Hurl four hapless riders down stomach-churning rollercoasters, blow them up or create tracks for them to ride. The choice is yours. Meet the newest Xbox exclusive, ScreamRide.
ScreamRide is the latest effort from Frontier Developments, known for RollerCoaster Tycoon, Thrillville, and more recently Elite: Dangerous.
There is a bit of story in ScreamRide, but it takes a backseat to the gameplay. An organization called ScreamWorks is busy creating the next adrenaline filled rides for people. And, that’s about all you need to know. Let’s dive into ScreamRide.
ScreamRider is the one of three modes available in Career mode. It’s probably the one you’ll spend the least amount of time on too. Levels start basic. You’ll cruise around gaining turbo bonus and getting your coaster on two wheels. But, the difficulty ramps up in later levels.
Barriers will force you to get your coaster off two wheels, or you’ll derail. You’ll also be delicately balancing your coaster around sections of track where half of it is missing.
The key to topping the leaderboards in ScreamRider is time, turbo and two-wheel bonuses. As you cruise around parts of the track, you’ll notice some of it is glowing blue. Time your button press (X) right at the end for a perfect bonus. Earning a ‘perfect’ nets you more turbo. Plus, consecutive perfects give you extra points.
The camera does get in the way sometimes in later levels, usually when coming out of a sharp turn or loop followed immediately by a barrier. I derailed quite a few times by not seeing the barrier in time. Having the camera a bit higher above the coaster might help. But, the camera only messed me up a handful of times during hours of playing ScreamRider.
I did get a Trials vibe while playing this mode. I just couldn’t help slapping the retry button every time I derailed it. Nailing that perfect run takes quite a few attempts in the latter levels, but feels so good.
ScreamRider is the weakest of the three modes. It takes a bit too long to shine. Levels take too long to become difficult, which could turn experienced gamers off.
More interested in blowing stuff up? Demolition Expert has you covered. Like ScreamRider, levels start off easy as you learn the ropes. Demolition Expert levels are broken into two types. Cabins and coasters. There are several types of each. Some are basic like the Ball Cabin. Others offer new ways of destruction.
The Fragmentation Cabin (separates into three pieces) is perfect for knocking down multiple structures in one toss. Other cabins offer varying degrees of control in mid-air.
Tossing them is straightforward. Tap (A) when you’re ready to release. Hold down (A) slows the spin down a bit and gives you a reticule to help you better aim.
Coasters come in three types. Rocket, gliding and exploding. Aiming is also easy with coasters, but nailing long range targets can prove tricky. The difficulty is ramped up a notch in later levels as hoops and goalposts are added for you to shoot cabins and coasters through. Magnets help make this a bit easier, though. You can shoot your cabin or coaster into the magnet and then redirect it somewhere else.
While blowing stuff up sounds simple, later levels will have you putting on your thinking cap to knock every building down.
Hitting a perfect chain reaction of explosives and watching several buildings come tumbling down never gets old.
Rather build tracks versus racing or destroying them? Engineer mode is for you. This series will teach you the ins and outs of building tracks. It’s a nice mode that also acts as training for Sandbox (editor mode). The mode starts out with you completing a section of track. Other levels require you to add a certain amount of special pieces (loops, etc.)
Once you finish laying your track, you will watch a group of riders test it out. Any errors in it become obvious as riders get ejected, or the coaster derails. A lot of trial and error goes on this mode, but lessons learned here will get you ready for creating your track.
This is where the community will shine. I can’t wait to see what kinds of tracks you come up with. Sandbox gives you all the full toolbox to create what you want. Want to make the perfect roller coaster? Or, just blow tons of buildings up? The only limit is your imagination.
This is probably the biggest question on your mind. The three career modes are on the short side. But, if you crave getting to the top of the leaderboard or creating and playing other people’s tracks – ScreamRide is worth it.
There are some slight camera issues, but nothing game-breaking.
Some may still scoff at the $40 price tag, but you can’t put a price on fun. And, I’m having tons of it with ScreamRide.
Disclaimer: ScreamRide review code was provided by Microsoft.