Park Beyond preview – Learning to build the wildest, craziest theme park

Parking outside is an upcoming title from Bandai Namco, slated for 2023. In it, players manage a theme park, a popular category of the “tycoon” simulation games. I’ve never really immersed myself in this game genre, so I was really excited to see how intuitive and easy it is to get into.

As part of this preview, I got access to two in-game missions and the sandbox mode, where I could build and create however I wanted. The first mission was about learning how to build a roller coaster, while the second mission was about the intricacies of managing and building the park itself.

Park Beyond is crazy but incredibly easy to pick up

I only got a few days and a quick look at what players can expect in Park Beyond when it comes out in 2023, but so far I’m happy with how the game works. It’s very over-the-top and silly when it comes to the introduction to the story, but that’s exactly what I expected.

Like I said, I don’t have much experience with Tycoon games, but I do like good strategy games. That is essentially what Park Beyond is. Instead of managing an army, you manage an amusement park. You can also get quite creative when designing your coasters.

What can you do in the Park Beyond preview?

The first mission was easy enough and expertly guided me, a novice, through the process of building a roller coaster. It’s more than just slapping together some numbers the way you want. It should make some sense.

For example, you need to make sure your carts have enough momentum to keep going so you can’t constantly scale. However, you can do really ridiculous things with your shopping cart. Personally, my favorite part was the ability to add guns! In Park Beyond you can periodically put cannons on the path to launch your cart over holes in the tracks.

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Park Beyond is pretty fantastic when it comes to customizing your park, that’s for sure. In the second mission you will learn about: Park management. It would be best if you determine what the demographics of your park will be as well as the theme.

A successful theme park is also not a sloppy affair. Things should make sense and fun for whatever your demographic may be. This means you need to have the right rides and other diverse structures to entertain your fans.

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You also need to manage your employees, get the right people to do the right things, assign tasks and set prices. Park Beyond seems to let players go pretty deep into their theme park management.

There are many little things to consider, such as the prices of the rides or making sure there is a way to get in and out of the ride itself. Don’t forget the toilets either, as cleanliness is essential when running a theme park.

Mission 2 shows that the game is more than just building neat roller coasters (Image via Bandai Namco)
Mission 2 shows that the game is more than just building neat roller coasters (Image via Bandai Namco)

The only issue I had here, which I’m sure will be corrected at launch, is that I couldn’t activate the heat map in Mission 2. It slowed down my development during that mission. Although the two missions have specific objectives, you have much more free play in the sandbox.

The Park Beyond sandbox has goals and objectives, but you can fulfill them as you see fit. Once I started here, I really started to have fun. You put flat rides, food and drink shops, and craft roller coasters where you want them. As the attractions become more and more popular, you can do what is known as ‘impossification’. This improves the look and the fun of the ride. Some of these rides may even evolve more than once.

What is the verdict on Park Beyond?

Although my time with this game was short, I really had a lot of fun figuring out what I wanted to do. You can build whatever you want and target the park to a few different demographics. Remember that everyone should have fun.

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While building your dream park is one of the most important parts, the other is running a successful business. That is perhaps the most challenging part of Park Beyond. However, I appreciate the difficulty. While I’m new to this genre, I see the appeal of being able to create a theme park that’s wild, over-the-top, and fun for everyone. In the end, this was a satisfying experience, easy to learn and difficult to master.

Park Beyond is coming in 2023, offering a whole new way to experience the theme park tycoon genre.

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