Little icons over the customers show what they’re most in need of, and there are menus full of stats and surveys that the conscientious player can use to tailor the park according to demand. It’s a rewarding moment when you finally see your bank balance climbing, and you’ll only get there by paying constant attention to the patterns of activity on the screen.
There’s little difference between this and the original PC version, and even the descriptions of the rides will be familiar to a certain generation of gamers. The bouncy castles still spew black smoke and explode if you don’t keep them maintained, and confused customers can still spend six months trying to find the exit if you don’t put in enough signposts.
On DS, the upper screen shows the map overview, messages from your adviser (you can choose from four different ones - not that any of them can recommend a realistic price for burgers) and info about any ride, customer or staff member you touch on the lower screen.
When you want to adjust settings, tapping the pen icon makes the screens switch places, allowing you to salt those fries and decrease the chances of winning on the sideshows. Other menu items are held in a strip of icons along the bottom, which is convenient enough. Get into the menus, though, and you have to draw a circle or a tick on the option you want to select. Simply touching the menu items highlights them but won’t activate them, which is pretty irritating.
The game runs very smoothly, which is a bonus when you consider that Theme Park made even the most advanced PCs chug a bit back in the day. Playing it on a fast, slick system is very nice indeed.
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