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Remember the times you were on a roll in titles like Rollercoaster Tycoon? You had this really awesome ride design going, but ‘oh no!’ there is another rollercoaster or something in the way and you're being forced to backtrack a bunch just to avoid it, completely ruining what you were going to do. Imagine how liberating it feels to just be able to ignore that completely and skip that annoying obstacle by shooting your ride guests above it through a giant cannon, continuing your dream – or nightmare – ride in a more accommodating or simply picturesque space.

Welcome to Park Beyond, an amusement park building game in which physics are, well, somewhat real, but safety regulations are totally more of a suggestion than an iron rule.

In many ways Park Beyond is your typical amusement park building game: You build rides, place queue paths, construct food stalls and toilets, and generally create a nice-looking park for people to enjoy. Naturally, that park has to attract attention and make money, so you should keep an eye on your visitors to get to know their desires.

In general, there are three kinds of visitors you can tailor your park to: children, teenagers, and families. Every attraction and eatery you can build will be enjoyable for some groups and not for others, so you’ll have to make a decision at some point to cater to a specific set of customers or be very careful about balancing things – you certainly can’t suit everyone’s tastes. There are lots of customization options and themes to choose from to make a park truly yours, and those don’t affect the attractiveness of the place for the three customer types, so you can always go ham in that regard.

Park Beyond screenshot.

You’ll also need to keep your employees happy and make sure they aren’t overworked, as that could drive performance down and lead to your park being flooded with garbage that isn’t being collected (also, build bins everywhere, because people sure are messy).

While not overwhelming with the micromanagement – there is plenty of time to just enjoy the gorgeous scenery – the game offers you the opportunity to get hands-on with things. One cool example are the food and drink stalls. Usually you just place these down, tailor the menu to the customers you want to attract, and forget about them. In Park Beyond, you’ll sometimes get random events such as a certain type of food trending on social media. Naturally, customers will then want to eat that food in your park, so you should jump on that bandwagon and sell it – for an extra buck or two, of course.

Park Beyond screenshot.

While the starter rides are pretty much what you’d find at any amusement park or Oktoberfest, things get out of hand pretty quickly in Park Beyond, which brings us to the biggest difference compared to other titles of this genre – the ‘impossification’ aspect. Attractions get bigger and more imaginative as you progress and lend themselves to doing lots of vertical park design – if you wish, you can layer your park like an anthill with paths leading up and down, attractions on different levels and wagons of rollercoasters propelled by giant cannons flying through the air.

Coloring (you can even enter specific hex codes) and entry fees are all up to you in any attraction. You can also check what people think about the ride in an easily-accessible sub-menu and then adjust things accordingly to make it a hit. At some point you may be forced to get rid of old rides and replace them, though, because novelty wears off and people are always looking for fresh experiences. You get good feedback in general from all stats you have at your disposal, helping you identify and fix problems in your park.

Park Beyond screenshot.

Building is pretty easy overall, though paths sometimes like to automatically snap in ways that you don’t want them to and precise building rotation with the mouse can be a little weird. It’s the kind of little nuisances every park builder has from time to time. Technical performance on this build was fine in general: no crashes, stutters, or visual glitches.

Let’s get to the main attraction: rollercoaster building. Laying the tracks is pretty smooth, either manually or by choosing premade modules like loops, inversions, and so on. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Park Beyond’s ‘impossified’ modules like giant cannons that shoot the wagons through the air or off-rail bubbles that let them glide over water give you so much creative freedom on how to build your rides. No more building yourself into a corner.

Park Beyond screenshot.

Before placing down any track, you’re asked to give some personality to your new rollercoaster by choosing a certain type and some hooks, which are used to categorize them as attractive or not attractive for the three customer types. Each decision you make here will give you specific conditions you need to fulfill while building your tracks – like a certain number of inversions or loops or the usage of a specific module to make good on those promised hooks.

Physics is a thing despite the ‘impossified’ nature of everything. A wagon shot from a cannon will have very high speed when landing at the target destination, so you’ll definitely want to plan some sort of braking zone before sending it into a loop or a curve. While you build, a steady stream of test wagons is launched, showing exactly where they would crash in the current state – you can also speed these up as you wish, which is very useful to run tests.

Park Beyond screenshot.

Every attraction needs to be maintained continuously to prevent accidents, so don’t skimp on the technicians or face the legal consequences for your negligence.

Aside from sandbox, Park Beyond has a singleplayer campaign featuring a few customization options depending on which dialog choices you pick ahead of the mission. This adds some replayability to the campaign, as you can complete missions with different themes and target audiences. The cast of characters you meet is nothing new for the genre – the grumpy and profit-oriented executive, the visionary and dreamy old man who wants you to fulfill his dreams, and a young woman with a deathwish hellbent on trying out your wildest designs. The vibes fit the game, though, and as mentioned before Park Beyond has a nice look to it that fits the tone as well.

Just like one of those ride wagons you can shoot into the air in the game, Park Beyond is flying on a steady course at the moment – and as long as the developers keep up the good work and don’t make a massive error, it looks like it can make a great landing when it releases on June 16, 2023. Genre enthusiasts should definitely keep their eyes on this one.