Park Beyond Review
Coming from a flurry of game announcements, previews, demos, and more in just the past couple of weeks alone, it’s easy for a new game release like Park Beyond to get buried in all the noise. It’s not the huge AAA title that gamers are expecting, and being a construction and management sim title, it’s a pretty niche genre that not many are into compared to something like an action-adventure game.
Impossification is the name of the game in Park Beyond, and the core concept is that you can transform rides and other attractions into impossified versions, out-of-this-world variants that defy traditional laws, making your whole park more attractive and profitable.
As our multiple previews would depict, the game is quite enjoyable and complex, but can it stay the course throughout the experience?
Park Beyond starts out with a pretty good tutorial on how to get things done, through a story/campaign mode that has you running through the basics of how parks work and how to build rides. You’ll be taught how to create tracks, get coasters operational, and much more. It’s a pretty great tutorial, albeit a shallow and uninteresting story, that equips you fairly well for what you’re about to go through in a bit.
You’ll quickly grow out of it, owing to the promise of going crazy with the rides. The game is centered around the concept of building rides that defy the imagination, and it is easily the best part of Park Beyond. You’ll be creating coasters that shoot passengers through gaps and even make something that’s out of your wildest dreams. Impossification is quite the feature, and it really makes the game stand out.
Impossification is not just for rides, but for the various facilities and even manpower as well. Your staff will move faster, and your shops will rake in more cash throughout the day. Not limiting it to rides alone was a great design decision that ties the whole game up thematically.
Less creative minds such as myself will still have a lot of fun thinking of ways to impossify rides, which works well for Park Beyond. Players can be as basic as possible, but those that choose to really engage with the mechanic can take things up a notch, especially when terraforming is also part of the package as you can even run these coasters through mountains and the like.
Players can also choose to spruce up the many shops and facilities throughout their park. There’s a nice layer of customization here, where players can change up the look of their structures to make them fall into a certain theme. The game is visually colorful, and zooming in to see the little details is always a nice touch in sim/management games.
Park Beyond’s sandbox mode is where things can get really creative, and I can see players spending most of their time here. There are a lot of sliders to tinker with as you’ll get to fully determine the parameters of your experience, making it as stress-free (or stressful) as needed. While it doesn’t feel as high-stakes because of your control over major elements of the experience, what the sandbox mode does is give players a playground to freely play around with the core concept of the game, impossification.
Sim-averse players may feel overwhelmed when everything falls into place. At its core, Park Beyond is still a sim and management game that allows players to look into finances, crowd behavior, staff, and many more parameters that contribute to the success of a park. One thing that makes the experience harder than it should be is its UI, with shoddy font selection and icons that are hard to read unless you’re squinting. There are some baffling choices here, and it really makes the experience extremely unpleasant.
One more critique of Park Beyond is its finicky controls. Using a mouse and keyboard was a success, for the most part, but I’ve had to redo and undo a lot of stuff thanks to clicking the wrong tile or not seeing things properly because of weird viewing angles. I can’t imagine how this will all change when using a controller, which I didn’t get to try.
Playing on a Legion 5i Pro with a pretty good setup – RTX 3070 and 16 GB of RAM – Park Beyond was a mostly smooth affair, but not without hitches. I’ve had a few crashes during my playthrough, and for some reason, the game would slow down to unplayable levels or just downright freeze at some point. Restarting the game worked wonders, but it’s not really ideal to do that every time it bugs out.
What we liked:
- Impossification is a fantastic concept
- Tutorials are well-done and extremely helpful
- Sandbox mode is fun and easy to get into
What we didn’t like:
- UI is a mess
- Occasional bugs and crashes
- Lack of many quality-of-life features
Verdict: Wait for it.
Park Beyond is an interesting time with an interesting concept. Impossification is a great feature, allowing players to let their imagination run wild, all while meeting the checks and balances of a sim game.
Sadly, the game is marred by bugs and crashes that have happened more times than I normally forgive games for. Add a UI that feels unfinished and unpolished, and the experience really sours the more you play. Despite using a powerful rig, Park Beyond still has some hitches, but it’s great that the developers are hard at work with fixes.
I can see where the developers are going with Park Beyond, and it’s a vision that I want them to fully realize. At its current state, it’s hard to recommend because some key elements seem missing, but I believe that with a few tweaks here and there, along with strengthening the foundations of the game, it can truly be a main attraction.
*Park Beyond was reviewed on a PC with a review code provided by the publisher.