Planet Coaster – Where Imagination (and time) is Your Limit

HOURS PLAYED: 40

PLAYED ON: MSI GP73 Leopard 8RE 

The successor of rollercoaster tycoons’ genres – Planet Coaster by Frontier Developments amazes its players with an astronomical number of tools that are available to you to build the park of your dreams. With the staggering amount of choices, Planet Coaster offers a rich sandbox for players to mess around with. Each building can be created from scratch, every price can be adjusted and even the number of turns your Ferris wheel takes before it stops.
On top of that, you can color your rides into anything you want them to be, you can add your own music, images, and videos that will be played in the game, you can name every worker or decide what their salary is going to be.

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The game details are one of the best I have seen in any building sim. You can follow each of your visitor on their journey in your park or look inside shops to see how your vendor is doing.
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You can ride your rollecoasters and rides from a first perspective at any time. If one could only get Planet Coaster in VR, you wouldn’t need to visit a real coasters anymore.

I cannot stress enough of how many tools game provides you with to play about.

Wide Appeal

The strongest feature of Planet Coaster is that it caters to a wide range of experiences for park builders. If you love managing but have difficulty to build masterpieces, then you can head straight to the “career” and play multiple maps with their various challenges. For more creative folks you can go straight into sandbox and craft whatever your imagination limits you to do without being bothered by finances. For those who are in between, there is a challenge mode where you can build your park and take care of finances on a huge flat map with additional goals.

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It all starts with a carousel… then you suddenly find building towers and castles from fairytales.

Everyone will find an appropriate challenge to face within the game. The only requirement from you as a player is to be motivated to go further – build bigger, crazier and creatively. Without personal motivation, you will find that there is no ultimate end-game.
But that is not the point of Planet Coaster. The point is to burst your inspirations and vivid visions of what the ideal rollercoaster park should be.

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As the park grows, it doesn’t stop working. It is vibrantly alive and bursting with eager visitors.

Imagination Limited by Time

With the astonishing freedom to build the park of your dreams what can stop you? Well… it is time. The time it takes to build perfection can rank up to hours, especially to beginners. Imagine this; you start building your burger shop to look like a wizard’s tower at 10:00 PM and once you finished it you realized that it is 10:45PM. Doesn’t seem that crucial but spending 45 minutes on a single shop in a game where you will build hundreds of them makes the whole process overwhelming at times. Eventually, you might find your patience running low.

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It took me about 2 hours to build this amazing roller coaster. Unfortunately due to its size, it tends to break often, hence it has its own dedicated mechanic that checks it every 10 minutes.

However, a lifesaving mechanic is the ability to save your buildings as a blueprint, meaning that you can simply re-create your masterpiece in one click. To add, there is a community of passionate creators that place astonishing works in Steam Workshops, that you can download freely.

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This stunning house has two bathrooms and a coffee shop. How much time did I spend building it? None. I’ve downloaded it for free from steam workshops!

Without these creators, it would take ages for you to take care of every little shop and ride aesthetics, especially when your park grows to hold thousands of visitors. It is also a source of inspiration for a newer player and an excellent way to learn how to create magnificent architectures.

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Besides assigning them a route and training, you are also responsible for training, paying and happiness of your workers.
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Tis but a fragment of selection of walls, archs, pillers and infastructure that Planet Coaster offers

Additionally, no matter what hardware you own, you will not be able to fully occupy the space that is give to you. As your park grows, so does the load on your computer and as I know it huge parks turns the game into a slide-show, so be considerate of that.

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This park took me about 10 hours to make. It occupies less than half of the map.

However, there is one more big issue that I have with the Planet Coaster…

Placing Paths of Nightmares

While the general mechanic is easy – select your road and extend it from the previous road element – the exact mechanics of it can be clunky. You see, in order for building and rides to operate, they all have to be connected by the road. Otherwise, nobody will be able to use it.

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When I just started playing, I had no idea how to place my roads. Hence in this image you are seeing the crooked and sketchy paths that took me a while to understand.

When it comes to connecting say a shop; the game would take control of how exactly it will be connected which can lead to a mess. Placing multiple shops together makes the road go crazy, as it can hardly decide to which one it should connect. You can simply place shops on the road, it has to have its own dedicated road.

This leads to issues that can limit players. Imagine you build an old wooden building with two floors. The first floor is dedicated to bathrooms, while on the top there are hot-dogs beings sold. Now you must build a path to these locations. No paths really match up with your house, so you must create a clunky road that leads into a small bridge that goes to the second floor. The bottom floor becomes messed up because the bridge is held by pillars that block the way. Hence the frustration builds up and the whole idea is abandoned.

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There used to be a shop below these stairs. But because of the pillar that sticks inside of it, I couldn’t create another path that leads to the shop. Hence, I deleted it. Oh, and I also downloaded this magnificent building.

Surely, that is experienced that I had with pathing. Experienced players may know how to manipulate the floor with an insane amount of options regarding a road, but for regular players, it might be a reason to stick to one-floor buildings.

Final Thoughts

Planet Coaster will be a brilliant game for people who love controlling every detail and designing their own buildings and coasters. With an overwhelming amount of options, one can be inspired while being repelling to the other.
For beginners, the game might seem complicated to hold a grasp of. I had to watch multiple YouTube videos to understand the mechanics of placing buildings, making money and having pathing obey to you. I wouldn’t call this game a beginner friendly, but once you hold confident skills and experience with game’s mechanics, it becomes an absolute joy to play it through.
However, for people who don’t like spending their time on small things or dealing with a huge selection of materials, Planet Coaster can be a frustrating and confusing game. It will take about a good 10 hours of the game to get into the flow.
Overall Planet Coaster is a game which offers so much, that I cannot have a mouth big enough to chew it. It leaves me eager to learn, craft and share my creations. And also waste three hours on building ideal futuristic soda shop.

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It is absolutely splendind to watch how alive your park becomes when you can zoom in on each corner. Did you also notice that I put one ride on top of the other? It works!

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