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PS4 / PS5 Game Review

Planet Coaster: Console Edition


Format: PS4 / PS5
Publisher: Frontier Developments PLC
Developer: Frontier Developments PLC
RRP: £39.99 - £65.99
Click here to buy -
Age Restrictions: 3+
Release Date: 19 November 2020

Surprise and delight crowds as you build the coaster park of your dreams and manage a truly living world with unparalleled attention to detail. Whatever your skill level, bring your ideas to life. Take advantage of Blueprints to quickly place over 700 pre-made objects, including coasters, facilities and scenery; build from the ground up with detailed piece-by-piece construction; or transform the ground itself with terrain-altering tools. Running your park is just as easy. Guests react in realtime as you set prices, place scenery, and install exciting new attractions. Keep them entertained so attendance figures – and profits – skyrocket...


Build the theme park of your dreams.

Back in the days of the PS1 (yes I'm that old) I wasted a lot of time, but had a lot of fun on Theme Park (1997). That construction and management simulation video game was unlike anything I'd ever played before... and it was a hell of a lot of fun. Me, my partner and our son couldn't get enough of it. Then the following year Electronic Arts also released Theme Hospital (1998) in a similar vein (if you'll excuse the pun). I've not really played a game like those in recent years (although Railway Empire is fairly close in style).

Planet Coaster is a modern day Theme Park, but with even more bells and whistles. And the beauty of it is that it's aimed at all skill levels. So if you're a newbie and just want to concentrate on building the biggest and best park, you can do that with ease, researching new rides and placing them in your park. And, if you want to go deeper you can build your own rides from the ground up. Create interactive attractions, and design your own rollercoaster tracks to push the human body to its limits.


Create interactive attractions and design your own rollercoaster tracks.

You can hire and fire staff, train them, as well as give them a pay rise in order to keep their motivation up, which means they'll perform better. Attract more visitors to the park by an advertising campaign; build an onsite hotel; allow visitors to the park to pay for priority passes for some/all rides; and just generally keep everything ticking over.

And you can also go online and share your creations with the rest of the world, or download other players rides, scenery, firework displays or even cruise ships.

The game's main campaign mode acts as a subtle, yet indepth massive tutorial, yet it never feels like this. You'll be given a list of tasks to carry out, until you gradually get used to the mechanics... and it's not difficult at all. In the early stages it's a little intimidating and on a few occasions I couldn't work out what I was supposed to do... but a quick relisten to the park owner's instructions and I was back on track.

In the early stages I did have issues with the camera from time to time - and playing one of the DLC rides I couldn't fathom how to switch the Y-axis (the two choices in the options menu didn't change it for that particular ride).


The sandbox mode is ideal for those who want to see all the rides.

The sandbox mode allows you to just build as big a park as you like. This is ideal for those who just want to see all the rides working.

When building your park there are lots of careful considerations and balancing everything is where the fun/challenge comes in. You'll need to keep an eye on the state of litter/crime/vandalism by employing cleaners/security/engineers. You'll also need to ensure you have toilets, shops that sell food and drink as well as gift shops. You'll need a good balance of rides to keep all ages entertained. It's also important to place bins, ATMs and scenery around your park to keep people engaged. You can also trigger time interactive scenery to move at certain times - so if you have a train that goes past, it will trigger that scenery so the guests see it come to life.

I've being playing non-stop for several days and I've only scratched the surface of the potential here. I've still to learn so much and with DLC packs already released and more planned for the future, this is a game I know I'll not tire of anytime soon.


You'll need to keep on top of the litter/crime/vandalism.

And when you fancy a bit of down time, jump onto any of the rides and experience them as your guests do. The ability to change cameras for lots of different views (including every single seat on all rides) is incredibly well thought out. But if I had one issue it's that a VR mode would have been welcomed as well as the ability to walk around the park with the public. You can only float around with the camera controls, but it's not the same as being able to walk around the park.

The base game comes in various packages. There's the standard (£39.99); Deluxe Edition (£47.99 - which also includes Magnificent Rides Collection and Classic Rides Collection); Premium Edition (£65.99 - which Deluxe Edition content as well as Spooky Pack, Adventure Pack, Vintage Pack, World's Fair Pack Studios Pack).

This is a game where you'll sit down for a quick blast, only to discover hours have flown by.


Darren Rea

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