Theme Park

aka: Sim Theme Park, Theme Park DS
DOS Specs [ all ]
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Description official descriptions

Dominating the exciting world of Theme Park ownership is your goal in this strategy game from Bullfrog. The first task is to set up your rides within the available land, structuring convenient paths and queues and ideally leaving some space for bigger rides once they become available, and include some lakes and trees to increase the park's allure. Rides range from Teacups and Haunted Houses to the biggest most elaborate roller-coaster you can design, and water rides that loop around other rides.

Shops must also be included so that the visitors can buy food, drinks, and souvenirs - the cunning player will combine salt, sugar, and caffeine settings to maximize consumer interest. Staff must be hired to keep everything running smoothly, and they will only work for what they consider a fair rate of pay.

You are competing against other Theme Parks, so don't let them get an advantage over you - monitor your success in attracting customers and financial viability closely using the supplied statistics pages. More important, ensure that research is adequately funded to produce new rides.

It can be played in three modes - Sandbox level lets you concentrate on the park design elements, while Sim and Full add more strategic features.

Spellings

  • Park לונה - Hebrew spelling
  • テーマパーク - Japanese spelling
  • 主题公园 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 테마 공원 - Korean spelling

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (DOS version)

65 People (43 developers, 22 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 69 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 143 ratings with 4 reviews)

As good as it could've been, but sluggish, incomplete and limited

The Good
The setting made for a light-hearted and original take on managerial strategy games, with a lot of dry humour ranging from the nasty strategies (such as oversalting chips to make people buy more fizzy drinks) to the people throwing up and the various types of entertainers stopping people getting bored in the queue. Some of the rides look fantastic, and there's a lasting challenge to be had, as it takes a while to learn how to build the perfect park. The manual was well-written.

The Bad
The Amiga 500 wasn't really powerful enough to recreate this to its full effect. A lot of compromises were made, and while some were minor (less graphical detail, less rides and shops), a few were major losses, such as the ability to sample the rides yourself.

It was also quite buggy, with designing roller coasters being very tricky and often getting completely stuck, forcing you to tear down a near-complete ultra-long design - all of which has cost you time, and therefore money.

The mouse pointer moved extremely slowly, and the keyboard input was excruciating, rarely picking up all the letters you types.

Moving overseas didn't seem to work - which is the equivalent of a racing game only having one circuit.

Being an ongoing challenge with no specific goals, it was all too easy to lose focus and end up plodding along, rarely anticipating problems before they occur. Long-term durability suffered as a result.

The Bottom Line
Horribly over-rated at the time, this is one Bullfrog shouldn't've bothered to convert to the A500. On the PC it was a pretty good game, but not here.

Amiga · by Martin Smith (81434) · 2004

Granddad still got it.

The Good
Theme Park is a game that really entertained me for hours when I was a kid. In fact I wish that games these days did the same. Even the games that are in the same genre or similar never really caught on the way this game did. Hell! Not even the sequel had the same success with me.

Theme Park has a right combination of pleasing visual, sound, music and gameplay. The gameplay is quite simple to follow. Your ultimate goal is to stay above the red financially, above competition and satisfy your visitors. The first factor “finance” can be handled by buying stocks, setting appropriate prices for entry ticket and shops/stalls. To stay above competition you need to make sure your park is clean, well decorated, technology is upgraded, researching new stuff. Obviously satisfying customer and being financially stable also contributes to the competition factor. Every year a screen appears showcasing where you stand amongst your competition.

In Order to satisfy customers you need to provide necessary facilities like toilets, food & drink and good pricing. Shops and Stalls allow you to set various options allowing the game to have more of a challenge. I should mention that you can choose which country you want to set a park in, each country will affect your game on the basis of population, currency etc.

In order to get more rides and shops you need to research them. The research screen allows you to set what category you would like to research and how fast. Accordingly you are billed.

Cleanliness, Maintenance, Security and Entertainment can be handled by hiring staff. You've got Janitors, Security Guards, Mechanics and Various types of entertainers from Shark man to a Squid man. What's cool is that you can set a route for the Janitor to clean. Using this with lot of thought can ensure your park is clean at the same time can reduce the amount of Janitors require.

