When I first started Screamride, I expected more of a simulator game. I thought it would be a new version of RollerCoaster Tycoon creating and managing new parks and being able to experience the coasters in first person.
What it truly is, though, is a collection of minigames focused around three concepts: creation, destruction and riding. While this is enjoyable in short bursts, I think the gameplay could have been better focused elsewhere.
The bulk of the game takes place across six zones. Each zone features between three to four stages for the three modes called “Ride,” “Demolition” and “Engineer.” To complete the stages, a minimum score or time is needed to be complete. While the stages differ in location and ride design, you’ll normally do the same things depending on the mode.
Ride is the most simplistic of the three modes. All you get tasked to do is control the coaster as it rolls around the track. You can speed up or slow down to not fall off the track, but there’s really no punishment to falling off except for a restart. I seldom used the break except for tight curves to help get a better time and score. There are a few additional things to do in some levels, such as timing boosts and jumping off one rail and onto another, but outside of that it’s pretty easy to navigate.
The second mode, Demolition, was the most entertaining of the three. Think of games like Angry Birds, but with coasters smashing structures, billboards, targets and more. Instead of using roller coasters, there are pre-built catapults that spin around and launch the riders toward their intended targets (don’t worry, they’re well protected and preserved though).
While launching these pods, you can steer them a bit, as well as give some boost or slow down to help aim at targets better. As a bit of a tip, it’s best to aim at the base of the buildings for maximum damage, but often targets, rings and hoops give a better point bonus.
What I really enjoyed, though, was the Engineer mode. It actually seemed more like an extended tutorial for the sandbox mode. Instead of building a roller coaster from scratch, you’re given coasters with a starting point and ending point and have to connect them with different challenges given, such as adding loops or so much track. You do lose points though if they fly off the track.
In sandbox, you can build whatever creation you can come up with, as well as adding objectives or challenges for players to complete online. You can also download other creations, like those from the developer, to check out as well.
Unfortunately, the sandbox feels like a misuse. Instead of having a full theme park to manage, build and run, you get to build a coaster on a small island. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do before starting over and building a coaster again.
Graphically, the game does look nice. The islands are colorful and vibrant, as are the different rides you build. It has a nice futuristic feel to the world, and even gives some chuckles as riders fling out of coasters or get recovered from the waters.
While I would go into more detail about the game, that’s really about all there is to talk about. Outside of these modes there’s nothing else to see here. However, given the budget price of $40, the price of admission is cheaper than most titles.
Screamride won’t offer a ton of replay value unless you enjoy building new coasters again and again. However, what it does offer are some fun, short minigames that can keep you coming back for higher scores or faster times. For a cheaper title, you’ll find a good way to waste a weekend as you fling coasters here and there.