Welcome to the Sappiest Place on Earth! Review

Sim Theme Park Info


  • N/A


  • 1 - 1


  • Bullfrog/EA


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PC
  • PS


Welcome to the Sappiest Place on Earth!

Ah yes, the amusement park. Eating junk food, going on rides, and kicking the

guy in the mouse suit. A place of fantasy and mystery, where you can live out

your dreams and barf in a garbage can.

But what would it be like to create such a world of wonder for young and old

alike? If the guys at Bullfrog have anything to say about it, it’d be interesting

for a while, but ultimately shallow and, well, sort of ugly. Yes, Sim Theme

for the PSX (wow, a sim game not made by Maxis) is all these

things and more.

Your goal is to build a bunch of amusement parks and make some dough on the

side. No plot or point – this is a simulation game, after all.

At first glance, the game looks pretty cute. You start with a large field that you can fill with a plethora of rides, shops, attractions, and other buildings. Of course, you only start out with a small number of rides, and you have to hire some researchers to get more. After designing your first layout, you open the gates and welcome the suck… um, visitors into your beautiful park (Which way to the egress?).

Now you have to make sure that all your rides are in working order, that your park is clean, that the bullies are only beating up on rich kids (that quarter fell on park property!), and that there are plenty of people in rabbit suits to be made fun of. Next you pump up your prices, put more ice in the drinks, and sit back to watch the revenues skyrocket.

Before long, you have a huge, sprawling park to manage, and you’ll inevitably

start to notice some problems.

First, there’s this guy who looks like a renegade gumball that pops up gives

you advice. Repeatedly. Every thirty seconds. It’s cute the first hundred times,

but quickly becomes monotonous. The problem is that he’s one of the best sources

of information in the park, so turning him off (hooray for options!) is a bit

of a disadvantage. Dang annoying, though.

The second problem is the interface. The four Playstation buttons change function depending on where you are in the maze of menus. You can’t go into your main menu when you’re hovering over a store, ride, or other random structure – you have to move off first. This gets to be a real pain when your whole park is practically a solid mass of fun, fun, fun. It’s almost impossible to get used to the controls because they change so randomly (Let’s see. Gotta push triangle, circle, move down five, press circle, square…crap, put it in the wrong place. Let’s try again…). Apparently, not much thought was put into making the Playstation version easy to use.

The graphics are rough. It’s no secret that this game was a PC

to Playstation port, and the graphics certainly show this with quite a bit of

complexity in the various rides and games. But the Playstation isn’t a PC, and

the now slightly outdated graphics engine can’t hold up under the strain. When

you’ve built a good number of attractions in your park, your screen noticeably

slows down. It’s still playable, but hardly enticing.

This also subtracts from one of the big selling points of the game: First

Person or Camcorder mode. After a little work, you’re able to acquire a camcorder,

which lets you walk around as a visitor in your park. But the graphics are as

slow as a tortoise walking backwards, and riding the rides can become quite

a chore.

The biggest problem is that it just isn’t that fun! The primary goal is to

collect golden tickets, which you get when you complete certain objectives in

your parks. However, it doesn’t take very long to get all the tickets from a

park (if you’re good), and it quickly loses much of its charm. Sure, you get

new rides and you can play ‘Whack-a-Frankenstein’ over and over again, but once

you’ve done all that, nothing really changes. The same groups of people come

and go, and give you their money. I guess money can’t buy happiness.

Sim Theme Park is a cute game with initial appeal and a nice premise,

but eventually dies down to a slow whirl. Poorly ported graphics and controls

don’t help much, either. If you have a choice, you should probably buy a Disneyland

ticket over this game. Believe me, it’ll last longer.


Sort of cute
Bad Graphics
Bad Controls
Gets Boring Quickly
That little Bowling Ball Guy!