Park Beyond Review – Where Imagination Meets Reality
Park Beyond is a fresh simulation game designed to draw a casual audience into a market with scant competition. Few games allow players to construct their parks, and those that do might be too intricate for casual gamers. This is where Park Beyond shines. Published by Bandai Namco, it’s a novel park simulation game. Its main draw is a campaign mode filled with cutscenes that guide players through park construction. Essentially, it’s a tutorial that teaches park-building basics while keeping the game engaging.
Park Beyond has always been promoted as a game offering extravagant rides, and it certainly delivers. The game features some truly outlandish rides that are fantastical and defy the laws of physics. If you’ve played the beta test, you might be familiar with the campaign, as two missions were available in the beta test. The initial missions focus on coaster placement and provide a thorough understanding of the gameplay system. The story is typical, with a narrative centered on building new parks and a villain arc.
While the game is enjoyable in the short term, it doesn’t delve deeply into the managerial aspect of park simulation. The economic management aspect isn’t as engaging due to limited options. Players must keep their parks operational and enjoyable for visitors. Moreover, managing the park’s economy is another challenge that often leads to difficult and frustrating moments.
Most construction work is done with a modular placement system. However, even on a PC, I found the controls somewhat frustrating. One of the game’s concepts, “Impossification,” involves creating imaginative rides. A park can’t function on rides alone, so building the park itself is another challenge. Thankfully, if you play the campaign mode, most of the groundwork is laid out nicely. However, as mentioned earlier, managing a park’s economy can be frustrating, and the game imposes restrictions to ensure that we don’t outgrow our park.
Ride building is straightforward, involving placing nodes around a specific location and adjusting their height or curve. You can create all sorts of wild rides, like a fire ring or cannonball. Managing a park is complex, involving several variables. If you’ve played Two Point Hospital, you might recognize attributes like fun and amazement. Keeping these at a high level is crucial to running a successful park. This means rides must be functional and fun, the park environment must be clean and well-structured, and staff members must be disciplined.
The game’s challenging part involves the economy. Balancing the cost of running the park against its profitability requires significant micromanagement of assets. You can set a price for each ride, ensuring they’re not too expensive while also generating sufficient income. The park’s appeal level must be maintained to attract more visitors, which means higher revenue. During the main campaign, the game presents various challenges or objectives that must be completed. Since the campaign also serves as a tutorial, it teaches us gameplay basics, including how to build a specific ride, manage and elevate park attributes, and so on.
While the game has an intriguing concept and can be fun to play, managing the park itself can be a divisive experience. The game also had numerous bugs at launch, which unfortunately marred the experience. I wasn’t a fan of the controls, which seemed unnecessarily complex. On the upside, the game runs well on most hardware, including a Steam Deck. While the controls can be complicated and may require assistance, the game supports most PC game features like Widescreen and various graphical options. However, the graphic settings are mostly labeled by default to the Unreal Engine standard.
Visually, the game is impressive. The story cutscenes are nicely animated, and while I wasn’t a fan of the writing itself, they demonstrate that the production values and presentation are top-notch. Running the game on a widescreen monitor, it’s easy to see the details with the zoom-in and out option, and laying out a park never felt difficult. There’s also a lot of replay value, which is expected given that it’s a simulation game. Once you’ve completed the campaign and learned everything the game has to offer, the sandbox mode allows you to create your park without any limitations or specific objectives, which is the game’s best part.
Park Beyond is a decent park simulation game, but it’s hampered by some flaws. The story mode suffers from slow pacing, and cutscenes abruptly interrupt gameplay. While the rides are creatively rich and managing a park can be fun, the economic aspect of management is challenging and not as straightforward, and the game isn’t as open as other simulation games in a similar genre.
Park Beyond Game Information
- Price: $49.99
- Publisher: Bandai Namco
- Developer: Limbic Entertainment
- Platform: PC (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher