Coaster building, theme park managing, and mini gaming await.
According to LucasArts, the original Thrillville on PlayStation 2 was the best-selling original children's property of 2006. It doesn't take a genius to see what's coming down the track: Thrillville: Off the Rails, a sequel on the family-friendly Wii, set to launch later this month. Part theme park manager, roller coaster designer, and mini game collection, Thrillville: Off the Rails picks up where the first game left off with a lighthearted story tying all of the disparate elements together.
The plot revolves around building a great theme park and outsmarting the evil competing corporation GloboJoy. This is advanced through 100 missions and by talking to the people walking around. Thrillville is divided up into themed worlds like Winterville, Spaceville, and Aeroville. Each world is populated with appropriately themed rides and mini games.
The theme park management part of the game is not as thorough as something like Roller Coaster Tycoon, but players are able to create and customize an entire park, creating rides and strategically placing them to appease the crowds. Through conversations with parkgoers, the player learns better ways to manage things. It's all handled in a casual way that teaches younger players some basic rules of business without weighing down the game with sim-like features.
Developer Frontier Studios has incorporated the Wii remote into track-building in a clever way-- by tilting the remote, the track piece currently being laid is similarly tilted. So if the player wants to make the track turn left, he or she simply tilts the remote to the left and presses the A button to lay down that piece of track. Additionally, over-the-top pieces can be placed sporadically throughout the track. These "Whoa" moments could include things like passing through a ring of fire, leaping a gap in the track, or turning into a vicious corkscrew. Like the rest of the game, the track editor is designed to be user-friendly to gamers of all ages, so there is always an option of having the computer finish the track for you.
There are 34 mini-games included to keep players busy; 14 brand new ones and 20 from the first Thrillville (with new levels). These vary greatly, from traditional theme park fare, like bumper cars, to side scrolling platformers and robot boxing. All of them are playable in the main game or on their own as multiplayer party games and most of them incorporate the unique attributes of the Wii remote in some way.
Thrillville: Off the Rails is slated for release October 16.