Drop everything. Stop what you’re doing. Leave your desks, close your text books, and put that baby down. The most important PlayStation VR game of the year is here.
Yes, Rollercoaster Dreams has arrived.
You may recall the article we put up for the announcement of this new PS4 game last July. Back then, developer Bimboosoft stated that the game would arrive on October 13th — the launch date for PlayStation VR — with support for the headset. We proceeded to pick apart the brilliant trailer for the game, analyzing all of the parts that, quite frankly, looked awful and would no doubt get people throwing up in no time in VR.
It was just this morning that I was wondering if Bimboosoft had maybe scrapped its plans to release the game, so imagine my delight when I checked the PlayStation Store and found it sitting there. Naturally, I snapped it right up.
As a straight up rollercoaster management game, Rollercoaster Dreams doesn’t disappoint in its awfulness. Its basic management mode is awkward and shallow, and there’s no end to the amount of incredible grammatical errors throughout. I appreciate that the developer’s first language likely isn’t English, but there are simply too many mistakes and weirdly-phrased descriptions to forgive. It’s like Bimboosoft just gave up trying to pretend like the game has any merit and chose not to properly translate anything.
This is just a distraction, of course, we’re really here for the VR. You can only use the headset when in the free walking mode, which allows you to explore the park in first-person using a DualShock 4. The unsightly figure that makes the featured image for this article is you and you are cursed to forever wear that confused expression on your face.
Just the chance to ride on a UFO attraction that would make me throw up was enough to get me excited. So I headed into the park, bought a ticket — which you strangely have to do with the money you make from actually running the park — and dashed straight for the ‘Surprise House’, (described in-game as: ‘You will surprise if you enter’).
I was greeted by this:
To be fair to Rollercoaster Dreams, it does know its terrible rides are terrible for VR. You can go on any ride with a headset, but you have to turn off the restricted mode, which gives you fair warning. For a while I thought I’d just bought a game that only let me go on a carousel. I would be doomed to perpetually rotate around it in VR, begging to get off but only seeing the awkward, tacked on faces of children forever giggling on this never-ending hell ride.
But enough about my nightmares.
As you can imagine, most of the rides here do not make for comfortable VR experiences. Some are outright banned in VR — no bumper cars for you — while the rest do a glorious job at making you dizzy, lightheaded, and nauseated. It’s nothing like visiting a real theme park, but instead some sort of strange endurance test, almost daring you to find out how sick you can make yourself.
I don’t really get ill in VR but after doing a bit of this…
…then a bit of this…
…and finally a bit of this…
I needed to spend a bit of time back in the safety of the real world. I also did a some go-karting by tilting the DualShock 4 to steer, though that was just a bit crap.
Of course, there are actually rollercoasters in Rollercoaster Dreams too. If you’ve saved up enough money, you can buy pre-made tracks, but it’s much more fun to create your own. That’s mainly because the game has taken a page from the book of Rollercoaster Tycoon, and let you create some pretty unsafe rides. Sadly, you can’t create an incomplete coaster (though you can ride one in non-VR and meet a terrifyingly dizzy demise), but you can create something that will throw other passengers out of the car.
Naturally, I spent hours trying to achieve this.
All things considered, I think I did a pretty good job. Brilliantly, my park was still making a lot of money even with dozens of people pouring off of this ride each day. R.I.P. to the brave souls and many, many crash test dummies that lost their lives in my pursuit of amusement.
This is just a weird, weird game. You can go to stores and buy items like a balloon, but trying to equip it just comes up with the words: “The balloon floats.” You can eat a hot dog just to be told it wasn’t delicious. You can play darts using motion controls that simply don’t work. It’s one of the most bizarre experiences you’ll have in VR, a testament to everything that doesn’t work with the tech that side-steps any of the features that might have clicked.
If it sounds like I had a little too much fun with Rollercoaster Dreams, it’s because I did. It’s one of the first VR experiences that’s so bad it’s good, though I really wouldn’t recommend picking it up. At $19.99, it’s pretty pricey for something pretty terrible, no matter how many laughs it provides.
If you do pick it up, though, get online and look out for Kvatchland. I’ve got a rollercoaster to die for.