First, there was Theme Park. Then came Rollercoaster Tycoon. Then… nothing really happened for ages, but fear not: Planet Coaster is out now.
Frontier Developments, the legendary David Braben’s studio, is best known for Elite: Dangerous. You know, the super-serious, near-infinite interstellar exploration simulation, with resource collection, trading and space combat; no, not that one. The other one. The one everyone doesn’t hate.
But somewhere along the line they also decided to bring back the theme park builder, a venerable elder statesman genre of the PC simulation world, that has very sadly lain dormant for many years. Theme park building is one of the most accessible forms of simulation, with concepts that everyone can enjoy. Designing a successful theme park has lower experiential barriers to entry than more ‘serious’ simulations like Farming Simulator or Football Manager, and has been a popular genre with children and adults alike.
So what can you expect from Planet Coaster? Exactly the same sort of gameplay fans of Theme Park and Rollercoaster Tycoon know and love, but updated and refreshed for today’s audience expectations. In another modern touch, there’s also support for Steam Workshop to allow players to share their creations globally.
“Planet Coaster is the coaster park simulation we’ve wanted to make for over a decade,” says Frontier’s Chief Creative Officer, Jonny Watts. “We wanted to give players the best creation tools, the most sophisticated management simulation, incredibly realistic park guests and the best ways to share the community’s creativity. To us, these things make Planet Coaster the future of simulation games.”