What's the next best thing to visiting a theme park? If you said "designing one in a game," you're probably wrong. That doesn't mean it isn't fun at all, though. EA's newest game, predictably named Theme Park, lets you design the amusement park of your dreams.

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The game follows the 'build it and they will come' mantra. You have to create attractions that will bring patrons to your park so you can make cash. You can turn around and use that money to build more shops and rides. To stay busy, you go around tapping on all sorts of things in your park to collect experience and money. Many of the rides can actually be played like mini-games to generate additional resources. It's got some impressive graphics, too.

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Sadly, just playing the game is only going get you so far because Theme Park pushes in-app purchases pretty heavily. There is cash to be had in the game, but a parallel currency system of tickets is used to construct many of the better attractions. You get very few tickets from playing, so in-app purchases are the only way to go. Theme Park is a free download in the Play Store.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    Oh COME ON! This isn't the Bullfrog game? You suck, EA.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I must be missing something - what's the bullfrog reference?

      • http://profiles.google.com/peter.farac Peter Farac

        The original Theme Park released by EA in the early 90s was developed by Bullfrog. It was very very good and was more about the business of running the park rather than designing rides like in Rollercoaster Tycoon. I miss it :(

        • Jeff B

          I loved that game on my PSX!

        • GigiAUT

          THAT Theme Park was good. I never played it much though, but Theme Hospital was and is still my favourite. If only the original Theme Park had a port for Android too.

    • atlouiedog

      There's still hope for Magic Carpet, right?

  • Jan

    Not bullfrog + in-app purchases?

    Not thanks.

    This whole "Free with no chance to play it without money" aka "Pay to win" along with the even worse: full price game with more IAP. That's the downfall of Android gaming!

    I bet that when a publisher would release a game in two versions: Free and with in app purchases, or full priced, but all in fine game balance, they would at least be even!

    • ericl5112

      That's not android gaming. That's every gaming. All mobile OS's, social gaming, and even creeping into desktop gaming.

  • Cenarl

    I wish they would just make 5-10 dollar games that are good instead of trying to drain people of 100 bucks in small increments over time, but some suckers fall for it, so they obviously keep pumping them out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tautvydas.kaziukonis Tautvydas Kaziukonis

      Best solution to stop this fremium bull***t is to STOP downloading freemium games! According to statistics which google offers to developers, freemium games are most popular because of the download count. So it's our fault rather than developers.

    • dannyvice

      They aren't trying to drain you for $100 over time. How about $50 and $100 for each premium ride you want to add. And the sad thing is, most of the rides are premium rides unless you want a park filled with bouncy castle, french fry hut and heart maze. So sad to see a greedy company completely ruin what might be a fun game to tinker with on your tablet or phone. I'd rather spend half the money and get a real game.

  • CJ Walker

    Ill gladly wait for Roller Coaster Tycoon.

  • TouchMyBox

    If you're like me and spent counless hours of your childhood playing the original, then give this a download and see just how depressed you can get.

  • http://twitter.com/BottleRocket_ BottleRocket

    I was excited until I saw "EA".

  • cy_n_ic

    In app purchases plus its not the original from mt childhood so...pass

  • adetogni

    I'm SO, SO, SO fed up with these in-app purchases. I haven't yet, and I'm NOT going to download an app that forces me to inject real cash to play it. It's not a problem of putting 5 or 10€ in it. I bought FHM2012 and it was 8€, happily. The problem is that these in app purchases require a never ending stream of money to keep playing. And I just can't believe the success they're having. Is people so damn *stoopid* to not understanding that 2€ a week makes 100€ in an year? Don't ever get me started in games like Top Eleven where you have to pay money to actually compete against real people - so basically the richer you are the more you win.
    EA if you're reading: I'm one of the vast majority of people that will NEVER EVER buy a game with in-app purchases. Set a fixed a value, not a cash machine.

  • Tim Kermode

    Got excited when I saw 'Theme Park' then realised it's the wrong game and it's Pay as You Go

    Nevermind :(

    I'll give EA more money just as soon as they update any of their previous games I bought which haven't been updated to work on any phones made in the past 12-18 months.

  • smeddy

    EA, I loved you in the old days - my first gaming memory was hearing "EA Sports, it's in the game" on the Megadrive in 1995.

    But you are disgracing yourselves with these bad apps.

    Okay, so it's not a port of one of my favoured games, but I can live with that, if your alternative is any good.

    But the gameplay is slowed down to nothing thanks to a constant need for In-App Purchases, which ruin the game.

    I could maybe live with that, after an enjoyable-ish 10 minutes before going to work this morning.

    But then I get on my tube, turn on the game, and get told repeatedly I need to be online so you can 'authorise' my session.

    At the next station I briefly get Wifi, so I go into the game again.

    Within 30 seconds of playing: "You need to switch off Airplane mode".

    F*** off EA, you get an instant un-install, as do most of your games. Let me play your game or don't let me play it, but don't tell me when and where I can use it.

    One of your biggest fans now hates you.

  • Stephen Huggard

    Why doesn't everyone review it with one star and say why?

  • Tyson Young

    does anyone know how to get neighbors on this game?

  • http://www.facebook.com/felicia023 Felicia Walker

    How would someone add nieghbours t this game been playing for two weeks and still have got no answers

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.hahahah Eric Thomas

    Can any one help me with all the ride info...I'd like to know how much each ride makes you and how many flags..I'm only on level 20 because I had to re start...trying to use my tickets to un lock a ride that makes a lot of money in the shortest time

    • Daisy

      What if you want to change a place to another place?