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September 3, 2014

A Look Back On: Thrillville Off The Rails DS

Read Part 1 of the review here, and part 2 here.

What a weeeeeeiiiiiiiiird game. The plot is just a reason to force you to do mini-games based on jobs related to amusement parks, the villains have strange technology and the good guys have even stranger technology, and everyone is obsessed with carnival games.

Writing this review wasn't too difficult. This was the first time I tried to have a clear running gag, so I came up with the "Wait, What? Rating" machine. With main joke being that the game gets so weird and nonsensical that it breaks the rating machine. I've got a lot of weird games in my collection, so I might bring that running gag back at some point.

The game isn't horrible, actually; it just gets really easy after a while. Once you know how each mission works and how to play each carnival game, it gets very simple. I like to call this "gaming-induced plot", which means that the story would have no reason to exist if there wasn't someone out there to play the darned mini-games, a process which feels forced even to the player. It's pretty obvious the game needed a reason to make you play the mini-games and do some quests, so they just throw in "because the plot says so", without any further explanation. Many games are made like this, without an afterthought on how to bring up the gaming through the plot, instead thinking "we want the player to do X task. How can we shove this somewhere in the plot, even if it makes no friggin' sense?"

Thankfully I haven't seen many games like this, so far...