Planet Coaster Game Officially Released
The wait is over. Roller coaster and theme park simulator Planet Coaster is now available for purchase, just in time for the holiday season.
Its Wikipedia entry calls Planet Coaster the “spiritual successor” to Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 (RCT3, released in 2004). And from playing preview versions of the game, I agree with that sentiment.
The game was developed and released by Frontier Developments — which also developed RCT3. And while there are certainly those “spiritual” threads of RCT3 found throughout the game, Planet Coaster stands confidently on its own and is very much a giant leap forward.
Watch the official Planet Coaster trailer below:
The game was first announced in January 2015. The “alpha” preview version of the game was released in March of this year, giving those who purchased the game in advance an opportunity to give the Planet Coaster a test run.
Creating, managing and sharing are the three pillars of Planet Coaster, all of which center around players acting as “creators” who are granted total control of their roller coaster and theme park creations.
The game gives players an incredible amount of control over their parks. Gone are the days of being restrained by a limited selection of tracks and elements. Planet Coaster is packed with a variety of track styles, from classics to newer industry advancements like a Rocky Mountain Construction-esque box track.
While the coaster designer takes some getting used to, I found that I was building complex layouts within minutes of starting the game.
From my limited experience with the “alpha” version of the game, “control” is indeed a recurring theme of the game. The ability to customize everything from track section length to pathway width is a refreshing change from the limits of other theme park simulation games.
The game’s graphics are impressive. The roller coasters, rides, buildings and scenery are impressively realistic — but the game retains just a hint of the whimsical, cartoon nature that made the Roller Coaster Tycoon series so fun to play.
But at its heart, Planet Coaster is a theme park simulator. So budding tycoons will love the business aspect of managing and running a successful (or not so successful) theme park operation.
And with the lifelike park guests comes their complex emotions that give insight into how you’re running your park. It’s that human element of these games that elevates them from being “just a simulator.”
It’s no surprise that the first major theme park simulator to be released since the dawn of social media includes a significant sharing component. Planet coaster allows you to share your creations and download other people’s works from around the world.
It’s that bridge between players that will hopefully allow the game to prosper and grow for years to come.
Learn more about Planet Coaster’s features here.
Planet Coaster is available for purchase on Steam for $44.99 (as of this posting).
Have you played Planet Coaster yet? Share your thoughts about the game in the comments section below.