|System: X360, PC, PS2, Wii, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Frontier Dev.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: LucasArts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 9, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Of course, the Cotton Candy Seizure was not too popular with those in the Park because, although it had a thrill ranking of 100, it also had a vomit rating of 100 too. Another option you have once you finish your coaster is to upload it to Xbox Live and share it with the world. You can also download tracks from your friends on Xbox Live as well and use them in your park. The only qualm I had with the create-a-coaster mode was the linear way that you build the track. Instead of choosing several track variations from a HUD display, you have to scroll through your track options manually, which is not only time-consuming, but a little frustrating as well, especially when you want to find that one right piece and have to scroll through a bunch of pieces you can't use just to reach it.
Graphics-wise this game is surprisingly good. As I said before, the roller-coaster test drives look particularly good, but there are other areas where the visuals in this game shine as well. For instance, there are several cinema scenes where you consult with the mastermind behind Thrillville who gives you helpful advice from time to time. These scenes are animated exceptionally well, and have a very good amount of detail.
Sound in this game is also done very well, and features excellent voice acting. Since talking is a big part of this game, the voice acting had to be done well to make sure that you don't give up on such an important part of the game. And thankfully, all the characters sound emotional and realistic. Sound effects are also spot on, especially with all the realistic ride noises. One part of the game that was surprisingly good was the music. Although there is some popular music thrown in there for good measure, most of the songs you hear while wandering around Thrillville are original compositions just for the game, and they actually sound pretty good. I actually looked up some of the people responsible for these tunes, and although they were all completely unknown to me, I have to give credit where it's due. These songs were pretty awesome.
Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised by Thrillville: Off the Rails. Sure it's a family-oriented game, but it was so fun that its kid-friendly nature did not hinder it in the slightest from being fun for gamers of all ages. And any comparison between this game and the classic Roller Coaster Tycoon are unfair because the games have completely different focuses. I can honestly say that I appreciate both games, for taking a simple idea and approaching it in two different ways. And while I will always have a special place in my heart for the constructive approach (and destructive possibilities) of Roller Coaster Tycoon, I think Thrillville: Off the Rails has also earned a special place for its innovative approach to the rollercoaster game.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer