Theme Park Life
A management sim brought to life by charming visuals, a plethora of retro mini games and the chance to build vomit-inducing thrill rides, Off The Rails is a perfect training ground for younger players interested in Roller Coaster Tycoon-style gaming. But for old hands, OTRs undemanding challenges will soon become tiresome.
The main bulk of the game revolves around creating and controlling a teenage business manager who oversees the Thrillville theme park and the expansion of its burgeoning empire. But unlike other po-faced sims, basic tasks such as training your entertainers and cleaning staff are achieved through playing themed mini games, keeping the action light and fresh and making Thrillville a safe place for family fun. Building insane roller coasters to pull in the crowds is also gloriously simple and uses a series of intuitive tools, which are particularly engaging on the Wii as gesturing with the Remote allows you to slot the various pieces into place. And for the ultimate test you can jump into a coaster car and try out your creation, the stomach-churning action available to view from a variety of dizzying angles.
Experienced gamers will doubtless find the kiddy-friendly approach too shallow for their tastes, and even the ingenious opportunity to quiz punters and work out what they want becomes tedious after a few short and repetitive exchanges. But for any parent who wants to indulge their kids desire to play videogames but are worried about potential brain-rot, this is a harmless treat.