Theme Park is a free to play game with plenty of in-app purchases to help you along your way. Like most games of this style you can get by without spending a penny as long as you have the patience to wait. Without stumping up real cash to speed up constructions or inflate your in-game balance the game is extremely slow.
I’ve been playing it for around 3 weeks now & I haven’t spent a penny on it…somehow. Unlike the last free to play game I reviewed (Jurassic Park Builder) Theme Park is a lot more aggressive in its sales pitch. Offering you huge discounts as soon as you load up the game (80% off only £3.99 etc.) & filling up the screen with offers of free super-tickets, the main currency.
These free offers come at price, albeit not actual money, such linking the game to your Facebook profile & signing up for other offers. It’s not really necessary & almost not worth it at all.
Theme Park is a simple game to play….
You start of with a piece of land, the spots where you can build rides & shops are set out already & you are limited per piece of land with more unlockable as you level up (or for a price if you want them sooner).
It is very disappointing that you are forced to place your attractions where the game wants you to & takes away a level of control that a sim game needs.
Each piece of land has several large squares, several small squares & 1 huge square for you to build in. Each piece of land can be themed as well if you wish, for example you can have a candy land or a Christmas themed one or even a Dr. Pepper one (I’ll get onto this soon).
The large squares fit bigger & more expensive rides/shops & staff compared to the small ones. The one huge square fits unique rides such as roller-coasters & although pricier the returns are far superior so it is worth investing in the more expensive attractions. Most rides cost green dollars, you get these through people paying to use your attractions & every so often you will have to log back in & collect the money & re-stock. Some of your smaller rides & shops need this every 20 minutes so I would suggest turning off notifications otherwise your device will not stop going off.
As well as giving you green dollars from each payment, re-stock, emptying of bins & upgrading of rides will reward you with red flags. These add to you overall level & when you hit a certain target you will level up. It’s not too tough to level up quickly & each new level rewards you with new rides to use, new pieces of land & a gift of a few super-tickets.
Super tickets are the premium currency in Theme Park, some rides need them to be bought but mostly they are used to unlock things early & I strongly suggest you avoid using them unless you have too. The in-game store will sell you bundles of super tickets often at a heavily discounted price but the game just isn’t worth spending real money on. You could buy 30,000 green dollars £1.49 & not be able to afford a new ride. The games rides, shops & staff are very expensive. Be prepared to spend a lot of time saving money & don’t be bought in by the ‘may never see this offer again’ tags they attach to their offers, I’ve seen the same ones several times now.
The only other way to earn money is to do the tedious task of playing with your rides. Keep the customers happy & you will be gifted with additional money. This mostly consists of tapping the screen…
The main aim of the game is run a successful park & complete as many side missions as you can these. These are pretty simple with green dollar rewards & range from having to build a certain number of shops to empting a certain number of bins.
The game isn’t all take, take, take though & it does have a reward system that I really like. Every day you log on you will be gifted a reward that starts of small & gradually increases. By Day 14 you are being gifted with free attractions & it gradually increases encouraging you make sure you log on at least once a day!
Also do you have an origin account? Link it up to get some cheap & free rides & keep an eye out in the in-game store as sometimes attractions are given away free.
Lastly I want to mention the product placement of Dr. Pepper in the game. When I first build the Dr. Pepper drink shop I thought nothing of it….I now own a Dr. Pepper gift shop, blaster ride & haunted tree house as well as my drinks shop. Looking ahead at future attractions I can see that there are a few more to come as well.
It’s no big deal but something I’ve not experienced in a game to this level before!
A free to play game that is a bit too heavy on the in-app purchases. Easy to avoid but & much more rewarding, the game will try everything it can to get you to spend real money. Like most free to play games patience is key to get anyway without paying but Theme Park feels particularly slow & it can be quite a kick in the face when see a ride priced at 250 super tickets yet the game gives you 3 for levelling up. However it is fun & as your park takes shape you’re left feeling somewhat satisfied. The inclusion of the daily reward that increase every day you log in was genius!