A call back to the classic days of theme park simulators, is Parkitect the perfect solution for that old-school gameplay itch?
A simple premise with a nice gameplay overhaul, Parkitect is a title that doesn’t pretend to be any more than what it is; a 2018 remake of one of my most popular genres of the early 2000s. And for those who have a particular soft spot for any of the ‘theme’ games, then this indie title might just be the ideal next purchase for you.
Developed by indie game studio Texel Raptor, your first glimpses of Parkitect may not lead to high hopes when it comes to gameplay, with the title seeming to require a high-spec computer to functional appropriately thanks to a lack of optimisation, and a rather flash player-looking menu.
However, if you can get past those small snags, you’ll soon discover a world of simulation that’s breath of fresh air in comparison to recent editions to the genre. The game doesn’t feel sparse or pay gated, unlike titles such as Planet Coaster, and the old-school graphics are charming rather than outdated.
So, why should you invest in Parkitect? At its heart, this title is appealing to a highly specific audience of 20-to-30-somethings, who have some serious nostalgia about their classic sims. So if you fall into that category, there’s much to enjoy about the title, with nods to some of the oldest Theme Park games out there in a way that doesn’t feel stale.
For newcomers to the genre or those who prefer the more polished, but less hands-on, state of today’s simulator market, then Parkitect might feel a little bit too different to the typical formula to be enjoyable. It relies a great deal on its fans enjoying the call back to past genres, and as such as a standalone title – with no emotional ties – it feels a little bit too early access to actually have been released.
Of course, as with many indie titles, the lower price of Parkitect – at under £25 for a complete title – it’s to be expected that the polish of a AAA title isn’t quite present, from the slightly outdated UI to the lack of focus on the little details, such as sufficient hotkeys and a few performance issues over time.
An active modding community and community-friendly devs further add to the appeal of the game, with plenty going on both behind the scenes and on the Steam workshop to provide you with countless hours of additional gameplay, from unique scenarios to beautifully-built and designed creations to further enhance your play time.
Overall, Parkitect is a little bit of a Marmite game – you either love it for the nostalgia factor and enjoy the different style of gameplay it takes inspiration from. As a long-term fan of simulator-type games, and one who has found today’s sims a little lacking, Parkitect definitely scratches that itch for me, allowing just the right level of customisation and plenty of rides and attractions to choose from.
Parkitect is now available as a released title through Steam for just £23.79.