Jan 12
By Matt Gander In Our Pixilated Past 3 Comments

Released: 1995
Formats: Mega Drive (played), Mega-CD, SNES, PC, Amiga, 3DO

When Bullfrog started developing Theme Park for the Amiga and PC I doubt that even in their wildest collective dreams would the game end up on the humble Mega Drive. But EA gets what EA wants, and conversions for both Mega Drive and SNES arrived in 1995. Bullfrog should have just been grateful that EA didn’t want a GameBoy version.

The end result turned out pretty good – it’s better than the non-AGA Amiga version (in which all the shops are dull wooden huts) but not as good as versions released on more power systems. Here for instance there’s only one entertainer – a clown that juggles – but in the PC version a whole host of poor sweaty souls in costumes can be hired.

Navigating the menus does take a little while to master – I still struggle to find the option to delete buildings even though I’ve clocked countless hours playing it – but after half an hour or so you should get the hang of things. There are allsorts of options to play around with too, like adding extra caffeine in the coffee so that people go whizzing around the park. The odds of winning the sideshows, like coconut toss and hook-a-duck, can also be changed.

The music is both good and bad. Good, because it ingeniously changes on the fly depending on what ride is on the screen. Bad, because these music samples only play on a 10-second loop so they soon become tedious to listen to. Visuals fair better – it’s bright and colourful, and the Mega Drive copes well even when your park is packed full of visitors.

A lack of a proper save feature though means that only cash earned can be saved via passwords. Another thing I’m not keen on are the ‘handshaking’ sections where you have to come to an agreement regarding staff wages or stock costs. It seems impossible to come to an agreement in your favor.

Playing the game properly is all well and fine, but fun can also be had by using your imagination. I once opened a park full of nothing but toilets with a stupidly high ticket price just to see if any visitors came. It’s also possible to make roller coasters with dangerous bends that send your customers flying through the air. Whee!



Published Wednesday 12th January 2011 by Games Asylum


About the Author
Matt Gander

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles for the site since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

  • Adam

    Loving the screenshots.

  • Adam

    I got quite into Theme Park again on the DS a few years ago, it still holds up well. The iPad’s crying out for a version of Theme Park or Theme Hospital.

  • Matt

    Thanks, man. I quite enjoy taking screenshots.

    I’m not sure why EA hasn’t done Theme Hospital DS yet. It seems to be a game everybody has fond memories of playing. The PS1 version still fetches a nice price on eBay too.

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