Thrillville - updated impressions

There's really only one problem with monster-selling games like Rollercoaster Tycoon and Theme Park: they're no fun. Somehow, these micro-management games found a way to strip all the amusement out of amusement parks. Can Thrillville change it all?

The simpler setup feels like a good start: You're theyoung relative of a theme park tycoon and he's thrilled that you're coming on board to help him run the place (and stop Globo-Joy from taking it over). You've got carte blanche to improve anything and everything - build rollercoasters, then skip to the front of the line to test it yourself. Set up snack stands where you think they should go, build a go-kart track that roars overhead orplop a Ferris wheel down nearby. Minigolf, virtual shooting galleries, RC cars... if it's fun, it's in here and it's fully playable.

Not sure what the park needs? You don't have to read guests' minds or look for cryptic icons floating over their heads in Thrillville. Simply walk up to the patrons and ask them their opinion about what they'd like to see and do in your pay-for-play paradise. (You can also make strange conversation on topics like kangaroos, sushi and gladiators.) Make friends this way and they might invite you to play some minigames. That's the biggest difference between Thrillville and all the other theme park games: instead of overseeing progress from high above, here you're on the ground, enjoying the park as a patron, but at any point you can exercise your god-like power and rearrange the world on a whim.