Older gamers (and true connoisseurs) may recall the theme-park simulation game aptly titled Theme Park. This game, from Bullfrog Productions, basically ported over the SimCity concept to a theme park and let players construct zany, unique attractions to draw guests to their rides. Considered a classic by many, Theme Park inspired a slew of sequels and even a few knock-offs, one of which is the downloadable title Parkitect.
To get Parkitect click on the Download button located at the end of this review. The game receives frequent updates so you can count on new and fresh content all the time. And if you like such games be sure to also check out and download Planet Coaster.
The Game Review
Developed and published by Texel Raptor, Parkitect takes a lot of its cues from the classic Theme Park formula but adds its own twists. Another game that Parkitect draws from is RollerCoaster Tycoon which is a clone of Theme Park but focused on creating insane roller coasters.
And, yes, you can make roller coasters that wouldn’t work out in the real world – and suffer the consequences of that calamity.
Because, at the end of the day, Parkitect is a management simulation game. You’ve got to make money and to do that you have to keep park attendees happy. Balancing this metric with adding new attractions to the park is the classic high-wire feat common to sims.
Mastery comes with time and experience with the game but the model still allows for a lot of customization. Unique to Parkitect is a kind of human resources simulation within a theme park sim. That is, unlike other titles, in Parkitect you need to manage the employees and their specialities to ensure that the park’s needs are fully met.
On top of this, there are staff-exclusive structures and resource depots to coordinate it all. This added layer is not only innovative but also really, really cool. You could have the perfect theme park but, without staff, it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.
Another feature that sets Parkitect apart from its competitors is the branching map system that is introduced early on in the campaign. Like RollerCoaster Tycoon, Parkitect isn’t going to limit you to just one space and your empire can basically keep growing. This results in a load of replay value and value for your purchase. Parkitect is hard to put down and you really won’t want to once you get started.
Both the gameplay and graphics are heavily inspired by the classic theme park sims on the PCs in the 1990s. Aesthetically, this isn’t anything to brag about but it is cute, charming, and thoroughly retro.
For those that played the older titles from which Parkitect draws inspiration, the design is even nostalgic. The sound is appropriate if not a little muffled here and there. The overall feel is that of a game that is older in spirit than it is in reality, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
An easy-to-understand core mechanic, coupled with charming graphics, boosts Parkitect into that rarefied territory of indie titles that almost do it better than the games that inspired them.
- Solid gameplay and easy to understand in-game mechanics
- Challenging without being overwhelming
- Addictive and fun
- Might seem a little too old school for some people
- Some systems interact unexpectedly
- Takes some time to get going