Here at UploadVR, we believe in giving every game its fair shot. Every developer that’s poured their time and effort into a new virtual world deserves a chance. Rollercoaster Dreams might be the first game that really challenges those beliefs.
This new theme park management simulator from Bimboosoft was announced as a launch title for Sony’s PlayStation VR headset today. Upon first glimpse, it appears to be a novel enough concept; build your park in VR, create a sustainable business, design your own rollercoasters and even share your work with friends. What’s not to love? Well, if you take a look at the trailer below, you’ll actually find quite a lot.
Okay, you might have gotten about 30 seconds or so into that trailer and thought, “This seems fine to me!” So let’s take a step back and call upon our good friend the GIF to highlight what has me worried about (and, frankly, already laughing at) Rollercoaster Dreams.
If I may draw your attention, please, to Exhibit A. It features three rides that you’ll be able to experience in Rollercoaster Dreams, and all of them look positively gut wrenching for VR.
Tea cup rides, chair swings and spinning discs? It’s like Bimboosoft want you to vomit. Maybe if you throw up all over your PS VR your warranty voids and you have to buy another? A cunning tactic.
Nothing makes me happier than a game that sports a long list of features ready to pad out a trailer, but I have to say that “Enjoy the Delicious Foods” (not re-capped for the sake of sanity) is stretching it a bit.
First of all, unless Bimboosoft has created some incredible futuristic technology in which it’s cracked VR taste, you cannot actually do that in this game. Secondly, that means you just look at them. Great.
Okay moving on this rollercoaster seems fi– hold up. Watch that back. Did someone just fall out of the carriage?
No, sorry, ‘fall’ is not the right word. Was someone just fired from the seat on their carriage, spinning like a drill? That might fondly recall RollerCoaster Tycoon but if that happened to me in VR I’d never put a headset on again.
Oh this rollercoaster sways from side to side? That looks fu– BLEURGH.
Rollercoaster Dreams also invites you to “Play the Attraction Games”, which seems like it could be pretty fun and comfortable. Oh, wait, there’s what seems to be a bouncy cast—BLEURGH.
Here’s some zombies dressed up for a ball. The trailer doesn’t actually mention what in god’s name is going on here. What on earth are you being timed to do?
Now the GIF doesn’t do this bit justice because it’s not accompanied by the fantastically terrible music, but I’m still wondering who my date is for this romantic evening. Does she mind if I have vomit on my shirt? And what if I have to stop to be sick even further?
Keep in mind that that music is still playing at this point, as the trailer showcases its stat keeping. It provides important figures like, how many people threw up on your ride (everyone wearing a VR headset), how many people fainted, and, uh, number of damp seats. Is that number supposed to be high? What about the number of people with memory loss? You surely don’t want that to be high, do you? How does that even happen? Can you have a rollercoaster so fast people literally lose their memories?
I don’t actually have much against this last bit, it just makes me laugh. The surrounding scenery sure is messy, though, and it’s about to get a whole lot messier. Extra points for contrasting tragedy with the message “Welcome to the Dream Virtual Amusement Park.”
Okay I’ve had my fun. I might be sounding harsh, but with PS VR launching in a few months’ time and looking to be pretty popular, it’s more important than ever to educate people as to what makes a good VR experience, and Rollercoaster Dreams honestly looks like the exact opposite. And that’s without even mentioning the unintuitive menus (which may change in VR), and ghastly graphics. If it turns out to be anywhere near as vomit-inducing as the trailer makes it look then, frankly, Sony shouldn’t allow it on their platform.
That isn’t to say we can’t have VR theme parks – they can actually be pretty compelling – but it seems like there are better choices out there. Take a look at Atom Universe instead. It should also be noted that Rollercoaster Dreams isn’t VR exclusive, you can play it with a standard monitor. That should at least take the vomit away, but you still won’t be able to eat the food.