ScreamRide: screams that pass you – review

Announced somewhat by surprise at last year’s Microsoft E3 conference, ScreamRide was born as a spiritual successor to RollerCoaster Tycoon. The series, launched in 1999 on PC and subsequently landed also on Xbox and mobile, has managed to obtain a great success worldwide enough to convince Microsoft Studios to create a new chapter.

Behind the development of ScreamRide we find the British veterans of Frontier Development, a guarantee that immediately reassured the fans of “rail simulations” and that, let’s say it immediately, they have made a good product from almost all points of view.

ScreamRide is mainly divided into three campaigns, Scream Rider, Demolition Expert and Engineer, almost totally disconnected from each other except for a handful of features that we will explain later. The game revolves around Screamworks, a company specializing in pushing human emotions to new levels thanks to an impossible roller coaster and an unbreakable sphere used to be launched to destroy buildings and structures of various kinds.

It goes without saying that our job as an employee at Screamworks is to build and test state-of-the-art facilities in six different locations, as long as you have patience and a bit of skill.

The editor is incredibly simple to use, but at the same time offers a wide variety of options to build the roller coaster of your dreams.

Let’s start with the adrenaline-pumping Scream Rider campaign, where the goal is to command a train on a series of roller coasters located in the most unthinkable places on the planet. It is good to know that the people seated are not protected by the classic bands and can therefore derail together with the wagon in case you are facing a particularly difficult curve or loop at high speed.

In this case it is possible to balance the weight of the “train” with the analog stick in order to keep it balanced, but also a skilful use of the brake is essential in order not to make the poor unfortunate fly away. On the rails there are also some areas highlighted in blue which represent the points where to collect the turbo. In fact, pressing X with the right timing (usually immediately before the end of the marked area) fills a part of its bar, which can then be used at will at any point of the path.

Jumps and obstacles of various types hinder the race from time to time but it is precisely in these situations that our ability comes into play: to complete the various levels, in fact, a series of objectives are required, ranging from finishing the course within a certain time. predetermined or without derailing the train, get a certain number of points, reach high speeds, completely fill the turbo bar and so on.

At the end of the level, a series of statistics illustrate the results obtained and will eventually unlock commendations that act as a grade of evaluation capable of unlocking the next stage. In case our performance has been very positive, we also get new parts and tools to be used later in the Engineer campaign, which we are going to talk about now.

Destroying skyscrapers has never been easier thanks to the Demolition Expert mode: find the weak points and collect thousands of precious points.

The purpose of this mode is to complete a path already semi-built by the CPU, while trying to respect a series of requests that then allow the train to travel the entire path without incurring derailments or other problems related to gravity. In this case, however, the testing phase is entrusted exclusively to the CPU, which will also take care of reporting any smudges and errors made by us during the “assembly” phase.

The last of the three campaigns is called Demolition Expert and requires a good eye, precision, but also a bit of luck. The aim is to collect as many points as possible by destroying buildings and structures of various kinds with an adjustable wrecking ball, attached to an arm capable of throwing it in the desired direction. Carefully dosing the launch speed is essential to get the ball to the desired goal, but continuing with the levels it is possible to unlock other cabins, which can also be controlled in flight thanks to light additional air thrusts or a pair of wings that can be activated by us. pleasure.

Identifying the weak points of the structures to trigger chain collapses is also very important but on our side we also find the inevitable explosive barrels placed both in plain sight at the foot or on the roof of the buildings, and hidden behind the walls. In this case a little healthy lower back is required but before each launch it is still possible to have a complete overview of the area to be demolished to identify any sensitive points.

Despite the absence of any multiplayer mode, in ScreamRide longevity is ensured by the ability to download and play roller coasters created by other players, but also to save their projects and modify them as we wish (with the consent of those who make them). During the phases in the sandbox, it is necessary to respect the rules related to the physics and structures that we are going to build.

The technical department of ScreamRide does not scream a miracle on Xbox One, but the videos that introduce the various levels are hilarious and well made.

Raising a rail vertically for tens of meters will not help at all due to obvious laws related to gravity, but this does not prevent you from placing special tracks that can give the wagon an extra push for a few moments. But forget about climbing endless dizzying ramps. The variety of tracks, obstacles, ramps and loops available is very vast and allows you to give life to practically anything that goes through your head, without having to spend hours and hours puzzling over the functioning of a particular tool.

The other (and last) element that takes advantage of the online features are the leaderboards that show the results of our friends and those of other players, while the statistics section is the most exhaustive that can be found in such a title.

The aspect of ScreamRide that impressed us the least, however, is the technical one, where despite the work done by the British team is appreciable, our impression is that something more could be done given the power of the console on which it runs. The sporadic slowdowns that the graphics engine run into from time to time leave something to be desired, but nothing that compromises the overall experience.

The sound sector, on the other hand, although secondary in a title of this genre, fully reaches the sufficiency thanks to several mostly electronic songs that wink at dubstep and ambient, without forgetting the beloved / hated loops that are the background to the various menus . Loading times are also good, quick to load a level from scratch in case you want to start over and acceptable when starting a new one from the map.

In short, on balance ScreamRide is a good product capable of keeping players glued for some time while not offering a variety of high content. The ability to create and share your own creations and download those of players from all over the world is undoubtedly a positive aspect but how much can it serve to increase longevity for the average player?

Another question we feel like asking is whether the game is worth all the money it takes to download it on your console (€ 29.99 for the Xbox 360 version and € 39.99 for the Xbox One version). A slightly cheaper price would not have hurt at all but in our opinion the figures to be shelled out are in line with the amount of content included in the package.

The latest Frontier Development title will delight many fans of the RollerCoaster Tycoon series and managers in general, but for all those in doubt, a playable demo is available that illustrates in an exhaustive way part of what we have exposed in this review . ScreamRide therefore gets away with a good rating, hoping that in the future it will receive new additional content (possibly not for a fee), to further expand the fun experience of a particularly niche genre.

Buy Screamride from Amazon