To be honest, I’ve given up trying to play Theme Park. It’s not worth the time it takes to download. EA have ruined a once brilliant computer game, dipping it in a fetid vat of freemium slime.
The game encourages you to build a theme park from nothing, working your way up the turnover tables until you can buy the universe. To do so, you install rides and shops, and maintain the park. The problem is, this version of Theme Park centres around the idea of ‘super tickets’: to buy most rides and shops, you don’t use the cash that you’ve accrued, but the super tickets that you’ve bought with your own real life money.
This is already a bad start: I hate the idea that a game, freemium or not, cannot be enjoyed without any money being spent on it in-game. It suggests that the game experience is less important than those behind it making money. Sure, publishers and developers deserve a profit from the creation and distribution of a game, but during development, their main aim should always be to make an excellent game. That’s how the best games are made. It’s clear that Theme Park was designed to make money first, with the game experience being very much secondary. Other freemium games have got the balance right, but this is…
It’s not just that the game pushes you to buy super tickets at every opportunity. It’s not that even the loading screen is plastered with possible in-app purchases. No, it’s the fact that buying one roller coaster can set you back by more than $60. It’s the fact that after buying the roller coaster, it will take more than a day to build unless you spend yet more super tickets on it to skip the ride construction stage. It’s the fact that if you do manage to make any cash in the game, it won’t matter, because you pay for everything with super tickets anyway. It’s the fact that EA have ruined such a classic game. It’s the fact that they think that you, the consumer, are worth so much less than your wallets.
So no, don’t buy Theme Park. It’s not so much a game as an interactive version of an overly pushy app description, trying to tempt you into spending ridiculous amounts of money and giving you very little in return. Avoid it.
(On the plus side, it has quite good graphics).