Frontier Developments is perhaps best known for its work on the beautiful LostWinds titles on the Wii and iOS, but they have dabbled in rollercoaster simulation before, in the form of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and the Thrillville series. Its latest addition to the niche genre is Coaster Crazy Deluxe, a port of the original free-to-play iOS game, with a few new challenges and a couple of new locations thrown into the mix. Does this game work well on Wii U, or is it better suited to mobile platforms such as iOS? Cubed3 advises readers to keep their arms inside the cart and remain seated at all times, because this is going to be one heck of a ride!
Coaster Crazy Deluxe is pretty crazy from the get-go. The game features passengers made up of old ladies, crazy scientists, sheep and even zombies! Together these form a crew known as the Crazies and boy do they love riding rollercoasters; they just can't seem to get enough of it. With this in mind, players must travel across the world buying several plots of land to construct some of the world's craziest rollercoasters to keep this troupe satisfied.
Building rollercoasters is simple enough that anyone from any age group can participate, yet the game also caters to those who may want to make more advanced rollercoasters. Players can simply tap the touchscreen and drag the track around in any which way they please. They can then go back and manipulate the height and rotation at each point of the track, as well as stretch it out further if the track isn't lengthy enough to meet a certain objective. For those who want to create more complex coasters, there are also special track pieces such as loop-de-loops, inversions, tunnels, speed boosts and much more. Players also have various different pieces of scenery at their disposal, so they can weave the track in and out of these numerous obstacles to increase the fear factor of a coaster.
Throughout creating these potential death traps, players can give their rollercoaster a test run, allowing Crazies to test if the ride is safe for public use. For example, if there are too many tight twists and turns in the track, Crazies will be flung out of the cart and players will see deductions from their total score due to these losses. There are also many different challenges that the Crazies will set the player, such as "construct a coaster that has X amount of excitement," "achieve a total of X amount of score," and other demanding goals to keep these Crazies fully satisfied.
As well as these optional challenges, there are also three factors to take into consideration and these are displayed on the GamePad screen during the test run: excitement, fear and nausea. In order to create the best possible coaster, players must have a high level of excitement - just the right level of fear and as little nausea as possible. By including these optional goals, the developer has created a deeper and richer gameplay experience for those who want it.
As players progress through the main section of the game, they will obtain XP and unlock new track pieces, locations to purchase, cart upgrades and more, which can then be used in their creations, including what they can construct in Sandbox mode. This mode allows the gamer to freely create personalised coasters however they want using the items gathered throughout the main chunk of the game, with many of the limitations being lifted.
Another great feature included in Coaster Crazy Deluxe is the ability to upload rollercoasters to the online leader boards, which also enables others to view these creations by simply tapping on the creator's username whilst in the leader boards menu. It must also be noted that, whilst Off-TV play is supported in this title, headphones must be plugged into the GamePad in order to hear any audio, which is a bit of a shame.
Simple enough that anyone can enjoy, but complex enough that players can create some really interesting coasters.
Whilst they are nothing ground-breaking, the colourful and cute graphics complement the fun and wackiness provided by the gameplay.
Some fairly basic tracks that probably won't be listened to outside of the game, but they also aren't annoying enough to force players to hit mute. Fun fact: the developer actually visited various theme parks in the UK and recorded the rollercoaster sounds for the game there!
For fans of the genre, there's quite a bit of content on offer here. There are over 50 different locations to construct rollercoasters in, seven different rollercoaster types, and numerous obstacles that can be placed in the environment so the track can weave around them. It's also really nice that any coaster can be uploaded to the leader boards, creating inspiration for other players.
Coaster Crazy Deluxe is a nice addition to the rollercoaster simulation genre and has enough content included that even the most avid designers will be satisfied with what they can create. Whilst it's pretty hard recommending this to those looking for an action-oriented gameplay experience with a deep and engaging story, the pick-up-and-play nature of the game is welcomed by many. For those that own a device running iOS, the exact same game can be picked up there for just £1.49, yet the £5.99 asking price on Wii U is definitely worth it for those who don't have access to iOS and want to experience their creations on a bigger screen.