Thrillville - PS2 - Preview 2
Welcome to Thrillville, a gigantic amusement park – no, make that amusement world – with more roller coasters and vomit-inducing rides than all of Disney World's parks combined. The coasters are intense, and the spin rides? Very daring. Visitors step into a universe of amazement as they witness each locale and each attraction for the first time. Classic movie scenes are unofficially re-created for some of the coolest environment designs ever conceived. When mock laser beams fly over your head, inflicting make-believe damage on nearby buildings – you know you're not at just another Cedar Point clone.
Thrillville has been called an amusement park simulator, but it's actually a few games in one. (1) A large collection of arcade-style mini-games, (2) manage your amusement park, (3) test the rides yourself and experience the magic, and (4) plant pre-made roller coasters or build your own from the ground up.
There's also an element of visitor communication, interaction, and matchmaking. The latter doesn't seem to fit, but not much in the game does. It's an unusual breed. These unlikely pieces have come together to form the game you see today.
Let There Be Growth
Thrillville is not Sim City. You won't spend hours going over the books with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that every detail has been properly planned. But you will need to oversee the parks' mechanics, who fix rides when they're broken. No one likes garbage. You'll have to ensure it gets picked up by commissioning the right crew.
At the same time, it may be discovered that certain attractions just aren't cutting it. Attractions are essential to your business. If you build one that goes unnoticed – or worse, ignored – the investment wasn't a success. Ticket prices may have to be dropped, shrinking your per-ticket profit margin. The reason for doing this, however, is to increase your entire profits, which should go up once the ticket price has dropped.
If more people don't start to take advantage of your offer, it might be time to sell the attraction and build something new. You won't make much off the sale, but it's better than storing a dead piece of metal. Space is very limited. You need to maximize your $$$ by offering only the best attractions at the best prices.
But remember, prices can be subjective. What's a great deal to you – the person looking at the bottom line – might not be great to someone waiting in line. But if you can get the majority of your visitors to jump on board, why worry about those who do not?
As park manager, you'll have to manage these aspects and more. At the start of the game you'll choose to be a child or adult character, male or female.
Take a Ride on the Wild Side
From the moment the game begins you'll have the option to examine any existing attraction and experience it firsthand. Mini-games are playable; rides and roller coasters are viewable. I'm sure most gamers have heard the term "on rails" before. It's used to describe a game environment that feels very linear, as if to say that the level is on a strict pre-determined path.
Thrillville's roller coasters use that term literally. Coasters can't be anything except on rails, hence eliminating any distinct player control during these attractions. All you're supposed to do is kick back and enjoy the thrilling ride, the colorful scenery, and tilt your head (camera view) using the left analog stick.
Elements of Halo, Mario Kart, Micro Machines, Super Mario Sunshine, and several others are parodied, and in some ways are directly imitated, by Thrillville's mini-game collection. These include a kart racer, a game where you have to clean up vomit using a squirt gun, an awkward top-down racer, and a basic non-violent FPS. Miniature golf has promise, and there are some space-oriented races that could turn out to be pretty cool. With about a month to go before the game is released, the developers still have to time to refine and enhance these attractions. Hopefully they’ll turn out to provide a rewarding multiplayer experience.
Thrillville hurls into the stores on November 21st.