Planet Coaster’s huge anniversary update is out now

coaster update

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Planet Coaster’s launch, Frontier have put together a massive anniversary update that introduces autumn themes, new rides and coasters, new management features, an extra scenario and a fancy scenario editor. It’s a pretty comprehensive update — expansion-worthy, even — but it’s entirely free.

There’s a lot to unpack, but first, a trailer.

Planet Coaster is a better creative sandbox than it is a management sim, but the anniversary update looks like it will go a long way to making the management layer more robust. Staff, for instance, can go on strike, and food vendors are no longer locked inside their stalls, so you’ll need to make sure that there’s always enough staff to cover lunch breaks and the like. Speaking of taking breaks, staff also have energy that gets lost over time, necessitating buildings where they can recuperate. While chilling out, they’ll also get some perks, depending on the staff building.

Groups of guests now have more individuality, in that they can spawn with a variety of traits that make them more likely to enjoy particular rides and park amenities, as well as determining their tolerances and how much cash they’ve got on them. If you only want rich, coaster-loving guests, then you can control what traits appear in your scenarios.

On the subject of scenarios, the anniversary update introduces a brand new one: Gulpee’s Island Paradise. It’s just a remote beachfront, but Gulpee’s hoping that you can turn it into a successful theme park. “It’s going to take skillful management and a full staff roster to keep everything running smoothly,” warns Frontier.

Along with Gulpee’s Island Paradise, there’s a scenario editor that lets you create your own scenarios to play or share on Steam Workshop. You’ll be able to control everything from what loans and research is available, to the objectives (with multiple conditions) that players will have to tackle. And you’ll be able to fill these scenarios with the new rides, coasters and scenery that come with the update.

Two new rides and three coasters can be squeezed inside parks new and old, ranging from the retro Weisshorn, inspired by caterpillar rides from the 1920s, to a beast of a coaster known as the Zenith. Here’s Frontier explaining why you might want it in your park:

The Zenith is a master class in roller coaster engineering; it’s a hydraulic launched coaster with a top speed of 175mph that roars vertically up an enormous ‘Top Hat’ element that’s been custom made with a complex support system to include vertical incline and drop rolls and twists for the ultimate thrill for your guests. This is a real status symbol for any park that want to show the world how amazing their park is with a 137m/450ft high top hat as a centrepiece. With all this record breaking speed and height you’ll need a train to impress and the Zenith delivers, it’s sleek, high speed design makes this the complete package.

And then there are all the bug fixes, blueprints, UI changes and ride improvements — you can read the big list of additions here.

It’s been a pretty impressive first year for Planet Coaster. I had a great time with it at launch, as you can see from my Planet Coaster review, but it’s just gone from strength to strength, with Frontier throwing a surprising amount of seasonal content and general improvements at it. If you’ve been holding off on picking it up, now is a great time to bite the bullet, and not just because of the update — it’s also 55 percent off on Steam.

8 Comments

  1. HeavyStorm says:

    You might just have sold me a game. We’ll see.

    • antszy says:

      check out Parkitecht

      • rochrist says:

        Planet Coaster is light years better.

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          Light years better looking*

          Planet Coaster is a beautiful, well designed and charming experience, but at the time of writing it doesn’t hold a candle to Parkitect as a management game. Time will tell though, seems Frontier are finally pulling their finger out and adding some actual gameplay into their game.

          • Premium User Badge

            Mungrul says:

            You sure about that? I mean, I’ve been waiting for them to add some actual gameplay to Elite Dangerous for years now.

            I think they’re great at designing the framework for a game, such as graphics and sound, but absolutely piss-poor when it comes to the human side of things.

            id Software used to get accused of only being able to design engines not games (always rather unfairly I thought), but in my experience, this is certainly true with Frontier.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    I bought this shortly after release, played it passionately for a few days, then didn’t play it again. Now might be a good time to get back into it.

    I was quite enjoying the park management side of things, although I was finding it a little hard to make money. Then I found myself with enough cash to plop down my first pre-fab coaster (I’d been relying on standalone rides up until that point), and suddenly, I was making money hand over fist. And that pretty much killed my enjoyment.

    I also found that for a game selling itself on its coasters, building your own was prohibitively expensive, further encouraging the user to start with a pre-fab that might not necessarily fit with their park.

    Maybe this update will do enough to fix those issues.

    Also, and this is a really weird complaint, I didn’t find the humour to be British enough. It was all rather sanitised with none of the charm of Bullfrog / Lionhead games.

  3. Hunchback says:

    This is the best (so far) amusement-park “sandbox”, you can really build AMAZING things with it, but there’s not much… well, “game” to it. :(

  4. trjp says:

    This is my worry – it appears to be an amazing ‘build a park’ tool but there doesn’t seem to be any game to play/management to manage etc. etc.????

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