Thrillville - impressions

Theme-park simulators are nothing new, but Thrillville might be the first to mix roller-coaster building with third-person exploration, interactive conversations, first-person shooting and nearly every other conceivable gameplay style to date. Casting players as a kid who inherits a chain of crappy theme parks from a rich uncle, Thrillville tasks you with cleaning up your new playgrounds and building badass attractions to draw in guests.

So, OK, that part is old hat. But once the guests are in, it's time to hit the pavement and rub elbows with them, and that's where Thrillville starts to stand out. As you wander around your big new park and marvel at the herky-jerky animatronics, you'll be able to walk up to random guests and strike up conversations. The main goal here is to find out what they think of the park, in turn letting you know what works and needs improvement. But depending on the responses you choose, you can make friends, help solve their problems or just mess with their heads.

You'll also be able to challenge them to some friendly competition at one of 22 different minigames, which you set up throughout the park. These aren't simple, slapdash challenges, either, and range from bumper cars, mini golf and go-kart racing (with fully customizable tracks) to fully realized, old-school arcade games that play like Gradius and Super Sprint. You'll also be able to compare scores in themed shooting galleries and even first-person deathmatches against goofy robots. More interestingly, most of these challenges support up to four players.