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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.

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Fraser Brown

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