Although it wasn’t my first theme park simulation game – Rollercoaster Tycoon being that – Theme Park World offered something that RCT didn’t: first person view of rides. Before I got completely turned off of rollercoasters thanks to a terrible experience at Legoland, this was incredible. Building a hundred foot tall ride that is constantly twisting and turning is cool enough, but actually getting to ride it is something else entirely. It wasn’t necessarily the greatest simulation of riding it, which is probably down to the limitations of the hardware, but it did have a view for each ride that took into account where it was placed and what was going on around it.
There were many, many zany rides available too. You had your standard rollercoasters, but you also had some wacky octopus creations that span riders around at lightning speeds. There were dozens of rides that were incredibly creatively thought out and gave the game some real life and longevity, as you would want to see everything the game has to offer you.
The UI wasn’t the greatest, your money is shown in a massive logo at the top left, and you had options in the bottom left, but it wasn’t always the clearest at saying what actually did what in the game. But it was saved by the little helper guy. He popped up occasionally to tell you about new events in the game and generally be helpful, and although his lines could get a little repetitive, his Scottish accent never did. He made the entire game that much better than it already was.