Developer Texel Raptor has announced that its superb theme park management sim, Parkitect, will finally be leaving Early Access, and launching for real, on November 29th.
Parkitect, which first entered Steam Early Access development back in 2016 (and has been almost four years in the making), is something like a modern day reimagining of the beloved Rollercoaster Tycoon series, right down to the isometric perspective. As Texel Raptor puts it, Parkitect has been designed to "[bring] back the best of classic theme park games with many new features and content on top".
Of course, if you've played any theme park sim before, you'll largely know what to expect here. In sandbox mode, you can go wild building the park of your dreams - designing coasters, setting down shops, adjusting stock, managing staff, and generally making sure your punters are having the time of their lives so the cash keeps rolling in. Parkitect 1.0 will also introduce a campaign mode, featuring 26 campaign parks unlocked via a branching world map.
I've been playing Parkitect for a good long while now, and it's truly fantastic. Unlike Frontier's Planet Coaster, which manages to be a great creative tool that's capable of delivering some astonishing-looking parks but flounders considerably on the management front, Parkitect delivers a striking balance of both. It's got some interesting ideas of its own too, requiring players to think carefully about behind-the-scenes infrastructure, as well as show-front design.
You will, for instance, need to construct staff tunnels to ensure employees can get around as efficiently as possible. That's especially crucial as shop stock in Parkitect must be physically transported from the front gate to its destination. As you expand, however, you can place storage depots around your park for easier access to goods, and even automate the process via delivery tubes. What's more, while goods come in, rubbish will need to go out, so you'll want to avoid congestion for the grubby stuff going the other way.
That's not all, however! With stock and trash whizzing around your park, and staff scrambling back and forth backstage, it's vital that you keep an eye on theming. Guests won't be pleased if behind-the-scenes stuff pops into view and breaks your park's aesthetic illusion.
Put simply, Parkitect is an incredibly well-designed, fully featured theme park sim; it's got a scenario editor, a landscaper generator, a huge array of rides to build (from coasters to water rides), plus really clever visualisation tools to help with construction and layout.
And while its stylised low-poly art can never match the realism of Planet Coaster, Parkitect's construction system is incredibly flexible, enabling you to create some wonderfully elaborate parks with the mass of props and scenery options provided. What's more, the recently added day/night cycle, which turns your park into a sea of twinkling lights as darkness fall, looks absolutely gorgeous. And there's even a thriving modding scene!
All of which is me saying that Parkitect is great and you should definitely give it a look if you have any interest at all in theme parks sims. It's worth noting, however, that the game will be getting a price increase - from $19.99 USD/£15.49 to $29.99 USD (around £23) - one day prior to its Version 1.0 Steam release on November 29th, so you might want to think about an early purchase if you're sufficiently swayed. Texel Raptor says that it plans to add more creative and management features to Parkitect in free updates post-launch .