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Parkitect Screenshot

It’s no Theme Park, but Parkitect is a good old classic theme park sim

Home » Features » It’s no Theme Park, but Parkitect is a good old classic theme park sim

I was going to open this article by talking about how, despite being at least 20 years since I last played it, I still occasionally get Theme Park World’s advisor pop into my head. But it turns out I’ve already made that quip before. It’s true, though: annoying as Microsoft’s ‘Clippy’ but far more charming, that little bug-like guy will stick with me for the rest of time.

That goes some way to saying that no theme park-building game will ever be quite like Theme Park World, or its predecessor, Theme Park. Perhaps the original is the best, with its pixelated visuals and easy-to-master gameplay. Theme park simulators come and go, but nothing else quite holds up: Planet Coaster, Park Beyond, Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures… they’ve all got their merits, but ultimately leave me wishing for Theme Park or Theme Park World. As of last week, a new one’s just landed on consoles: Parkitect. And if you’re looking for retro charm, it’s worth jumping into.

Hasn’t it got the perfect name? Park architect. Parkitect. It’s a stroke of genius. Yes, it may be the best thing about the game, but that doesn’t mean the rest of it is a write-off. Originally released on PC back in 2018 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, it’s now made its way to consoles in the form of a Deluxe Edition. With its simplistic art style and freedom to easily place rides and shops wherever you want, it does well in capturing the feeling of Theme Park. There’s a great sense of being in control here, with rides and decorations aplenty — and, as you’d expect, putting time and money into research will allow you to unlock more.

Parkitect Screenshot
Image: Texel Raptor

There are some slightly more complex systems that set it apart from the Theme Park games of old, though. Your shops won’t magically restock themselves, for instance, and you’ll need to employ warehouse workers to deliver stock — or set up a complex (and expensive) chain of underground delivery systems. You can even build “staff only” paths to give your workers shortcuts away from the guests. It’s neat, but it detracts away from why we’re playing Parkitect in the first place: designing a kickass theme park.

Related: Let’s Build a Zoo is basically Theme Park with animal splicing

There’s a great selection of rides here, from your bog-standard ferris wheel and teacups to more fancy, out-there things that you can unlock as you play. And, of course, the bread and butter of any good theme park is its rollercoasters. You have full control over their design here, and Parkitect has a rather unique way of building them. It’s a slightly convoluted system but once you get the hang of it (I’d recommend playing through the tutorial) it allows you to create coasters with endless scope.

Parkitect Screenshot
Image: Texel Raptor

Parkitect has plenty of content, too. Of course there’s a sandbox mode, allowing you to go wild with your own ideas and creativity. But stick to the campaign and you’ll find dozens of levels to make your way through, each throwing you into a unique park with its own challenges to overcome. It isn’t Theme Park, no, but it might be the closest thing we’ll get.

Parkitect is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

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