Theme Park (Android) – Review

Title   Theme Park
Developer  Progressive Media ApS
Publisher  EA Mobile
Platform  Android
Genre  Simulation
Release Date  October 26, 2012

Theme Park was fucking acecakes; it was the only way to throw a kid around to the point where they threw up without running the risk of Esther Rantzen and her lovies getting involved. Sadly, with original developers Bullfrog having been out of the game for over fifteen years, and their figurehead currently pursuing a path of getting millions of people to pointlessly bang away at something and get nothing but boredom in return… much like gaming’s answer to Kerry Katona’s hunt for a new beau… it was left to everyone’s favourite creepy old tight-fisted rapey uncle, Electronic Arts, to bring this classic to mobile platforms. Joy.

As with all Theme Park games, we begin with an in-depth tutorial led by that fat guy from the Monopoly box and he painstakingly guides us through the best way to manage your park, encourage people to spend their money and be happy with what you have to offer. Actually, that’s not exactly true. The tutorial consists of two directives: place a bouncy castle in the only area available to you and, once you’ve mastered the art of clicking once over here, and clicking once again in a vulgar scrolly menu, you’re then tasked with the tough job of doing the same again with a chippy. Here endeth the lesson. Now it’s up to you to build your theme park’s popularity and reach the top of the leaderboard.  Let the fun begin!

But wait… why are all my rides marked as “Locked”? More importantly, why can’t I build on this other area of land? Why does it have rocks all over it, preventing me from actually doing anything with it? Well, that’s because you have to wait countless hours for your park to organically reach a certain popularity level before the next available plot (within the huge plot of land which, presumably, you already bought since you’ve already managed to chuck up a giant fence around it and which already consists of a pedestrian contraflow complete with happy-faced bins) to become available for building on.  You read that right: you already own the land, but you have to wait HOURS in the real world before you can actually do anything with it.

Some games can’t be bought using in-game currency and can set you back $60+ USD in real cash

Or you could buy more Super Tickets from EA’s built in store. With real cash. Yes folks, after spending more than two fucking hours fruitlessly waiting for my park’s popularity to grow to the point where I was actually permitted to build another ride (because everyone knows that a theme park with nothing more than a bouncy castle will become a fan favourite in no time at all), I succumbed to the lure of the micropayment and decided to take a look at the costs of speeding up the process. It ain’t cheap. For 70 of the little blighters, you’re looking at £3.56 which equates to a gnat’s bawhair over 5p per ticket and doesn’t even cover the 80 Super Tickets required for the cheapest ride… so, pointless… but EA obviously get that this is a little bit of a slap in the face to the casual gamer, so they’ve been kind enough to let you buy in bulk at only 3.5p per ticket, as long as you’re willing to chuck £71.39 at them.

Needless to say, I didn’t. Fuck that. I got bored fannying around with the shit Bouncy Castle ride, making kids happily bounce all over the place for extra cash and went back to the fat Monopoly guy to see what could be done to speed shit up. Apparently you can help clean up at other neighbouring theme parks to earn more tickets. I had no idea this sort of shit went on. I guess those lovely people at Thorpe Park regularly shovel shit at Alton Towers so they can afford new attractions… who knew? Anyway, fuck it, I did it. I emptied their ONE full bin in exchange for two Super Tickets and cleaned up pools of vomit for a few quid, and was then told that I’d earned too much that day and should come back in 24 hours, and so began another two-hour wait for additional popularity that didn’t happen.

So, how do you actually progress?  If you have to wait hours for the smallest of options to open up, and you earn practically piss all by leaving your own private Chessington to mop up Fosters-laced vomit in the in-game equivalent of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, how do you actually get to play it?  More importantly, how do the people that the game is specifically aimed at… kids… how do they get to play it?  You dip into your real-world wages, that’s how.

Theme Park on iOS and Android is a pile of shite. It’s not even a game, when you think about it.  It’s a pile of unashamed, money-generating shite, aimed at people who are blind to just how much micropayments stack up over time. And perhaps those who spend their days on their fat arse watching Jeremy Kyle while daddy buys all their games for them so they don’t have to get a job, and can wait the weeks that are clearly required for organic progression. Free to play my arse. Free to download, yes, but more expensive to play than the entire Elder Scrolls series put together. It might even be as expensive to play as fucking Train Simulator.  This may actually have been good if EA had shoved a price tag on it and not relied on mass idiocy, but it’s just a way to con people out of money to cover their impatience.

Avoid this steaming pile of rancid shite like you’d avoid Jimmy Savile’s pulsating tracky bottoms.

  • It can be deleted
  • The mere fact that it exists
  • You pretty much have to pay with real cash if you want to do anything
  • The 70 free "Super Tickets" you get from liking Theme Park on Facebook never turn up
  • Without the microtransactions, there's no game whatsoever
  • It's over 200mb... I'd rather have 200mb of viruses on my 'phone
  • Absolutely everything about it

If you're looking to while away the hours on your 'phone and want to go for something nostalgic, then Theme Park certainly isn't for you. You'd be better chucking your HTC or whatever into a woodchipper and gluing an aerial to a brick before drawing a screenshot from "Snake" on to the face of it, because that's going to be a lot more fun, believe me. The graphics aren't bad, the sound is practically non-existent, as is the gameplay, and the entire debacle serves as nothing more than a way for the greedhounds at EA to ensure that next year's Christmas party has Elton John performing rather than everyone's favourite closeted twink, Justin Bieber. If you don't avoid this game like the plague, then you fucking deserve the plague.

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  1. Keegan says:

    From the sounds of it it’s almost a surprise you don’t have to pay to uninstall it.

  2. Richie Rich says:

    Decided to re-read this today. Fucking EA cunts.

    Great review.

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