Summer brings fireworks and more to Planet Coaster

Apparently it’s summer — it’s always hard to tell up here in Scotland — which means that it’s time for Planet Coaster’s [official site] third free seasonal expansion. It’s a big one, fattening up the the game with new rides, customisable panels, terrain options and scenery. It’s available now, and you can watch the trailer below.

Though the trailer makes it seem like an American Independence Day update, it’s a lot broader than that. Along with the Stars and Stripes scenery pack, you’ll be able to gussy up your park with video billboards and construct new rides like the Iron Claw, a 32-person pendulum ride, and the Viper One coaster, a multi-launch, twisted impulse, LIM shuttle coaster, which sounds a wee bit complicated.

Frontier are particularly pleased with Planet Coaster’s new fireworks displays, too.

Fireworks are an explosive new way to customize parks in Planet Coaster’s Summer Update. Celebrate the Fourth of July, New Year, Bonfire Night or any other occasion with the most detailed fireworks simulation ever created for a videogame. Design epic firework displays with the new Display Sequencer, trigger them alongside other park events, and even choreograph them to custom music! Create the ultimate sky-high summer spectacle, or download the most explosive displays from the Planet Coaster community.

Fireworks Simulator might have something to say about that “most detailed” claim.

If sandboxes aren’t your thing, the update also introduces three new scenarios.

Goldmine Tower – Some poor fella bought this mine from a prospector, and took out some big loans to pay for it. Turns out it was a scam. The varmint had salted the mine! Now he’s trying to turn it into a tourist attraction with fireworks and Old West-style streets, but it’s not doing as well as he hoped and he needs your help.
Miss Elly’s Diner – Miss Elly’s Diner has some great facilities, including a big wooden coaster for a spot of excitement! But its remote location means it doesn’t see many visitors, and its potential isn’t being realised. Can you build on this location and draw in the crowds?
Starship Hanger – They filmed some pretty famous movies out here in the desert. It kind of looks like Mars, don’t it. The place isn’t much in demand any more – it’s all CGI these days – but the company doesn’t want to let it go. They want you to turn it into a theme park instead!

It’s quite a lot for a free update. You can read the large changelog here, if you’ve got the time. It brings with it a slew of bug fixes too. This one is a personal favourite:

Updated vendors’ teeth to stop them clipping through their faces

Frontier is also hosting a fireworks competition, and more details will be released by the developer on YouTube at 7PM BST today and on Facebook Live on Friday at 2.30PM. In the meantime, you can send your creations to community@frontier.co.uk.

12 Comments

  1. battles_atlas says:

    Have they found a way to turn this design tool into a game yet?

    • ColonelFlanders says:

      No. Maddeningly it’s still just the same as beta – all icing and no cake.

      • Tiax says:

        What about the challenge mode they added?

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          Nothing to it. They added things like research and cost, but it’s mostly just a facade. Like, there’s no FUCKING STAFF ROOMS. Staff are just robots that you pay more to make happier. There’s no stock for the shops, they just perpetually sell product. Harder modes don’t have cost multipliers, you just start with a bit less money. You don’t need to worry about logistics of any kind, such as parking, hotels etc.

          Also the career mode is an utter joke. Apparently a ‘career’ in Planet Coaster is a bunch of blah scenarios which mainly consist of “build this, wait for x, earn dollaz”.

          If you want a sandbox in which to realise your dream theme park, then Planet Coaster is the greatest tool kit ever made. Graphics, sound design, detail, authenticity, charm are all present and correct. There’s just no fucking game

          I’m not speaking from a place of negativity per se; I have about 690 hours in this game. But as a fan I’m hugely frustrated by Frontier’s utter silence when it comes to the many many forum users who have been vocal about the shallow nature of the management side of this game.

          • Unclepauly says:

            Would you recommend RCT3 for somebody who wants a “game”? Someone who doesn’t care as much about the graphics and sound etc.?

          • ColonelFlanders says:

            Given that you can pick it up for next to no money these days I would go with yes. It has its flaws for sure, but as a “game” it’s definitely a more complete experience.

          • battles_atlas says:

            According to my steam stats I played this for 2hrs. By contrast I put 21hrs into the much cheaper Empire TV Tycoon. I genuinely feel like I played about 10hrs of Planet Coaster before I gave up looking for fun, but perhaps therein lies the problem. Its a remarkable achievement by the devs, in a way, to build something so pretty and deep (in parts) and yet generate no reason for playing.

          • Draegdrwg says:

            But Rollercoaster Tycoon (At least 1 and 2) didn’t have any of that stuff either. Everything you just described applies to RCT 1/2.. definitely no staff rooms or fiddling with shop stock there.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Visual splendor and no real game play.

        From Frontier.

        Shocker.

  2. genosse says:

    My girlfriend, who is crazy about theme park simulators, went back to RCT after one afternoon with Planet Coaster.

    “Why are you playing this old game now?”, I asked.

    “I don’t really know. The new game is pretty and all and it seems perfect on the surface, but RCT is just lots more fun.”

    So yeah, boring as hell even for someone who almost exclusively plays skinnerbox games on the phone all day long. God I hate those. ;)

    • Blackcompany says:

      Dare I say this, but…are women more drawn than men to these phone/tablet Skinner boxes? Not to say men aren’t, but the vast majority of those I know or see playing these games are women.

      This isn’t a judgement. Not blaming women. Men play them too. It just SEEMS to me that these games tend to appeal much more to women than men.

      Also, my fiance lives them, too. I really hate them.

      • Someoldguy says:

        I tend to come at it from the other perspective. In my experience men are more able to get drawn into games that demand more hours to be rewarding because even in our 21st Century era of enlightenment, it’s still more likely to be the man that gets to sit at a desk playing a game all evening while the woman multitasks screen time with doing chores, chatting on the phone, internet shopping etc. Since the kid arrived and I can no longer rely on solid blocks of ‘me’ time, games that can be dipped into on demand and dropped at a moment’s notice have become more appealing.