Thrillville: Off the Rails - PC

Release Date:

19 October 2007

Also on:

PC PSP Wii Xbox 360 DS

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.


Thrillville: Off the Rails is a park management sim and part adventure game. Build an assortment of themed roller coasters, racetracks, and offbeat rides while attempting to impress the crowds and turn a profit along the way. Unlike similar business-oriented titles, however, Thrillville's focus isn't on micromanaging a multitude of resources. You instead explore the 3D animated park from a third-person perspective set behind a male or female character. Characters are encouraged to converse with visitors, participate in mini-games, and even ride the coasters for a first-hand account of each twist, tumble, and turn. Choose from several pre-designed rides or build your own by mixing and matching parts.

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The game begins with a bang as the player takes over the control in a Thrillville amusement park. There are three areas of concern in the game, which the player needs to build: the roller coasters, the race tracks with more rides and games; plus souvenir stores, of course, which can entice patrons to come back and visit the park again.

The basic gameplay is likewise split into three aspects. First the player needs to interact with the customers who are visiting the theme park. By communicating, the player gets to learn about the wants and needs of the customers. Making friends with the customers and patrons is integral to this area as regular interaction in the theme park is expected.

The second area is building the park itself. You have to use plenty of imagination to create the rides that you want to include in the theme park, although you can always opt to use the preset layouts in constructing the roller coaster. You have to be aware that the game focuses on younger players and that’s precisely the reason why the game is created in a manner that is appealing to its target market and can be more easily played. However, there are some aspects with some degree of difficulty, especially when the preset options of the game are not utilized. This can definitely put your imagination and creativity to test.

After all the rides are done, the game puts you in the position to try and test the rides you created. It is somewhat of a distraction because the test run is normally successful and the excitement kind of goes down a notch lower; I honestly didn’t feel as excited as when I was putting up the rides. Still, the game retains its appeal so far.

The last aspect of the gameplay, which is most likely the most significant element, is the huge number of minigames that should be available and present in the park. You can add as many different minigames as you deem suitable. You can pick from a plethora of choices that you can later play with friends in a multiplayer bedlam. My personal choices were mostly easy ones and simply addictive! Truth is, I’d much prefer to skip the other gameplay elements and concentrate on the fun minigames instead. Unfortunately, there’s no online support for these minigames; so I had to invite some friends over. It’s not really a problem if nobody comes, though; while playing with friends is absolutely more delightful, you can still play solo and fully enjoy the merits of the game.

There’s no question about it; Thrillville: Off the Rails definitely gives gamers more of what made the first version such a big hit. Although essentially the same as the first one, apart from one or two add-ons here and there, having more of the same isn’t always such a bad thing. With Thrillville, having Off the Rails to add to your collection is pretty much akin to creating your own Disneyland to add up to the Walt Disney World.

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