Review – Park Beyond

I was very interested in playing Park Beyond for a series of reasons. The first one is simple: I love theme park simulators, even though it seems like no one has been able to come up with something as good as Theme Park World or the first few RollerCoaster Tycoon games, even though Planet Coaster came really close. Maybe this would have been the answer to my pleas. The second reason was the fact it was being developed by Limbic, the same people behind Tropico 6. Let me clear about one thing: I LOVED Tropico 6. I knew Park Beyond was being developed by a team that knew how to make fun building/management simulators.

Park Beyond Western Theme

I tried to make a Western-themed park. I was only able to put like five appropriate rides in it.

Then the game came out, and initial reactions weren’t good. The game was deemed to be nearly unplayable in terms of bugs, glitches, and a brain-dead AI that refused to make the party function properly. Limbic was quick to address that with a patch that fixed SOME of those issues, so before we begin talking about Park Beyond, let me be clear that I did not find it to be unplayable. But I also did not find it to be pristine. It is still massively flawed, but the foundations for something impressive can be clearly seen.

Park Beyond is a game that tries to offer a less cartoonish, slightly more realistic approach towards park building, but with the twist that you are also supposed to “impossify” rides in order to earn as much money and notoriety as possible. Impossifying rides means literally making them defy the laws of physics with enough precision as to not destroy people with the force of gravity and so on. Designing these rides, especially the rollercoasters, is the game’s highlight. The controls are quite good, and the interface is intuitive. Park Beyond also offers a fully voiced tutorial (as well as a campaign) to teach you the basics, though, as usual, the sandbox mode is where the fun really begins.

Park Beyond Ride Camera

As expected, there is a ride camera.

The degree of freedom you have when designing the park is quite impressive. At times, it almost feels overwhelming. More than just simply being able to design coasters or place flat rides, you have complete control over the decorations, pathways, pricing, even the color of the uniforms to be worn by your employees. You can even, literally, assemble buildings and props with smaller chunks. For instance, if you are willing to create a wild west-themed park, you can assemble prop houses by literally gluing walls together with theme-appropriate doors, ceilings, and so on. You will need a ton of patience in order to fully take advantage of these tools, but once you do, possibilities are endless… at least when it comes to decorating your park.

Decorating feels liberating. Editing rollercoasters is really fun. The problem is that the amount of rides at your disposal is paltry. There are just maybe two dozen flat rides, with just two or three being tied to specific themes each, in case you were wanting to make a park exclusively themed after something. Do you know how many rollercoasters are available in the base game? Just three. There are more options for latte stalls than options for rollercoasters in Park Beyond.

Park Beyond Blaize

I don’t know why you’re sharing this information with me but… good to know, I guess?

Sadly, I feel like a good chunk of the game’s content will only be satiated with its season pass, and that is surely disappointing. There is already a Pac Man-themed DLC pack which offers two new rides and a ton of decoration options, and it angers me that these cool ideas are being kept hostage as season pass content. Once you set up a theme park, there is not a lot else that you can do to make the appeal last for hours on end, like how it used to work in Sim Theme Park, for example. The AI glitches, once touted to be the bane of a Park Beyond player’s existence, are less present, but there are still cases in which customers just simply refuse to enter a line to hop into a ride, leaving you to deal with losses.

So the sensation of wonder fades away soon after the park is complete. That can be extended depending on the amount of hindrances thrown at you during your campaign (funds, research, park size), but by then the savefile basically becomes a management simulator in which you are just messing with prices and dealing with maintenance issues. Don’t forget the AI problems.


A lot people attending your park won’t bring the framerate down.

Those aren’t the only issues at hand as well, as I did notice visual glitches (namely water reflection effects) that did take a toll on the otherwise gorgeous graphics. Thankfully, I did not notice vast framerate issues whenever the park was crowded. That was actually something I was pretty worried upon booting Park Beyond up for the first time. As for the sound design, there’s not a lot that can or needs to be said. A calm, serene and unintrusive soundtrack. Not great, not bad either. There is also a surprising amount of voice acting, which feels 100% unnecessary, but I can’t complain about the quality of the performances; they’re decent.

Park Beyond Pac-Man DLC

I loved the Pac-Man park set. Sadly, it’s DLC. This should have been part of the base game. It would have been a selling point.

Park Beyond is in a better place now than when it first dropped into digital storefronts, but even if some of its glitches were fixed, something else hinders it even more: the lack of content available on basic versions of the game. There’s just not a lot in it to make a savefile last for more than half an hour at a time, with most of its content updates being planned as paid DLC, which is just unacceptable for a game as expensive as this one. The foundations for a fantastic theme park simulator are clearly present, and some free content updates would turn this into a bona fide hit, but as of now, this park isn’t ready for prime time.


Graphics: 8.0

The game looks really impressive. Lighting effects are sharp, and the framerate remains stable despite the sheer amount of attendees onscreen. I did notice some visual glitches, however.

Gameplay: 8.0

It’s prone to AI bugs and camera glitches, but the controls and interface are quite good.

Sound: 7.0

A calm, serene, and unintrusive soundtrack. Not great, not bad either. There is also a surprising amount of voice acting, which feels 100% unnecessary, but I can’t complain about the quality of the performances; they’re decent.

Fun Factor: 6.5

It has the foundations for a fantastic theme park builder, but it falls short due to its (still present) bugs and paltry amount of content. It might be great someday, but not now.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Park Beyond is available now on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of Park Beyond was provided by the publisher.