The classic amusement park simulator is getting a free-to-play reboot, but can still cost an arm and a leg to play.
A few years back, Electronic Arts suggested it was reviving some of the classic franchises produced by Peter Molyneux's old company Bullfrog Productions. While it might be a while longer before we see the likes of Wing Commander and Populous, EA has recently brought back Theme Park, the quirky and humorous amusement park simulator that let players build their own versions of Universal Studios or Disney World. Unfortunately, fans nostalgic for Bullfrog's classic title will probably be sorely disappointed to hear that EA is releasing the game under a limited and surprisingly costly "free to play" model.
Developed for iOS devices, the reboot of Theme Park gives players a small amusement park where most of the framework (walkways, trash cans, etc) has been placed, and can select from lots of varying size to set up shops and rides. As players level up and gain experience, they can expand their park to include larger attractions such as roller coasters and Ferris wheels. However, players can only earn experience points by tapping repeatedly on existing attractions every few moments (a slow and tedious process at best), and most of the game's attractions are locked behind the higher levels.
Additionally, the interesting roller coasters require "tickets", the game's premium currency that can be acquired by shelling out actual cash. In order to access some of the lower-end, locked attractions, players would be looking at dropping upwards of $60 dollars USD or more for a single attraction for their digital theme park.
Compared to how you could attend a real theme park, such as King's Dominion or Cedar Point for roughly the same amount, or Busch Gardens for around $25 USD and Six Flags for just over half the price at $35 USD, the premium costs of Theme Park are rather excessive to say the least.
Currently the game is available in Canada via the region's iTunes store, and will more than likely be making its way south to the US market in a few months.