Oct 18, 2007
The sandbox (genre) is no place for kids. Between GTA, Saint's Row, and True Crime, lil' Ginny Gamer has smartly stayed the hell out, lest she shovel up murder weapon Uzis or carry home a pail full of sticky condoms. Enter concerned citizen Lucasarts, who with their new theme park grab-bag Thrillville: Off the Rails, has picked out all the used syringes and, sack o' toys in hand, reclaimed the sandbox for preschoolers.
Which, color scheme aside, is not immediately apparent: like its predecessor, Off the Rails puts on airs of complexity. As park manager, you have access to a fairly involved system of menus that directly or indirectly lets you manage things like ride cost, customer thirst, marketing campaigns, and park research. These things invariably work as they should, are respectably complex, and are of almost no consequence: in Off the Rails, like in Kindergarten, everyone's a winner! Don't want to waste time building basic amenities to keep people spending money in your park? That's OK, just play the "plot"-advancing missions (usually gussied-up versions of one of the game's 34 minigames) and you'll never run out of cash. Losing at one of the easier-than-blinking minigames? Wipe away those tears, little guy - you still get a prize.