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REVIEW – Coaster Creator 3D

REVIEW – Coaster Creator 3D

by Jeremy HardinMarch 13, 2013

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.

Formerly one of the world’s best coaster designers.  Also, he's your boss.

Formerly one of the world’s best coaster designers. Also, he’s your boss.

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.

The heart of the experience.  Let's you create thrilling coasters in seconds flat!

The heart of the experience. Let’s you create thrilling coasters in seconds flat!

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!

About The Author
Jeremy Hardin
Jeremy's love of gaming, especially Nintendo started in the late 80's when his parents bought him and his older brother an NES. Many hours were spent playing Mario and Duck Hunt. Eventually Jeremy graduated to bigger and better games and systems, like the SNES, GC, Wii, 3DS, and finally to the Wii U. Ask him what the defining moment of his childhood gaming was and he'll answer, "the day I beat Zelda 2." To this day that game holds a special place in his heart. His favorite types of games are platformers. Jeremy started blogging for NintendoFuse in October 2010. He started off as a lurker on the forums who won a free copy of And Yet It Moves on WiiWare. From there he realized he liked the forums and the site and wanted to remain a part of it. He was brought on board shortly thereafter and has helped post news and reviews for the past couple of years. Currently Jeremy has taken a step back to focus on family and school. He assists in minor back-end site maintenance from time to time.
  • March 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Bean 1 (our oldest) would probably like this, because he really enjoys playing/building train sets. We have train tracks all over the place, and he even plays a little LeapFrog game with train tracks occasionally, but that usually results in him going to play with the toys and building them in real life (which he is doing right now as I’m typing this).

    • March 15, 2013 at 7:43 am

      My 5 year old loves to build with his tracks too. We actually just bought him the Kinex Mario Kart Race Track for his birthday. We haven’t been able to put it together yet, but we’re hoping to this weekend.

      Back to the game – when you first go in to create a track, you are given a white screen and a certain amount of track points to build with. All you have to do is take your stylus and draw the shape of your track. Once you are done drawing out the track, then you can render it in the Track Editor as seen in the screenshot in my review. It literally takes seconds to draw it out. Once you get into the Track editor, this is where you take the time to adjust the track to make it just the way you want. I think the initial drawing stage is easy, especially for children, but I think the Track editor itself might be a little too technical (depends on the child I suppose.)

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