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    Screamride: You spin me right round

    Games that featured rollercoasters seemed to do pretty well in the late 90’s, with a number of them rising to the best-seller list. For some odd reason however, the games started to taper off, with nobody developing them anymore.

    There is probably a good reason for that, but Screamride tries to rekindle the relationship that gamers had with building their own coasters in games like SimCoaster and Rollercoaster Tycoon.

    Does it get it right? Well, to a degree, but it’s not exactly what you would expect.

    Screamride attempts to marry three different modes into one game, and while it works somewhat, it would have been better suited if it maybe just focussed on one.Having a look at the Wikipedia page, it describes it as a “construction simulator and a puzzle video game”,but the truth of the matter is that it is a rider, builder and rollercoaster destroyer all rolled into one.

    The story, albeit very thin, takes place in 2050 when a fictional entertainment company called Screamworks employs people to test a series of rollercoasters, which the player has designed.

    The first mode is for the riders. The game sets players up as a rider on a predetermined AI-constructed coaster, and it is up to gamers to keep the cart on the rails. It might sound easy enough, but players are in control of the tilt and speed of the coaster.

    Tilt too much to counter-balance a twist, and riders might fall out, go too fast or too slow around a bend or up a loop, and the whole thing might just stall. As with the other two modes, there is a good number of tracks to cover to progress, but after a while being upside-down loses its lustre.

    With that said, every level for every mode has a minimum score that needs to be reached in order to progress to the next level. Hit the target, and not only will players unlock new building blocks for the Sandbox mode, but they will move on to the next stage.

    Which brings us to the creation mode. This is probably the mode where gamers will spend most of their time, as it is the focus of the Sandbox mode as well.  Players are given a number of track pieces like straights, twists, loops and even accelerators, and they have to complete a full track with it. Naturally, the wilder the track the better the overall score will be, but make it too wild, and riders will fall out which carries some severe score penalties.

    Out of the three modes, the best one is probably the destruction aspect. Players are given a number of swinging coaster pods on a spinning pendulum, and they have to release the pods to cause as much building and environmental damage as possible.

    At the heart of it, Screamride tries to entertain by making the rollercoasters as outlandish as possible. But play it for a couple of hours and things start to come off the rails. It is fun and all, but seriously, how many hours can you still and watch a coaster go around and around?

    It is one of those games that will keep you busy on a Sunday afternoon, but it is by no means a game that players will sit and game around for hours on end. It has no long-term longevity in the sense that once a level is complete, there is almost no motivation to retry for a better score.

    Yes, a higher commendation will unlock better track pieces, but if you aren’t into the Sandbox mode, it doesn’t help.

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