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Reviewed: Sim Theme Park
Author: Chris Kim       Date: November 23rd 1999
Page: 2

Following closely in the footsteps of the original smash hit, Theme Park, Sim Theme Park, with a very closely related name as well, puts the user in the shoes of an owner of an amusement park, with money to do what he or she wishes. People will enter the park, look for things to do, and depending on how happy they are, will either buy food, play games, go on rides, and even use the restroom. Yes, nearly everything is here, the interaction between the owner and loyal demand of the users of the park are quite critical. What makes the game so unique is the micro-management involved and meeting the demanding requirements of the people who come to the park. Without listening to what the consumer wants, the owner will be surely buried under the weight of customer dissatisfaction and money loss.

Nice Walk in the Park
Through the Tracks
Banana Boat!

The main focus and point of the game is the construction and building of the rides, hence the name, amusement park. Everyone at the park is to have fun, and the role of player is to make that wish come true with adding various rides, stores, games, and extra features that will make the customers happy. But, making the customers happy requires a lot more work than simply having a lot of cool rides, stores, and games in the park. The whole park must be up kept, sanitary, well protected, and entertained.

To keep a successful park, the player must always be adding new things and keeping the place well organized. The workers and staffers at the park must be provided with cleaning crews, security guards, entertainers, mechanics, and researchers. Every single job is very important in the world of Sim Theme Park, as one factor of the park contributes to the overall happiness of the visitor. But, the most important is probably the mechanic, the people who keep the rides going behind the show. Janitors will keep the park tidy. Security guards will keep order; with the help of security cameras which can be placed here and there. Entertainers, people who are usually in costume entertaining kids. Then the crucial researchers, these guys are the ones that come up with all the funky contraptions of rides, shows, and shops. Adequate funding is required for staffers and good pay must be given, otherwise the player will face the threat of a strike or poor work performance and ethic. Each of the staffers also have an ability level, they have certain amount of skill by which they can take up tasks. The higher the skill, the more effective and faster work will be done. With proper training and money funding, skills of the employees will increase.

Rapids Ride
Tall Rollercoaster
Scary Theme

As with any park, rides are the most important aspect of a successful amusement park. There are four different worlds upon which Sim Theme Park takes place. Within these four different locations, there is:

  • Lost Island: The basic, middle of the day park.
  • Halloween World: A darker, scarier theme style park.
  • Wonder Land: A wonderful place of spring and beauty.
  • Space Zone: Lost in space...
  • Each of the different locations have unique rides, shops, features, and shows that the player can choose to build and design their park from. Like in a real world amusement park, there are a variety of different rides available, spin rides, twisting rides, coaster rides, cart rides, and rollercoaster rides. Each of the rides can be customized in speed, capacity, and time length. Depending on how the settings are place, the ride will be stronger, last longer or shorter, more fun and exciting, or they can be a total doze. The more exciting the ride is, more it tends to be less reliable and break down faster. Most of the rides just have those options, but some rides have tracks, like a race or coaster track on which to follow by. The player has the power at their fingertips at how to design the track and what to make it like. By researching the proper features, certain extras can be imposed upon rides, like jumps, loops, and circles.

    Probably the best feature of the game is being able to switch into the first person camera or camcorder and be able to be one of the park attendees. The player can easily switch to a person in the park with a first person view, going on rides, going around play games, and walking around in the park. This can be rather exciting (although not as fun as really being at an amusement park, it's close :-) for the player to see how their ride is and experience first hand to see if they've designed a grade A course, or some crappy spin ride.

    Sideways Stack
    Lookie all the People!

    The other major portion of the game is the micro management of money. Being a realistic simulation of the business world, Sim Theme Park plays a major pay balance role in management of money. The player will either lose money or bring in money depending on how they manage their park. The better they manage it, the more money they will bring in. The worse, the less money or losing money will be the result. The player has to manage nearly all aspects of the game from staffers wages to ticket prices. Similar to how Sim City works, if the player is in trouble, loans can be taken out for support, of course, there is always the interest factor. Certain amount of funding also must be allocated to various parts of the staff for training and research speed, otherwise, the staff is pretty much has crippled itself.

    With all this management, business charts and databases are required. The game has that topic covered with detailed charts and graphs of how the park has gained business and lost business over the years. There are flow charts with anticipation of what the future will look like.

    Even though money is a huge factor, that is not the only thing that needs management. Rides need maintenance as they will break down and wear out over time. Shops and shows need the costs of their products with how much the cost to play or pay is. Depending all these factors, the income and successfulness of the park will vary.

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    Added:  Tuesday, November 23, 1999
    Reviewer:  Chris Kim
    Page: 2/5

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