Park Beyond promises impossible theme park management, even for consoles

August 27, 2021

This morning, Park Beyond was officially announced as a new theme park management game not only for PC, but for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 as well. The genre has been popular in the past on PC, with famous series like Theme Park, Rollercoaster Tycoon and Planet Coaster, but console versions have been few and far between, and successful attempts even less so. However, Limbic Entertainment, the German developers behind Tropico 6 are giving it a crack, with Park Beyond also promising its own spin on the genre. Park Beyond has spent 2 years in development so far, and is being published by Bandai Namco, who have acquired a minority stake in the developer. We got to take a quick peek at what they have in store, via a presentation with the game’s developers Marco Huppertz (Producer) and Louis Vogt (Level Designer).

‘Impossification’ is the word of the day in Park Beyond and what appears to be its signature feature. The idea is that Park Beyond won’t limit the kinds of rides players can place in their theme parks to those that could exist in the real world, but will allow for impossible variations (and likely very dangerous). For instance, rides seem to have several levels of ‘Impossification’ they can be upgraded with via the in-game research system. A carousel can be upgraded twice to rise out of the ground like a layer cake, and a Ferris wheel can be upgraded to have multiple spinning components which send cars through several loops and even drop them down to be caught by lower levels. One the developers were proud of took a simple octopus-themed ride which swung parkgoers left-to-right, and transformed it into a giant monster octopus, swinging submarine-sized pods with kids into the air and catching them.

Impossifications also work their way into the rollercoaster design options. Park Beyond offers a robust modular rollercoaster creation tool, allowing players to quickly draw out routes for coasters around the park, ducking and weaving around other attractions, as well as standard features like a first-person view to experience them with and a cinematic camera. However, Impossification options also allow components that would not pass any safety standard, not even at WobbiesWorld. Ramps can send passenger cars careening over gaps in the track, while cannons can fire them on an upwards-trajectory, complete with fireworks upon landing.

Park Beyond will also feature a narrative campaign mode to onboard players new to the theme park management genre, placing the player in charge of developing their park and getting a handle on the management side of gameplay. The story is promised to have twists and turns, which will be interesting to see how that plays out with regards to management, as the game also features the usual array of park management challenges – keeping parkgoers happy, setting up budgets, taking out loans, etc.

There’s also different themes which can be applied to all, or parts of your theme park, that completely transform the buildings and accoutrements. Two that were shown off in the presentation were a ‘Candy Land’ inspired design, which added lots of pink-textures and frosting, as well as candy-shaped props to the park, and a more traditional ‘Western’ theme which will be familiar to anyone who’s been around the Wild West area of MovieWorld. These themes can be mixed and matched to various areas.

Park Beyond is shaping up to be a promising addition to the theme park management genre, no doubt with some influence from the developers’ experience with Tropico, and some unique ideas with the Impossification philosophy. Park Beyond doesn’t have a specific release date at this stage, and is scheduled for a release in 2022.