Puking passengers is always a good sign of a fun ride.
The roller coaster is perhaps the most coveted invention that really does nothing for mankind, other than providing a sick level of excitement. Whenever someone talks about going to an amusement park they are referring to the rides, and the major draw are the roller coasters. In Sweden we have two major amusement parks that are defined by the size of their roller coasters. Sure there are a lot of smaller parks, but none of them matter for the hard-core excitement adrenaline crowd.
Trying to translate the thrill of being dragged slowly up a steep incline in a rickety carriage is hard. Some forgettable attempts have been done, and the only ones really successful are those simulators found at amusement parks, or in larger arcade halls.
I have played a ton of Theme Park on different devices ever since it was released in 1994. It gave you the chance to manage a theme park, and build roller coasters. The management was quite deep unless you played it in sandbox mode. Coaster Crazy can be found somewhere between the attempts to create a simulation of the sensation you get from riding a coaster, and building it. A stripped down Theme Park with focus on the excitement, and fun of the ride instead of having a clean park.
Coaster Crazy is a freemium game that wants you to spend your money on rides, and special items only available using the iAP currency gems. Each ride you build earns you cash that you have to collect, and if you aren’t in a hurry there is never any reason to buy the in game cash.
Many people back away as soon as the word freemium is mentioned, but Coaster Crazy is really generous giving you hours of gameplay without having to spend a dime. If you are only interested in building, and refining your rides you can spend weeks doing so. Just play something else, or watch a video when the revenue is gained and you are good to go. Only those really impatient will feel an urge to spend money to speed up the game.
The game spans the globe, and your goal is of course world domination or at least having coasters all over the world. The domination thing is up to you to ponder, as there is not much story to go on. Each continent can be built on, and each has a number of lots to build on. You have to buy land grants to be able to build a coaster at a location. There is some waiting to be done when buying locations, and once again it is worth doing something else, or going back to a prior location upgrading the rides a bit.
Each location have a number of goals, or missions that have to be fulfilled. These can be anything from reaching a level of excitement, having a number of loops or the top speed at a quick enough pace. Most coasters have to be redesigned to fulfil all goals, and this is the main aspect of the gameplay. You also have to make sure that the ride is fun, exciting and safe.
Building is easy, and all controls are manageable. The tutorial does a good job of introducing both the controls, and game structure. Perhaps a bit on the slow, and long side though. Building a track is done by selecting a point, and then track and strength of effect. There is a limited length to the tracks, and if you only have 500 yards to build on total it is best to make it about 400 from the start. Adding loops, twists and turns add length. As does adding height needed for those speedy runs downwards.
Adding loops, and other cool track parts is also easy. To get the most out of a track it is also important to add scenery, and tunnels.
Once you are satisfied with the coaster you can test it. There are numerous cool angles to view the action from, but the most important thing is to get a good overview so you can change aspects not working. For example too sharp turns can mean that half of the passengers fly off. Tweaking, and perfecting the track is really fun. Once it works you can choose to open the track, and it will generate the amount it is worth for the customer. Later on you can go back, and tweak it again to get more money.
The presentation is really good, and there are only a few minor bugs here and there retracting some from the experience. I would have liked to be able to speed the game up at times, but other than that it is a polished free game.
Coaster Crazy is one of the best freemium games lately, and it allows you to be highly creative when building your own coaster empire.
Coaster Crazy Free Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Frontier Developments Limited