Whippersnappers tend to think of rollercoasters as the greatest part of being an adult. I remember being so small that I wasn’t tall enough to go on the “big rides”, and it upset me. It upset me a lot. At that time, these rides were one of those mysterious pleasures that only adults could enjoy and appreciate. Very much like that horrible smelling beer they drank and the sex they had in their beds, whatever that was. Rollercoasters were the most sought after no-go for me; I wanted to feel the thrill of nearly dying. And if I was lucky, maybe I’d even puke during the photo.
Then the whole world changed when I reached finally reached the height of the clown’s bent double hand. We were at Alton Towers for the second time ever and this time I could feel the bit of wood dig into the top of my skull as I stood under it. At last! My cousin’s crafty plan to gel his hair up as high as it would go failed, of course. Oh, the faces I pulled as I weaved my way through the queue on to my first adult experience. Now, some double digit number later, I find that rollercoasters have run their course for the adult me, and I have to seek face-pulling forces elsewhere if I’m to satisfy my need for a thrill.
At least that’s what I thought until I set eyes on Andy’s Super Great Park and realized that, actually, I could still derive a form of pleasure from rollercoasters if only they were spruced up a little. Strap a cannon to the front of the carriage, hand me a plunger gun and make me shoot perched eagles around these themed rollercoasters. That should do it! And I can confirm that after playing the game’s demo it certainly does do it, to a point.
Look, No Hands!
In this self-confessed shooter with platforming elements, you play as Andy as he rides around his own theme park (well, just the rollercoasters) collecting his balloons with his plunger gun so he can fly off at the end of every level. Seriously, there’s no other reason for collecting these balloons other than him being very fond of them. As you do this you also need to use your front-mounted cannon to shoot the small zeppelins that attempt to cause damage to you by exploding at the right time. These were laid out by your mate Brian, who wanted to adopt the name “Fun Park”, which is decidedly less good than Andy’s Super Great Park. His jealousy led him to revenge, and now he’s got a chopper too.
“Grabbing balloons with a plunger gun, shooting birds with a cannon and exploding everything else, all while riding a roller coaster”
It’s all a bit sensible for my liking. Where’s the exploding horse heads and rainbow cities? Well, anyway, I did quite enjoy my stay around the demo of the game, but I do hope that it ramps up in intensity as it actually could be a little dull otherwise. When your only function is to aim your mouse and press the left or right button depending on whether you want to send a cannon or a plunger at your target, it becomes quite easy. The only time I was caught offguard was when it introduced a hole in the track and never told me that I could use the arrow keys to jump and speed up if I pressed down.
The platforming parts of the game actually feel quite unnecessary. Though if it means later in the game, when I’m hopefully travelling faster than the average walking pace, that I have to jump and dodge various things, I may just be engaged enough to keep playing. What I want is something that’s really going to test my reflexes, and considering there’s a total of 43 levels, then I remain hopeful. Worth a go, though, despite the relative simplicity and easiness of the first few levels. Andy’s Super Great Park seems like it will be quite enjoyable, but the music is a combination of jolly and weird. I’m still not sure if I like it or not. I think I do.