As I stepped into the demo for Dream Park, I couldn’t seem to shake this feeling that I have seen this game somewhere else. Echoes of PC gaming’s past were calling out the name of Rollercoaster Tycoon as I was shown the second of Capcom’s trio of upcoming freemium offerings. While the game doesn’t expressly feature the ability to build your own rollercoasters, many of the other amusement park design and upkeep mechanics are present in their full glory, silently urging you to indulge your inner Walt Disney.
For those that have ever fantasized about building their own fledgling theme, or rather, “Dream Park,” from the ground up, this is the title that will definitely scratch that itch. Players can choose from a park that employs any one of three different themes: Jurassic, Science Fiction, or Fantasy Medieval. After deciding upon a motif to follow, players then can set off to create rides, modify or upgrade their existing attractions, and better please their consumers.
Once new rides have been put into full operation they will continue to earn a steady income until customers either become dissatisfied with the attraction, or it breaks down. Depending upon the popularity of the ride, you will have to make the tough choice to either repair the ride or sell it for scrap. These are the kinds of decisions that will plague progression through the lifecycle of this interactive magic land. But really who are we to complain? Even the worst day on a Ferris Wheel beats any day in the office…
As you might predict, the more successful your Dream Park becomes, the more money that will be at your disposal for customizing and beautifying the layout of the park. Even the small touches like adding in proper queue lines for attractions can go a long way towards cleaning up the appearance and better managing crowds. Once again, the name of the game when it comes to freemium design is customization, and this is an experience that has it in spades. Will you chose to indulge your inner control freak?