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ScreamRide Review

Someone from a famous boy group once said, "Life is a Rollercoaster and you've just got to ride it," although I prefer the words from another, more talented band, which gave us this legendary quote, "Rollercoaster of Love, say what, Rollercoaster yeah (oohh oohh oohh)."

So what's this got to do with Frontier Development's ScreamRide? Well not a lot really, other than the fact that it's got some rollercoasters in it and you've just got to ride them, but I had to start the review somehow and this seemed as good a way as any.

Anyway, time to be serious, or as serious as you can be when your job is to ride rollercoasters, demolish buildings and build some of the scariest rides you'll ever be ejected into the land below from. ScreamRide may not be big budget and it'll certainly not win any awards for the annoying voice overs by it's over the top robot narrator, but it does have something going for it in that it's over the top and quite a lot of fun too.

ScreamRide is a game of three parts and it even has a story, well if you can call it that. Basically people are disenchanted and bored and therefore the ScreamWorks International Research Facility was founded. On its floating, man-made islands, ScreamWorks is developing a class of rides to scare the wits out of anyone who plans to venture onto these adrenaline pumping, blood rushing to the head, creations. These rides are some of the most over the top, jaw dropping experiences out there, which is why it takes some brave people to test and build them.

So who would be mad enough to try out some of the most out-there rides you've ever seen? That comes down to the Scream Riders. Taking part in these missions is like playing Wipeout on speed. It's a pretty much an on the rails experience (quite literally) as you lean, jump, brake and avoid obstacles, all while testing out some of the fastest rollercoasters you've ever seen. Often you'll crash, see some of your team fall out into the sea or just look rather dizzy when it's all over. This is certainly one of the most fun parts of the game as you push the G-forces to the brink by riding on two wheels or perfectly time the blue tracks to grab turbo, which then allows you to clear jumps or earn Time Bonuses for completing the track faster. There's a lot of fun to be had scream riding and it certainly beats going on a real rollercoaster.

Another, quite different bunch of characters that you'll take control of are the Demolition Experts. Here instead of getting on the coaster and hoping you'll survive, your goal is to destroy everything in your way by launching amusement cabins or coaster cars. This sees you looking for weak spots to launch your detachable cabin at - a cabin which the Demolition Experts are inside. These cabins come in different forms, be it the standard Ball Cabin, the Fragmentation Cabin, which can be separated into 3 pieces, the After Touch Cabin, the Bounce Cabin or the Sticky Bomb Cabin, all of which explain themselves really.

The main aim throughout all the destruction levels is to destroy everything in sight, allowing you to then move onto further, more complex levels. Often the best way to destroy levels is just to find a weak spot, this then causes a chain reaction which, if you're lucky, will take down the entire island. When this does happen it's a nice sense of achievement.

So you have your rider and your demolition experts, but where would they be without someone to build everything? Enter the Engineer. This is where your creativity can really come into it's own, allowing you to create rides consisting off all manner of loops and jumps. You'll just need to make sure they are safe and avoid ejecting any riders. You are scored on the scream, nausea and intensity levels of your rides, oh and the safety of course. Getting the rides to work correctly is certainly not easy, in fact it's probably the part of the game I got stuck at the most, with the other two classes being fairly easy to get through. What I found tough about the Engineer was that getting the balance between the ride being too tame and too 'rider ejecting' dangerous was quite difficult. It's possible of course, but it's often about patience and careful planning.

Building rollercoasters is what will make you come back for more in ScreamRide as it's likely you'll soon tire of the campaign, so the Editor mode is where it's really at for rollercoaster addicts. In Editor, not only will you be able to build your own rollercoasters and share them with the world, but you are also able to play and test others thanks to the included community share options. There's already some pretty out-there levels waiting for you to test out. Some are so fast that they are over before they begin and one in particular that I tried had you spinning so much that the few minutes it lasted felt like a blur.

If I have any issues with ScreamRide it's that I don't know who it's actually aimed at. With the rather annoying voice of the A.I and its Kinect Sports style graphics, it feels like it should be for a more casual audience than your standard Xbox shooter fan, but at the same time, it's probably a little too difficult and complex for children. So this does make me wonder who will want to play this game. Saying that though, it's a lot of fun when you get into it. I really enjoyed being a Scream Rider, while demolishing anything is always fun. There's even fun to be had building rollercoasters if that's your thing, so maybe there will be an audience amongst the fans of Theme Park, Rollercoaster Tycoon and similar titles. I'm not really sure if ScreamRide is the sort of game that will hold people's attention for long, which is probably the reason for its lower price, but it's certainly not a bad game, in fact it's often quite thrilling. 

Words Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/Xbox LIVE: wotta

(Version Tested: Xbox One)


+ Three different ways to play
+ Plenty of variety


- Annoying A.I voice
- Art Style won't be for everyone

Edited On 03 Mar, 2015

( 2 )
Old Timer's avatar
Old Timer 2 years ago
Great review there Joe. I did enjoy the demo but like you mentioned here, I do wonder how long it will hold my interest for but it was fun and something a little different which consoles always need these days so I'm going to give it a go and it's at a decent price as well. ”
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 2 years ago
Thanks. Yeah it's fun enough for something a little different.

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