There’s no doubt that Frontier’s Planet Coaster has become the leading theme park and coaster sim on the market. It was an excellent product at launch but frequent free updates and five paid DLC themed packs have continued to expand the possibilities for would-be park designers. Add to this bounty of developer content the work of dedicated fans on the Steam Workshop, and the result is a deep and entertaining sim that can be enjoyed at any level of interest.
The latest expansion to Planet Coaster is World’s Fair, which gives park designers visual elements from a number of world cultures, including China, USA, France, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Japan, UK, Mexico, and Spain. For example, each nation has a corresponding food stall that sells its most characteristic delicacy. There are architectural elements — walls, doors, windows, signs and so on — from many recognizable world styles as well. Anyone with a hankering to build a mini-Epcot now has the tools. World’s Fair also includes a number of new musical tracks themed around the different countries.
Planet Coaster expansions have always included at least a few pre-made rides and coasters. World’s Fair adds Jixxer and Interceptor, which are two variants of the same coaster design, a motorcycle race in the form of a hydraulic launched, medium sized attraction that could fit in just about any corner of the park. Polarity is an electric people mover type of ride or transport that could have great utility to take park guests from area to area. World’s Fair coincides with some free, if relatively minor, content and design updates.
Like any toolset, Planet Coaster has strengths, quirks, and limitations but in the hands of dedicated enthusiasts, the results are outstanding. Although its coaster design tools aren’t as granular as the more pro-oriented No Limits series, the ability to create beautifully themed and detailed parks, with incredible lighting, music and sound effects is captivating and hard not to enjoy. With its detailed and colorful style and balance of charm, personality and creative potential of Planet Coaster is relentlessly entertaining.
World’s Fair is probably a must-have for Planet Coaster aficionados and for anyone who eventually wants to access creations made with it in the Workshop. Like Cities: Skylines, with each new expansion Planet Coaster just establishes itself that much more firmly as the game to beat in its niche. With only three new rides (the recent Vintage Pack included seven), World’s Fair feels a little content-light but as usual, the new designs, music and elements are excellent and useful.