When we first caught wind that the seminal simulation title Theme Park would be getting a freemium makeover for the App Store, we met the news with a mix of nervousness and excitement. Thanks to an early Canadian release, we’ve now had a chance to hands on with the upcoming park management title. Whether good or bad, there’s really only one word that can sum of the time we’ve had with the game: expensive.
While premium content is something that nearly all freemium games thrive on, Theme Park abuses that concept to a staggering degree. As you’ll read in our upcoming review, “you could pay upwards of $60-$100 on a single item in Theme Park.” When I first read this statement, it seemed like an exaggeration – so I booted up the game to see for myself. Indeed, Theme Park seems to be a mess of locked and expensive content.
The game’s premium currency, “Super Tickets,” seems to power the vast majority of ride purchases in the game. For most players that will be reason enough to steer clear of the title, but when you see just how many Super Tickets some of these rides cost, it’ll make your head spin like a Tilt-a-Whirl.
Let’s do the math on this one. Super Tickets can be purchased in varying denominations, and like most premium currencies, the more you buy at once the better the deal you’re getting. The biggest and “best” package here is 1600 tickets for $99.99. That works out to a little more than 6 cents a ticket. If you want to purchase the rollercoaster “A Taste of Hades Sampler,” it’ll cost you 900 Tickets, or roughly $56.16. If you want to purchase the “Dolphin Aqua Show,” it’ll cost you 1500 Super Tickets, or $93.60.
To put that into perspective, one adult day pass at Disneyland California is $80. A 2012 season pass to Six Flags Magic Mountain is $61.99. Heck – the Carousel at my local beach is still just a nickel a ride. Every single one of these – including admission to Sea World – is cheaper than going to see the Dolphin Aqua Show in Theme Park.
It’s worth mentioning that not all of the rides cost such a ridiculous amount, but on the same token, I hadn’t managed to unlock all of the ride prices during my brief rise to level 5, so there’s the possibility that some of these attractions could cost evenmore.
I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised. This is the same company that just launched an annual subscription plan for Tetris.
Stay tuned for our complete review when Theme Park launches internationally at a later date.