So for those of you who are interested in the theme park simulation genre of videogames (and for those of you who didn’t know, yes, that is a thing and has been for some time), Frontier’s upcoming title Planet Coaster is running an open alpha long weekend from today, 6th October, to Monday 10th October. This is available to anyone who pre-orders the Thrillseeker edition of Planet Coaster, due for release on 17th November 2016, who can join those of us who signed up for Early Access in testing the game in Alpha 3, its current state.
While the game is clearly nowhere near finished, it still looks, sounds and plays amazingly at the moment. There isn’t as much content as there obviously will be when it releases fully, but what they’ve got is a solid start and foundation to build on, and there’s plenty of stuff available on Steam Workshop for you to enhance your collection. It’s pretty easy to pick up and play, and runs well on high spec computers (you might find it gets very laggy very quickly on medium to low spec PCs, though).
As an example, this is a finished park I created during Alpha 3. It’s called Magical Kingdoms and, in case you couldn’t tell, is inspired by the Disneyland Magic Kingdom parks. Everything you see here has been made from things included in the Alpha 3 release, and almost all of the custom stuff I’ve created myself, with the exception of some of the buildings and one roller coaster. This park still runs OK on my computer – it’s a little bit slow when facing certain directions due to the amount of content it needs to load, but I’ve been assured that the game has not been fully optimised yet and so should run better in the upcoming beta and the full release in November.
If you’re a fan of theme park sim games, or even if you’re a theme park lover who’s never played a sim before, I’d encourage you to at least get hold of a friend with a copy of the alpha and test it out for yourself. I was a little sceptical before playing and thought I could probably wait until general release, but I’m very happy I didn’t because this game is awesome, great fun and really quite riveting, even in its incomplete state. Keep a lookout for further updates on Planet Coaster and other theme park simulation games, and rest assured I’ll be bringing you full coverage when the game is fully released on 17th November.
See you around =] x x