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    ScreamRide: Trip to the coast is full of ups and downs

    It’s hard to pin this down into a single category. On the one hand it’s a rollercoaster construction simulator. On the other it’s a steering-free racing game. And throw in a demolition mode that’s like a cross between Angry Birds and PS3 sort-of-classic Pain, and we’re still none the wiser. While all three segments work well on their own, the overall package is as disorientating as a high-speed triple corkscrew.


    Although Frontier attempts to meld all three parts into one cohesive career mode, the seams are visible from space. What’s intriguing from the off is ScreamRider. We initially scoffed at the idea of a rollercoaster racing game just how exciting could a literal on-rails racer be? The answer is ‘very’, which caught us by surprise too. You grab bonuses for going on two-wheels, boosting off the track, and landing jumps perfectly.

    We didn’t expect it to be compulsive, but it is. There’s more depth than meets the eye as a technical combo system allows you to chain together moves that achieve high scores. The game not only shares the futuristic looks of Trials Fusion, it also has the ‘one more go’ feel to it that keeps us aiming for bigger scores.
    “It’s like a 3D angry Birds and the physics allow for some chaotic domino effects”
    Smash Throws
    Elsewhere, Demolition Expert steps off the rails and thrusts you behind the controls of a rotating arm that flings cabins of destruction. You have various shaped vessels to launch and the trick is to hit just the right trajectory to topple the buildings in the distance. as we mentioned earlier, it’s like a 3D angry Birds and the physics allow for some chaotic domino effects. add in some well placed explosives and you’ve got a really satisfying wrecking ball mode.    

    Finally, there’s Engineer, which harks back to Frontier’s Rollercoaster Tycoon games. Complete broken tracks or build your own vomit-inducing thrill ride with extreme twists, loops and drops in a simple drag-’n’-drop fashion. It’s a little odd that Engineer somewhat takes a backseat in proceedings, as it’s arguably the game’s strongest suit. We doubt it was intentional to hide it, but it’s typical of the poor overall delivery.

    Those seams we touched on earlier revolve around the career mode. You unlock new levels by achieving Commendations, but the method by which you do this is a mess. arbitrary missions such as ‘complete a run without derailing’ or ‘get three million points in Demolition Expert’ have an unclear effect on progression. We spent ages completing these only to discover it’s just the overall score that counts.

    It’s also packed with needless filler. There’s a loose story about thrills being outlawed and those that seek them must become fleshy crash test dummies. There are also a few awkward, sexually charged cutscenes where riders end up on top of each other kissing. and one of the cabins you can use to flatten a skyscraper is in the shape of a plane. No prizes for guessing the atrocity this flies way too close to.

    ScreamRide is fun, but suffers from its poor signposting, last-gen visuals, and padding. There’s fun to be had with this three-pronged thrill ride, but it’s hidden behind an impenetrable exterior and a scattergun approach to career mode.

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