My park was hemorrhaging money, and lines for my steel coaster were depressingly empty. The only thing to do was take out a loan and try to make my ride less terrifying so people would actually get on it.
Parkitect is a spiritual successor to the old Rollercoaster Tycoon games that I used to pick up at the Scholastic Books Fair at my school. It’s an isometric game in which you build and manage a theme park. It has everything that I remember loving from Rollercoaster Tycoon, plus a lot of quality of life fixes and some new mechanics. Guests in Parkitect don’t like seeing workers deliver supplies to shops or other inner workings of running a theme parks, so on top of building a fun park, you have to try to hide all your employees. The added challenge makes it feel like more than just a rehash of an old game I loved.
One of the aforementioned quality of life improvements is the process of building coasters. Maybe it was just that I was ten, but I had the hardest time making anything other than a coaster with a single drop in Rollercoaster Tycoon. Not so in Parkitect. In fact, I was a little too good at making a thrilling coaster.
My first attempt was a spinning coaster, and while it was popular in my park, it wasn’t very exciting. It had two drops, and that was kind of it. Once I unlocked steel coasters, I decided to go all out. My next coaster had a huge drop that went underground, and then after that, it had another nearly 45 degree drop, then two corkscrew turns, and a loop-de-loop. I don’t go on coasters in real life; I don’t find the imminent fear of death to be all that fun, so I would never have gotten on this ride. Still, it seemed like a good addition to my park, which was balanced between thrill rides like the Swinging Ship and calm rides like the Ferris Wheel.
Getting my coaster to connect at the end was a breeze, and when I opened it, I felt a small flush of pride. It was a massive, impressive piece of work.
There was just one problem. No one would go on it.
I checked out what my guests were thinking. Many of them thought the coaster looked too intense. That’s when I finally checked the statistics on it. This coaster had an intensity rating of Ultra Extreme.
I went back to the drawing board. The first thing I did was make all the drops smaller. I reopened the coaster and it still had Ultra Extreme intensity. Then I removed the corkscrew turns. No dice. I made the drops even smaller and added some breaks. Nothing changed. I reluctantly took out the loop. Nada. Eventually I gave up and just ran a marketing campaign to try to get people to go on it. They did, at a slow trickle, but then immediately threw up upon leaving it. My paths were disgusting; guests were tracking vomit everywhere.
I was at a loss. I had spent nearly all of my money building this coaster, and I had taken out a loan to run advertising on it. The costs to maintain the coaster far outweighed its revenue. I had already beaten the goal for that scenario, but I didn’t want to leave it until I made an exciting coaster to be the gem of my park. I had one option left. I demolished the entire coaster, took out another loan, and started over.
I made a much smaller coaster with gentler drops and not a single loop to be found. I did throw in a couple corkscrews, but even then, I was prepared to take them out. With bated breath, I threw down an entrance and exit and tested my creation. The intensity rating was… high. That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.
My guests lined up in the dozens to try this coaster out. They did still vomit en masse at the exit, but I just hired a janitor whose only job was to sweep the paths in that small area. At least I was making money hand over fist now. Think I can figure out a way to give that janitor a bonus?