Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia has announced the theme park management simulation game, Park Beyond that makes Disneyland, or any theme park seem more like a neighbourhood park in comparison.
Developed by Limbic Entertainment (Might and Magic X: Legacy, Tropico 6), the key idea behind Park Beyond is to build a theme park beyond the players’ imagination.
Players can 'impossify' the theme park rides in the game, stacking Ferris wheels on top of Ferris wheels, and have an actual Kraken toss visitors around for fun. The highly free and flexible park creation system allows players to customise the rides and the park itself down to the most minute detail.
The design and mechanics of the game are driven by Limbic Entertainment’s neologism 'impossification' and since Park Beyond is a video game, why settle for mundane, boring realism?
According to the games’ design director, Johannes Reithmann, who previewed the game to Geek Culture, the modular nature of the rides and the 'impossification' feature means there’s room for different combinations and design possibilities when it comes to building one’s own theme park.
The game’s story campaign involves the Pitch Meeting mechanic, which places players into the meeting room with the theme park’s CFO character, as they throw suggestions and questions back and forth trying to form up a clearer picture of what they want the theme park to be. This gives players a stake in the park beyond it being a creative sandbox.
When it comes to the 'impossification', it also applies to the little parts of the attractions themselves. For example, the Omnicart, which takes the carts visitors sit in, can be transformed and changed in ways that wouldn’t be physically possible in reality. Airtime is even something that can be incorporated into the rides using this cart! Players can launch visitors into mid-air, transporting them from one ride to another.
And for those who are more interested in making the most visually appealing theme park, Park Beyond offers themes such as Candyland, the Wild West, and so on, but these are not just a paint bucket approach to differentiating the visuals. Individual elements, such as giant strawberries, wooden planks, and so forth, can be mixed and matched to various building designs so players won’t be restricted in terms of their artistic expression within the game.
Park Beyond isn’t defined by just its 'impossify' feature and creative sandbox. It also boasts a deep management system for players who enjoy crunching and optimising the data. Visitors’ happiness levels, expense data, wishlists, and so on are all available for the players’ perusal.
Since some players will prefer to toy with the management aspect, and others the more creative side, Limbic Entertainment has accessibility options that will cater to both types of players, so no one will be stuck having to navigate mechanics that they don’t want to engage with.
For players new to the genre, there is a meticulously crafted story campaign that serves as a natural, unintrusive guiding hand. Not only that, the story also serves to give Park Beyond‘s colourful characters more personality and story arcs for players to get invested in.
It is clear that Limbic Entertainment has put a lot of care into this ambitious project, and we hope to see the game in action soon. Park Beyond will be released in 2022 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.