During the game a mini-game appears. A rather fun one which involves negotiating with a union. You need to bring the unions hand all the way towards your side before time runs out (cutely shown as a plate of pancakes stack depleting) if you want to reduce the amount of pay for your staff. Otherwise they all get a increase depending on where your hand has reached.

The visuals are perfect. Even though they are 2d sprites, it's all well animated and your visitors emotions are managed to be conveyed very well. Same can be said for the music, which changes according to which ride your screen is focused on.

The Bad
Well the sound can get annoying at times. You can be driven into insanity with that repeating “EW EW EW” played when your park is messy. Minor bugs like freezing, visitors getting stuck plague the game. Honestly other than that I can't find anything wrong except for maybe the fact that the game can be a little hard for kids who don't understand much about finance. And some screens may take a while to understand, for example stocks, research and warehouse ordering.



The Bottom Line
I don't know whether it's the nostalgia that still allowed me to enjoy this game even in 2009. Or the fact that this game still has more soul than any of it's sequels and successors. While most of the modern park games decided to jizz over the “Roller Coaster” factor, Theme Park (1994) concentrates on managing a park and does it the best. I don't care how much I can customize my roller coaster in the new games but none of them gave me the challenge and excitement this game did.

Note: The game doesn't run in Windows XP and I managed to get it back off an Abandonware website which packed it with Dosbox.

DOS · by dreamstealer (126) · 2009

Never cared much for this one.

The Good
The graphics are reasonable, the premise is interesting at the very least, but the game misses its intended purpose by a large margin.

The Bad
The graphics, though quite good, are not very fluent and the engine was very slow on my 486 DX2. The gameplay is very flawed with unbearably non-intuitive interface and stupid, unreasonable reactions from the public - even if your park is extremely well designed and run you're still very likely to lose the game. The idea is interesting but not very well-implemented (not enough buildings etc.) and there's not enough control over what happens in the game.

The Bottom Line
In short, a flop, and very un-Bullfrog-like.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2000

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Theme Park on Windows XP?! nathalie verdonschot Sep 9th, 2007

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Theme Park appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Amiga versions

There were two versions of Theme Park sold for Amiga computers. One was an AGA version of the game with 256 color graphics and was pretty much the same as the PC version. The other version was a trimmed down version for non AGA stock Amigas like the A500.

CD version

CD version of the game contains several enhancements in regard of disk version. Introduction sequence is played in full screen and during the game there are 15 animation cutscenes presenting possibilities of the facilities you may build. They can be played after using magnifying glass icon over the buildings.

Also, the animation for the Flight Simulator Ride contains gameplay footage from another Bullfrog Game, Magic Carpet

Development

Theme Park was originally going to be a Disney Land game but that was scrapped when they decided they would lose too much control over the development of the game's content.

MAC versions

While the original Mac version of Theme Park can be started even on late Macs with OSX 10.4 "Tiger", the game has no speed restraints, so that a year in-game may pass in a few seconds.

OEM release

Theme Park (CD version) was bundled with IBM's "Aptiva" line of multimedia computers.

Rollercoaster

If the player creates a roller-coaster with an impossibly long and steep fall followed by a sharp 180 degree turn, people will fly off once in a while.

Sponsor

The UK edition was sponsored by Midlands bank.

Awards

  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 02/1995 – #2 Best Simulation in 1994 (Readers' Vote)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #82 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1995 – Best Economical Simulation in 1994

Information also contributed by Apogee IV; Pwa and Ricky Derocher

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Active Life: Magical Carnival
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Nightmare Park
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Six Flags Fun Park
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Nightmare Park
Released 1981 on ZX81, 1982 on ZX Spectrum

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

PSP, PlayStation 3 added by Picard. PS Vita added by Fred VT. PlayStation, Genesis added by PCGamer77. SEGA Saturn added by Tibes80. Amiga added by Famine3h. Jaguar added by Kartanym. SEGA CD, Macintosh, Amiga CD32 added by Kabushi. SNES added by Silverfish. Windows added by lights out party. FM Towns, PC-98 added by Terok Nor. 3DO added by quizzley7. Nintendo DS added by phlux.

Additional contributors: Matthew Bailey, Jeanne, Shoddyan, Alaka, Martin Smith, Игги Друге, Crawly, ケヴィン, CaesarZX, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, FatherJack, Sangyub Lee.

Game added January 5th, 2000. Last modified August 23rd, 2023.