadically and without warning. I won two in five minutes for earning so much money in a certain space of time, but I had no idea that I had been attempting this.
In order to develop and run your park, you need to employ some staff. Each category is important, the cleaners, mechanics, entertainers and security all make sure people are happy in the park, and the scientists research new rides, sideshows etc. However, the staff have to be kept happy too, if you pay for some training they will be more efficient at their work and unless you build them a staffroom, so they can have a break, they might go on strike. There are other managerial elements to the game that I'll get back to later.
The actual hands-on building of the park is a lot of fun, but marred by a few problems. The main problem is that rides can't be turned round, they all face one way, which is a little constricting in the whole designing process. However, laying out paths is very straightforward, click where you want one end of the path to be and then where you want the other, and a straight path will be drawn between the two points. This is much easier than in RCT, where each section of path had to be laid down individually. Designing your own rides is pretty easy too, things like rollercoasters, log flumes and rapids have to be designed individually (a couple of ready-made coasters wouldn't have gone amiss), here you lay out the basic track (same principle as the paths) and then add the height and banking tracks etc afterwards.
The attractions in the park can all be customised, you can change the rides' names, how fast they go, how many people they can carry etc, food prices can be changed as can fat content, quality of goods etc. In fact, the only thing that you don't seem to be able to do is change the paintwork, which isn't a problem.
But back to those managerial elements. The main factor here is money. You have so much to start with, and if you spend it all and go into the red for six months than you can be declared bankrupt. If you are close to going bankrupt (or if you need more money to build rides) you can take out a loan. Here you have a choice: different banks lend different amounts with different rates of interest, if you don't need too much money it doesn't make sense to get a large loan with more to pay back. Other financial matters involve the cost of entry to your park, and the amount of money you want to spend on training your staff, the more you spend, the more efficient they become.
There is a lot to manage at once, but you do have help. The onscreen advisor is always present with hints and advice about pretty much everything. The first time you open any window, he will give you a basic run-through of what you can do there, and if there are any other messages (if there are any areas of excessive litter, if people need more drinks stands, if new rides have been developed etc) he'll let you know about them too. Unfortunately, he keeps coming out with the same phrases, which get annoying, and I haven't found any way of removing him from the screen. Another problem with this is that, although most of the messages are relayed on the screen, there is the odd one that isn't, so if you want to turn your speakers down to avoid the advisor, you might miss the odd message too.
Your visitors are hard to keep track of. Unlike RCT, you can't click on them to find out what they are thinking, or what they have bought. Instead, you have to go to the "all-visitors pop-up screen" where you'll find out visitor moods, how long they've spent in the park and how much money they have remaining. You also have a handy map, which lets you know the hotspots for litter, vandalism and enjoyment; all this will help you decide what you should be doing in order to keep your visitors happy and in the park. If only these screens were easier to find in the first place - I spent ages looking round for them.
The best aspect of the whole game though, is the camcorder mode, the ability to wander round the park and have a go on the rides. By doing this, you get to experience the park first-hand and consequently know what is missing (do you need more flowers, more shops) and how the rides feel to ride (are they too slow, too high). I've never come across such a feature before and it really is a great addition. You can also take pictures of your park and send them as e-postcards to your friends. This is only part of what EA are hoping for though. They also plan to set up a community for Theme Park World owners, which will allow members to visit each other's parks and have a go on the rides. Which should be wonderful if it works out.
Theme Park World benefits from some great innovative ideas, the camcorder mode is inspired, and the ease of creating rides is a godsend. However, there are a couple of niggly little problems which let the side down, there are only four parks included, that onscreen advisor did become far too annoying and occasionally the interface did prove difficult to navigate. There are a lot of sim games around, and, although Theme Park World is not a bad game, it needs to do more to be my preferred theme park title.
Review By GamesDomain
How to play Sim Theme Park Windows
The game has been difficult to run since Win 2000 / XP. Adam Hearn released a fix, available on this, and full instructions are available here: http://www.adamhearn.co.uk/games/themeparkworld/tpwwin2kfix.html. You may also need the NoCD exe.
Big patches are available for Windows Vista / 7 and 8 / 10.
Comments and reviews
DebitCardInfo 2019-12-11 1 point
For anyone trying to get the game to run, try using this: https://github.com/The-Buzzy-Project/Golden-Ticket/releases . It's a 'launcher' for the game which tries to apply fixes and make it run on our modern computers. I've used it on 3 separate computers without issue, but it seems like some people on the subreddit (https://reddit.com/r/simthemepark) have hit or miss success with it. It's on Github though, so maybe someone can figure it out fully one day. Hope this helps :)
sxx 2019-10-13 -1 point
What is the deal with this site. All these free games and it is all good. How do you get away with this?
nik 2019-09-11 -2 points
the page says fix for vista/win 8/10, 231 mb,
why is the patch not implemented in the zip, no one uses iso anymore...
unless you will be paying the people who fix it...
i wont download...it has a low probability of running on my system.
if youre going to do this, stop wasting peoples time.
Bester 2018-06-22 4 points
Hey AB, it never asked me for a 30 digit serial code. Are you sure you downloaded the correct file?
AB 2017-05-21 -14 points
After I download the game, it asks me for a 30 digit serial code for installation. I obviously don't have one because I'm downloading from this site. Has anyone run into this issue before? Was anyone able to solve it? I would appreciate any help you can provide. Thank you!
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