At the end of June, Zynga closed the doors on Roller Coaster Kingdom. Arguably the largest amusement park themed game on Facebook, the closure has left a void in that particular niche of the social gaming world. Developer Social Point is hoping to change that, however, with Social Park, an amusement park simulator that has already been adopted by 24,000 players.
The game starts you off with a few basic rides, like a Carousel and a Haunted House, and you’ll add two more, including a Ferris Wheel, during the tutorial alone. There, you’ll learn that the basic idea behind the gameplay is to add new rides and mini-games (think midway games, where you’d win stuffed animals or toys in the real world), attract new guests to your park, and make money, thus allowing you to add even more rides and eventually expand your park, thus continuing the cycle.
The game contains a real world currency as well as in-game coins, with the only available roller coaster (at the game’s start – more are unlocked as you level up) being available for said cash (or real world dollars). Rides themselves are separated into various categories, including Gentle Rides, Water Rides, and Thrill Rides, and while the selection is slim at first, you’ll unlock more of each kind as you level up.
As no amusement park is complete without souvenir and food stalls, you can add some of both to your park, including ice cream stalls, drink stalls, and even a place to buy hamburgers. Again, more of these will unlock as you level up as well.
You can add the finishing touches to your park by adding flowerbeds, benches, lamp posts, trees, paths and so on, and once you run out of space in your first block, you can use coins or cash (there are two options available) to unlock more sections of land, which will allow you to expand your park and add more items. It should be noted that the coin options for land expansion require you to have a certain amount of neighbors – something that is fairly common in the world of Facebook gaming.
Getting back to the mini-games for a moment, each item, including rides and mini-games, collects funds overtime, that can be cashed out every few hours – the exact amount of time is ride-dependent (that is, some rides may offer a profit after four hours, while others take six, and so on). When you cash out at a mini-game, you get to play the game. For the Helicopter “ride,” as but one example, you get to play a side-scrolling game that sees you clicking on the mouse to make your helicopter gain altitude, while letting go of the mouse allows the helicopter to fall. You’ll need to do both in order to avoid various obstacles in your path.
And so it goes – you’ll collect coins from placed rides that will allow you to purchase more rides, and you’ll play mini-games and clean up garbage for coins in order to add variety to the experience. Will Social Park be the title that takes Roller Coaster Kingdom’s place as the top amusement park game? Only time will tell, but for now, if Social Park seems like the game for you, make sure to head over to the game’s page on Facebook, and be sure to check out our Frisky Hands-On video below to see the game in action before you go.
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