Park Beyond Vs Planet Coaster
If you thought the world of theme park management couldn't go any bigger than Planet Coaster, then wait till you get a load of Park Beyond, yet another adrenaline-fueled sandbox game that'll muscle its way into the scene on June 16, 2023. Apparently, and we're just going by what Limbic Entertainment has been boasting here, the forthcoming tycoon IP will be, well, far more ambitious than any other game of its kind. And while we can't say for certain which of the two will rally the troops and herd the lion's share of the consumers, we can say this: management sims are about to make a serious comeback.
Anyway, seeing as you found your way here, chances are you've been questioning which of the two will be the better game? If so, then be sure to read on, as we'll be listing all the details the two share, and more importantly, which features set the two apart. Planet Coaster or Park Beyond — which one should you play, and which one should you scoot aside?
To make it clear, both Planet Coaster and Park Beyond share the exact same premise; you're an owner of a network of failing amusement parks in need of a bit of elbow grease and one or two heart-pumping track rides. Slotted with a rather lavish starting budget, both games essentially give you the task of building a top-shelf theme park from the grassy roots up, as well as the chore of hiring quality entertainers, engineers, and researchers to keep the wheels in motion and the paychecks in tow.
On paper, both tycoon games are borderline identical, which begs the question: which one has it dialled, and which one could do with a few more coats of paint? Well, therein lies a question that varies from player to player, as the two boast completely different user interfaces, management features, and customization options. A question that yearns to be answered, however, is which of the two lets you truly unleash your inner creative?
Construction & Customization
The one issue we had with Planet Coaster was its building restrictions; you couldn't have more than a certain amount of set pieces in any one park. Rather frustratingly, each level gave you an enormous plot of land, but only thirty percent of it could be fleshed out with rides, slideshows, and embellishments. After the capacity breached its boiling point, well, that was it — which meant you either had to remove a bunch of stuff, or simply move on to the next level and start from scratch. And that was a problem for us, truly, as it put a cap on our inner visions and held us from unleashing our wildest creations.
Park Beyond is another ballgame, as it introduces the idea of “impossification” — an element that lets players defy physics and gravity, and instead of limiting ideas to help smoothen the frame rate (thanks, Planet Coaster), it allows players to go above and beyond, effectively giving you the tools to create whatever your mind is capable of conjuring — without the boundaries. And what makes this great is that, if you yourself can build something truly mind-boggling, then you'll be rewarded with Amazement, a resource that lets you take your ideas to a whole new level through the power of research.
Aside from building restrictions and what have you, both Park Beyond and Planet Coaster allow for you to get creative with a treasure trove of shops, restaurants, and miscellaneous slideshows. With the freedom to choose colours, themes, and even manage the overall finances of each miniature side hustle, it's difficult to favour either of the two. That said, if we had to judge it based on the limitations, then we'd have to say, all things considered, Park Beyond wagers a superior palette.
Rides & Coasters
Despite Planet Coaster's rather tedious squeeze on the building regulations, the track creator does actually foster a pretty extensive suite of mechanics and features. And it's hard to fault it, truly, as it gives you the freedom to build on a number of levels, both in the sky and underground, and rarely does it stop you from building whatever it is your mind pleases. But of course, that doesn't always guarantee your guests will go out of their way to test it, though.
Park Beyond, like Planet Coaster, gives you the luxury of building without drawbacks — and instead rewards you for creating tracks that defy all of creation. And while this may be slightly unrealistic, it does loosen the pressure of needing to stay within the lines at all times. Either way, both games offer wild and wonderful creative sandboxes for you to toy around with — so we'd be lying if we said one was better than the other, to be fair.
But Which Is Better?
When all's said and done, you've likely chosen such a niche genre for a reason — you love the idea of building, managing, and evolving your own idyllic theme park resort. To this end, we can't help but nudge both Planet Coaster and Park Beyond into the limelight, as each of the two capsulate just about every joyous feeling and complexity of being a tycoon sensationally well. And it's true that, while Park Beyond does allow you to broaden your horizons and remove the clamps ever so slightly, Planet Coaster still offers countless memorable maps and scenarios.
There is something else to consider, too, which is the amount of DLC Planet Coaster has in its name. Matter of fact, there are tons of themed add-ons that help flesh out the overall experience, which in turn makes it one of the best all-in-one sandbox games of its kind. And while it does suffer from its building limits, it does make up for it with the amount of content it fronts on a yearly basis.
Truth is (and this may come across as a pretty copout answer), if you enjoyed Planet Coaster—to the point of brushing it clean of all its levels and sandbox modes—then you'll find Park Beyond equally as enjoyable. And on that note, we can't really shy away from one in favor of the other; both games are generally fantastic flagship IPs in the sandbox domain, and could quite easily rob you of hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours, for sure.
The good news is, you won't have to wait all that long to make the decision for yourself. As it currently stands, Park Beyond is expected to launch on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC on June 16, 2023. You can go ahead and add it to your wishlist on Steam here. Until then, be sure to soak up any last unfinished objectives over on Planet Coaster — because there's a new fish in town, builders.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our verdict? Will you be picking up a copy of Park Beyond when it drops, or will you be sticking with Planet Coaster? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.