Thrillville: Off The Rails (Nintendo DS) Review

By James Temperton 06.11.2007 2

This is the first installment of the Thrillville franchise on the DS after its rather surprising success last year on other formats. The sequel to that game, Thrillville: Off the Rails for the Nintendo DS (developed by DC Studios) is about as thrilling as having your cuticles cleaned with a belt-sander before being massaged by salt and lemon juice before having the searing painful mess slapped into your eyeballs. Indeed, it truly does rub salt (and lemon) into the wounds of videogame mediocrity. We’re not impressed.

Having played the Wii version and finding it throughly enjoyable, we came to the DS version hoping for something equally as pleasant. What we find is, to be frank, a total mess. You still have the bare bones of the big console version with a small child being shoved in charge of a theme park (for no apparent reason) and the evil Globo-Joy is still the enemy. And that’s where the likenesses end.

Screenshot for Thrillville: Off The Rails on Nintendo DS

What’s most shocking about this game is the sheer lack of things we can think to say about it. This game is utterly unremarkable and utterly uninteresting. Any game set in a theme park that can manage to make things boring really is going some. For some reason the tedious tasks are tied together by an utterly ridiculous storyline. We’d like to think it is being self-consciously mocking, but this game is so wonderfully oblivious to everything and anything that we’d suspect it doesn’t realise how dumb it is. The PR blurb reads:

“A new lighthearted story ties together more than 100 missions, complete with 34 playable multiplayer theme-park games and social interaction with park guests that's better than ever. The in-depth conversations both advance the plot and suggest better ways to manage the park. But is every guest to be trusted?”

Screenshot for Thrillville: Off The Rails on Nintendo DS

It is lying. The dialogue is contrived and stupid, the story-line is ludicrous and patronising and all the tasks you are asked to do are either pointless or so devoid in imagination that they make you want to ram your DS stylus in your eyeball just to get some excitement back in your life. Needless to say, there isn’t much to make you come back to this game.

Yes, you might get to build your own rides, but there is very little scope for individual or interesting designs, riding on them is pointless and boring and the excitement levels that the game constantly promises rarely go above ‘wow, that was dumb’. Even all the themed areas like Battleville, Winterville, Spaceville, and Aeroville (amongst others) fail to make this game interesting. Can you see a pattern here? The game is stapled together with a number of fun little minigames (and we’re being sincere) that make decent use of the DS controls and interface.

Screenshot for Thrillville: Off The Rails on Nintendo DS

The graphics, sound, gameplay and whole idea of the title are all beamed totally at small people utterly devoid in imagination or any sense of magic. Everything is presented smartly, put together well and all of the visuals are smart and colourful. The sound however, will make you want to hurt people. Its like having an annoying group of evil school children nattering and chanting stupid songs in your ear, but through the tinny little DS speakers and recorded using a mobile phone microphone in a really echoey room. Not fun.

Screenshot for Thrillville: Off The Rails on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 3 out of 10


Whilst the Wii version is genuinely good fun and provides some original and worthwhile entertainment, this DS iteration is just ugly. Pointless from start to finish and with all the fun stripped out, it really isn’t worth the plastic and metal it is stored upon. Throw it into a fiery pit of doom and curse it to hell.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10 (9 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   


At least UK gamers are giving this a wide berth. Shame the game's so bad...had great potential.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

It is EVIL.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

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