Game review by Jeremy Hardin
Game – Coaster Creator 3D
Version – 3DS eShop – $9.99
Rating – E for Everyone
Obtained – Review Code courtesy of Big John Games
For all of you roller-coaster riders out there – have you ever wondered what it would be like to create your own coaster in seconds flat? Yeah, I thought so. Well wonder no more. Thanks to the folks over at Big John Games and their latest product, Coaster Creator 3D, you can create and ride coasters in literally seconds flat. So, does Coaster Creator 3D have what it takes to floor you with fun at 4.0G’s, or will it leave you hanging?
Story and Plot
Meet Gill McGee (look below this paragraph.) He’s your new boss at Classic Coasters and also one of the best roller coaster designers in the world, at least he was. Gill is too old to keep up with all the fancy new design tools out there and he needs your fresh perspective and help to make Classic Coasters competitive again.
Gameplay and Controls
There are two modes of play, Career and Sandbox. In Career mode, you start off as an Apprentice with a total of 20 challenges to complete. Challenges range from something as simple as adjusting the track so that the coaster passes through or avoids “checkpoints”, to changing a track so that the G’s experienced by the riders fluctuates as required, and much more. After completing at least 9 challenges, you unlock Intermediate mode which then allows you to use Mii’s in your coaster cars. At first, the challenges are quite easy and don’t require too much work. However, the difficulty begins to ramp up near Challenge 5 or 6, but all it takes is some patience and making good use of the Track Editor to make it work. Honestly though, I haven’t made it past Challenge #7 yet, not that it is too difficult, I just haven’t had the time to really focus on it. I actually contacted Big John Games and got some “walkthrough” tips for some of the challenges. If you’re interested in those tips, just comment below and I’ll share them with you.
Creation is the name of the game and Sandbox mode is the place to be. Sandbox mode has practically no limit as to what coasters you can imagine and draw out, other than gravity of course. Here you have the options to change locations, track types, customize your cart and even build your park using themed set pieces. All your work is done using the simple, yet powerful Track Editor.
The Track Editor is the heart of the entire experience. It keeps the game flowing right along from one coaster to the next. Using your stylus, you can literally adjust your track any which way and test out your changes instantly. This ability to change and test your track makes the experience of creating coasters so seamless and enjoyable. There are also several tools at your disposal, which when used properly, can allow you to create some wild rides. You can speed up, slow down, and even pause the simulation so you can really focus on an area of your coaster you want to work on. While you are able to use the d-pad to manipulate the 2D representation of your track on its X and Y axis, you can also use the circle pad to control the top screen camera which allows you to view your coaster in stunning 3D. The camera is one of your best friends throughout the creation process, so get comfortable with, and use it often! Check out the image below for some more details on what you can do using the controls of the Track Editor.
I found the 3D Edit camera to be the most often used camera option and also, the most helpful as it is an orbital camera and let’s you see your creation from any angle. You can use the Y and X buttons to zoom in/out on the top screen and the A and B buttons to zoom on the bottom screen. There is also the option to use the in-cart, on-track, and look-at cameras.
As expected, you can save your coasters – up to 50 in all. Plus, you can export them as QR codes, which can then be shared with others. Once you scan and save outside QR codes from other people, you can then edit the tracks as you wish, provided you have unlocked all the track elements within Career Mode. The sharing of QR codes is bound to keep the coaster creation experience fresh and inviting for a long time. In fact, we here at NintendoFuse actually decided to create a simple site on Blogger which we post QR codes that are sent into us. In fact, Big John Games have even supported us in this effort and directed people to the site on launch day. So, when you have a moment, please feel free to check out and share your QR codes HERE. Okay, back to the review.
There is also a mini-game, Star Roller, which takes you around whichever track you have selected 3 times. Your goal is to collect as many stars as possible during each go-round by pressing the d-pad either left, right, or up. Along the way you’ll encounter obstacles in the form of arrows which need to be blocked using the L and R buttons accordingly. It’s a slight distraction from the rest of the game and while it’s shallow, I won’t complain at having extra content. So, thanks for the mini-game!
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are fairly decent, nothing that will blow you away mind you, but good nonetheless. The 3D effect looks great as your zipping along the track, although there is some slight ghosting from time to time. You have the ability to customize your cart and track with colors and decals, so that helps to switch things up a bit. The music/sound effects are repetitive for the most part and light on content. I feel the music should be varied and I would like to hear some different screams and shouts on the ride, varying at certain moments. For instance, as you climb the initial hill it would be neat to hear an anticipatory “ooh” and “aah”, and some screams and laughter as you drop. Even better would be the ability to record your own sounds which could then replace the aforementioned stock sounds. One can hope, right?
Final Score: 8 out of 10
Coaster Creator 3D is a successfully ambitious title, which strips down all that resource management found in so many other simulation games, and gives you the heart of it all. Creation, pure and simple. The fact that you can create and ride a coaster in less than a minute should be just be opening up your wallets right now. So, is your wallet open? Will you take the plunge? I say YES!