We've seen our share of amusement park simulations, including Rollercoaster Tycoon and Thrillville, which gave us the ability to create our own dream rides and watch audiences go crazy. With its newest Xbox One game, ScreamRide, Microsoft hopes to take roller coaster creativity to the next level.
Sometimes it’s fun to watch things go wrong in a sim game, like when a Godzilla-like creature stomps through your town in SimCity, or when people become nauseous at your amusement park, rushing towards the bathroom in droves. ScreamRide goes a level above that, giving you the opportunity to create both insane roller coasters and rides gone horribly wrong.
The game has three different segments to it: Riding, where you test your creations in real-time, Creating, where you use a number of tools to put together twists, turns, loop-de-loops and other tricks, and finally Destruction, where the name of the game involves watching would-be stunt dummies go flying.
When it comes to riding, there's a certain level of interactivity, as you attempt to complete your ride in the fastest time possible, building up speed with ramps and hitting the A button to gain boosts at just the right times. There's a certain skill to this, but it adds a playable component to the sim side of things – sort of like integrating a puzzle game into a roller coaster ride. Along with boosting, you can also ride on the car's side to earn bonus points, although you run the risk of falling off.
The game’s developer, Frontier, made the destruction component a game in itself. Your job is to not only create a roller coaster ride, but also use elements within the ride to boost points via destruction. These include sending a car flying through pre-set rings or running into items in the surrounding area, such as a blimp that manages to float by or a skyscraper that you reduce to rubble by hitting it in the right place. It's like Thrillville and Blast Corps had a baby, then set it loose in a public park.
As for the creation side of things, you'll enter an Engineer mode, where you can put together coasters however you please, connecting together corkscrews and other parts to keep its fans coming back for more. This is probably the most imaginative part of the game, where you'll use your design savvy in order to create the ultimate dream machine. It's also time consuming, so if you prefer causing mayhem, have at it.
The game features an open world map where players can pick and choose missions however they please, based on what they prefer. Frontier already stated there will be over 55 different sections of the map to visit, whether you prefer building or letting everything fall apart.
In addition, the game will have a huge social aspect on Xbox Live, as friends can share their fastest race times and highest destruction scores on Xbox Live, and also check on friends' coaster designs, possibly even getting an idea or two out of the process.
That said, ScreamRide won't be another roller coaster sim. It has the destruction elements of a good puzzle game, the riding aspects of a challenging racer, and of course, the ability to polish and show off your own amusement attraction. Everyone wins! Well, maybe not the poor saps sailing through a building.
ScreamRide arrives March 3rd for Xbox One and Xbox 360.